When you think of a healthy bedroom, what comes to mind? Painting the room a peaceful color, having a comfortable mattress and pillow, keeping the room clean and removing clutter are all great ways to keep a bedroom healthy. However, there’s more to it than that.
Creating a healthy bedroom is one area that ultimately contributes to having a healthy home environment. We spend 25-30% of our lives in bed, so that’s a lot of time in our bedroom. Your bedroom should be a healing sanctuary.
Did you know that there are many different chemicals which could be lurking in your bedroom? Let’s take a look at some ways in which you can create a healthier bedroom by eliminating harmful chemicals.
Detox Your Bedroom with These Healthy Bedroom Tips
Listed below are healthy bedroom tips to consider in order to create a healthy home environment. These tips will not only help you sleep better, but they will also help your health in general.
1. Shop for a Non-Toxic Mattress
Since we spend so much time on our bed, we need to make sure our mattress is safe. Unfortunately, mattresses can be filled with all sorts of chemicals.
One chemical that was intended to protect us from our beds (fire resistant chemicals & barriers to protect us from the lit cigarette next to the bed) has actually resulted in an inundation of toxic chemicals that we inhale on a nightly basis.
In order to comply with federal regulations, mattress companies use a variety of flame-resistant chemicals (fire retardants) and barrier materials. Flame retardants are among the several toxic chemicals that go into the manufacturing of your mattress.
Other toxic materials typically found in mattresses include petroleum-based polyester, nylon and polyurethane (PU) foam (all of which emit VOCs, especially when new), nonorganic treated cottons, adhesives and more.
Your body shouldn’t have to spend the night warding off harmful chemicals because you are sleeping on a toxic mattress!
Also, verify with the store and manufacturer that flame retardant chemicals were not used in the manufacturing of the product.
2. Consider Your Bedding: Sheets, Blankets, Comforters
It’s unfortunate, but the items that we use to cover our body while we sleep can also contain harmful chemicals.
Sheets that list “permanent press”, “easy care”, or “no-iron” on their packaging may contain formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde can off-gas for many years and is a suspected carcinogen.
Additionally, sheets which are water or stain resistant may be treated with Teflon.
If you have permanent press sheets, do not iron them since formaldehyde may release into the air when heated.
It’s best to shop for organic bedding which has been certified and is eco-friendly in its manufacturing and dying process.
If organic sheets are too expensive, shop for 100% cotton sheets with no finishes. Also, buy lighter colored sheets since they shouldn’t have as strong of a dying process.
3. Change Out Your Pillow
Pillows not only can attract dust particles and mold spores, but they can also be treated with flame retardants. Who wants to be breathing these toxins all night?
Look for pillows which are organic in both their filling and cover.
You can also look for pillows with natural fillers such as buckwheat, wool, and even flaxseed, rice, and corn. Make sure the wool is untreated and unbleached. Wool isn’t machine washable, but it is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
4. Are Your Mattress Pads Off-Gasing?
Mattress pads and covers may contain PVC.
PVC is the second most widely used plastic resin and is one of the most toxic and hazardous plastics. PVC is a known human carcinogen which can take a long time to off-gas.
When shopping for a mattress cover, steer clear of those that have an outer “membrane,” or an inner layer of plastic. Opt for a PVC-free or vinyl-free mattress pad instead.
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5. Are You Wearing Toxic Clothing?
I never realized how many chemicals were used in the production of clothing until a doctor told me I was sensitive to my clothes. The chemicals in new clothing can cause me to have various symptoms.
Unfortunately, there is no U.S. law that requires a listing of materials that go into producing clothing, other than the fabrics that are used.
Chemicals can be used in fabrics to keep them stain, odor, water, and wrinkle resistant. There are also chemicals used in the color dying process. Formaldehyde is used in clothing that is permanent press.
It’s best to avoid synthetic fabrics such as polyester. Look for clothing that is 100% cotton or wool. It’s also best to purchase clothing that is organic and is from brands who use eco-friendly methods.
6. Is Your Indoor Air Harmful to Your Health?
It’s crazy, but our indoor air can be more highly toxic than outdoor air. So many of the everyday products we bring into our home contain harmful chemicals. Synthetic fragrance is a big one!
On top of that, if you bring in new products such as furniture or plastic items, they can off-gas harmful VOCs for many months.
While you’re sleeping, you don’t want to be breathing in toxic chemicals all night. I recommend having an air purifier, or air purifying plants around which can help to purify the air.
If you don’t have an air purifier, try using a Himalayan salt lamp to detoxify your indoor air, or place Moso Natural Air Purifying Bags around which contain moso bamboo charcoal. Charcoal helps to absorb pollutants.
7. Is Your Furniture Leeching Chemicals?
Like other items in the house which may contain flame retardants and formaldehyde, furniture is no exception.
Not all of the flame retardant chemicals have safety data associated with them. However, chlorinated flame retardants such as Tris phosphate (TDCIPP) have been labeled as carcinogenic. These chemicals have been linked to real and measurable health impacts.
In daily use, the chemicals do not stay in the furniture. They travel out of the products and collect in indoor dust where they can enter your body by being inhaled, ingested and absorbed.
In addition to flame retardant chemicals in furniture, many pieces of furniture are generally treated with formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen. It can off-gas for years. Formaldehyde is common in plywood, pressed wood, particle board and medium density fiberboard.
To avoid the exposure to flame retardants, purchase furniture made of whole wood, glass, metal, chrome, wool, wicker, organic, or “green” building material.
8. Electronic Devices Emitting Harmful EMFs
It’s no secret that people have become addicted to their smartphones, but there’s more to it than that. EMFs are toxic electrical frequencies that are emitted from our phones and other electronic devices. These frequencies can disrupt electrical communication in our body and cause damage to our DNA. WiFi is another thing that can cause harm.
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Our bodies were made to repair as we sleep. Our bodies repair by transmitting subtle electronic signals. Unfortunately, the low-frequency signals in our electronics can interfere with the body’s natural repair process.
I recommend setting your WiFi on a timer to turn off during the night while you sleep.
Also, don’t use your cell phone before you go to bed. It’s best to keep your smartphone in another room while you sleep, or at least set it to airplane mode. Studies have shown the more time you spend on your smartphone, the worse you’ll sleep.
9. Toxic Flooring Harboring Nastiness
It’s amazing the amount of nastiness that can get caught up in our carpet. Carpet can store things such as dust, moisture, mold, pesticides, and dirt.
Different forms of flooring can also contain numerous chemicals which can off-gas for a long time.
In addition to the chemicals in flooring, be sure to remove your shoes when in the house. Our shoes can contain dirt, bacteria, and remnants of chemicals and pesticides.
Make sure to either vacuum or wet mop your floors often. When vacuuming, use a HEPA-filter vacuum.
10. Adjust Your Lighting So You Can Sleep Soundly
In order to produce proper levels of melatonin, our brains require darkness.
“When your brain “sees” blue light at night, the mixed message can add up to serious health issues.” Blue light coming from screens and displays can suppress the brain’s production of melatonin which will affect your sleep.
“For nighttime use, swap out your LEDs for clear bulb incandescents, low-voltage incandescent halogen lights.” Also, be sure to turn your electronic devices off and keep your smartphone in another room while you sleep.
By taking these healthy bedroom tips to heart, you will go a long way to having a more natural, healthy home.
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