Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Non-Toxic Bedroom Checklist

Do you have a non-toxic bedroom?
Your bedroom should be a place of peace, relaxation and comfort to support restorative sleep. If you want to support all aspects of healthy sleep, it’s essential to consider the sources of toxins in your bedroom.
I believe the bedroom is the most important room in the house to detoxify. Why?
When we are sleeping, our bodies should be in the parasympathetic nervous system mode. This is the “rest-and-digest state. In this state, immune function, detoxification and regeneration turns on.
When we look at the toxicity in our bedroom, it turns out to be a vicious cycle. Things that stress the body, including exposure to toxins, takes us out of that parasympathetic state. A toxic bedroom diminishes the body’s ability to detoxify and regenerate, and also floods our system with more toxins.
A low-toxin bedroom is even more important for babies and children, since they are growing quickly, higher respiration rate (potentially taking in more air-borne pollutants) and have smaller bodies more susceptible to toxins.
Here is a checklist to use as you detox your bedroom to support healthy sleep.
Air quality
Remove sources of indoor air pollutants
  • Paraffin and soy candles (they release toxins from the wax and fragrance)
  • Artificial air fresheners, including arose sprays, reed diffusers, and plug-in room fragrance
  • Toxic cleaning supplies
  • Artificially fragranced laundry detergent and dryer sheets used on bedding and clothing
Add some natural air purifiers
Consider a high-quality air purifier (particularly if you have asthma, allergies or a compromised immune system)
  • I’m writing a follow-up post the air purifier I use, because it’s a bigger topic than I can fit in a couple of sentences. Stay tuned next week if you are interested.
Non-Toxic Mattress
If you’ve read any of my posts on mattress toxicity and sleep quality, you’ve heard this story… the worse flare-up ever of my autoimmune disease correlated to the week that I began sleeping on a new mattress. Coincidence? No!

Your mattress may be the most toxic component in your bedroom. Regular mattresses are coated with highly poisonous fire retardants that off-gas. Even worse, popular memory foam mattresses are make with numerous other components that off-gas toxins, especially when the mattress begins to break down.
I got connected with intelliBED because they create the best, safest mattress I’ve found. After struggling with insomnia my whole life, my quality of sleep drastically improved overnight when I switched to intelliBED, because the mattress supports proper alignment and restorative sleep. Most importantly, I know that I am not inhaling off-gassing chemicals because I am sleeping on a non-toxic surface.
I worked hard with intelliBED to create an education resource about mattress toxicity and sleep quality that is as clear and concise as possible. We created this Holistic Sleep Webinar, which I think you will find very helpful.
Non-Toxic Bedding
As a rule of thumb, I opt for natural fibers, specifically wool and cotton, for bedding instead of synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers may contain chemical residues from processing, which is why I also prefer natural fiber clothing.
I use this wool and organic cotton comforter from Holy Lamb Organics after looking into the other options for natural bedding.
Why wool for a comforter?
  1. Comfort and temperature – Wool is the most breathable comforter filling and helps regulate body temperature. 
  2. Hypoallergenic – This is the primary reason I choose wool. It is more resistant to dust mites than other natural bedding materials, specifically down (which attracts dust mites). I’ve read two reasons why wool repels dust mites: 1. it has microscopic bristles on the wool fibers and 2. it has lanolin which repels the mites.
  3. Long-lasting – with proper care, a wool comforter will hold up well for decades.
  4. Renewable – Wool is an renewable resource, and I support Holy Lamb Organics because they source from sustainable farms.
I also use organic cotton sheets, since cotton is one of the most highly-sprayed crops.

Electronics and lighting
Reduce sources of EMFs
EMFs – harmful electromagnetic fields – are a ubiquitous household toxin, but not often considered. EMFs are biologically toxic electrical frequencies that disrupt electrical communication in the human body and have been shown to cause serious health issues ranging from diabetes to cancer. Here is my overview on EMF dangers and steps to reduce the damage.
Again, since we are in full parasympathetic mode when sleeping, this is when we are most vulnerable to the DNA-altering effects of EMFs.
  • Turn of the WiFi before you go to sleep
  • Turn off your phone before bed
  • Switch to corded landline phones instead of cordless home phones
  • Avoid digital baby monitors if possible, which are a high source of EMF. Use a wired or plug-in version or, if possible, move baby’s bedroom.
  • Don’t use your laptop or tablet on your lap, where the radiation is concentrated over vital organs. I use a DefenderPad to block this radiation.
  • Use full-spectrum or LED lights instead of fluorescent lighting

Reduce light pollution
  • Take a “screen fast” at least an hour before bed. The blue light from electronic screens has been shown to disrupt melatonin levels, contributing to sleep issues
  • Alternatively, install f.lux on your devices to block the blue light after sunset
  • As another option, consider wearing “melatonin glasses” if you watch TV before bed
  • Use blackout blinds to create a pitch-black sleeping environment
  • If you struggle with hormone balance, you can do these simple tweaks to the lighting in your room at night to support balanced hormones

Have you checked off items on this checklist? Are there other steps you take to detox your bedroom?

1 comment:

Steve Berke said...

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