Sleep Peacefully by Eliminating Allergens in the Bedroom
Chemicals are everywhere and can be difficult to avoid, but when it comes to creating a toxic-free environment in the home, the bedroom is a great place to start. Surprisingly, there are far too many toxins taking up space in what should be the peaceful and relaxing haven of the home. A simple way to start is to replace pillows, pillowcases and sheets with those made of organic material. It is a common misconception that cotton is a better choice than synthetic materials; cotton farming uses more pesticides and insecticides than any other area of agricultural production. Organic cotton, hemp and wool are better options to search for when looking to purchase new bedding.
Trying to overhaul the closet with an entirely new wardrobe made of organic materials can present quite a challenge. An easier option is to avoid buying clothing that is wrinkle-free and stain-resistant. Synthetic fabrics contain perfluorochemicals (PFC) which are absorbed through the skin and can be harsh to breathe in. It is also important to keep the inside of the home shoe-less. Leaving shoes at the door can help keep dirt, pesticides, animal droppings and chemicals out of the home and bedroom.
When it comes to decorating the bedroom, choose non-volatile organic compound (VOC) paint. VOC can cause breathing issues and headaches and contributes to air pollution. Wall-to-wall carpeting or area rugs can be a health hazard, too. Dust and dirt can settle deep in the rug fibers and harbor allergens. Natural wood floors or tile are a better option with less risk of causing irritation and affecting allergies.
Another area of the bedroom where dust and other allergens can be found is curtains and lampshades that collect dust and dirt and can be a hidden source responsible for breathing issues and skin irritation. While wooden blinds need to be dusted frequently, they do not hold the same amount of allergens as those made of fabric.
Furniture made of particle board should be removed from the home. It contains formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that has been directly linked to several types of cancer and is known to cause nausea, headaches and allergies.
Perhaps the largest change to create a healthier environment in the bedroom is purchasing a new organic mattress. According to celebrity naturopath Dr. Josh Axe, “Getting sufficient, high-quality sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health. Sleep allows the body to reset after a long day, balances hormones and helps control stress.” While this can also be the most costly step in creating a healthier environment in the bedroom, it can also be the most beneficial.
Conventional mattresses are manufactured with harmful ingredients including flame retardants, boric acid, formaldehyde, synthetic latex and more. Dave Spittal, owner of Healthy Choice Organic Mattress, says, “A healthy mattress is essential to your health and well-being. You spend one-third of your life on your mattress.” When sleeping on a traditional mattress, toxins and chemicals are consistently being absorbed through the skin and taken in through breathing night after night. In addition, these mattresses aren’t as comfortable as we would think, potentially leading to a lot of tossing and turning and restless sleeping. Not only can standard mattresses be harmful to our health, but they can also have a negative impact on the environment. Most mattresses are not biodegradable because of the chemicals they contain, and the addition of these mattresses to landfills every year increases pollution.
Organic mattresses offer a healthier option to sleeping and maintaining a healthy bedroom. Free of chemicals and manufactured using high-quality, natural materials, they benefit not only ourhealth, but the environment, too. Longer-lasting than standard mattresses, organic mattresses offer a long-term solution to creating a healthier sleep environment.
Healthy Choice Organic Mattress is located at 681 East Main St., Mt. Kisco and 544 Main St., Beacon, NY. For more information, call 914.241.2467; or visit HCMattress.com.
Brielle Bleeker is a writer for Natural Awakenings magazine.