While people are becoming increasingly conscious of what they are putting into their bodies every day, they seem to be less concerned about what they are exposing themselves to each night. We spend about one-third of our lives in our bedrooms, but very few of us give any thought to what we are sleeping on or in when we hop into bed.
A healthy bedroom, as Mary Cordaro of H3Environmental explains, is critical because our bodies are ‘most vulnerable when we sleep.’ We use our downtime to restore and revive, and we can make this process easier and more effective by ensuring that our bedrooms are both healthy and natural. Our beds are a great place to begin, and you’ll find that you can go green in both luxury and style.
Conventional cotton sheets are not only bleached with chlorine and treated with formaldehyde, but are also treated with insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides before they reach our beds. Organic fibers, however, are subject to national standards and free of all of the aforementioned noxious treatments, and green and natural linens are formaldehyde- and/or chlorine-free. Most eco-conscious companies make it a point to share their ethics and are very candid about their standards, and while they may not be available yet at your local department store, they are available online. Coyuchi, Gaiam, VivaTerra, Nirvana Safe Haven, and Tomorrow’s World offer organically grown cotton linens in a variety of styles and colors and Anna Sova’s Heritage Weight Linens boast an indulgent 350 organic thread-count. Add these touches to create a healthy bedroom you can’t wait to retire to.
Mattresses and pillows are also critical components of a healthy bed. Simply buying organic sheets and covering your old synthetic mattress and down-filled pillows will not make your bed healthy. In addition to being laden with chemicals, traditional mattresses trap moisture, attract dust mites, and promote microbial growth. So unless you are changing out your traditional pillow and mattress as often as you are replacing your dish sponge, paying a little more for a natural or organic mattress makes sense for both your health and wallet. And rest assured, you won’t be sacrificing comfort. Natural materials, wool in particular, help to regulate temperature and provide for an ideal sleeping environment. Haiku Designs, H3Environmental, Sleeptek, Powell Sleep Solutions, and Lifekind all offer mattresses with natural rubber or natural latex cores that are surrounded by organic cotton and wool. Short on cash? Spring for a mattress topper or pad to create a barrier between you and your old bed. Earth Sake and Obasan both offer pure wool options but remember the purpose of a topper is to complement a healthy bed, not hide a toxic one.
For more information on Haiku Designs visit haikudesigns.com
Powell Sleep Solutions Co., mattresses-futons.com
Earth Sake, earthsake.com
Part of creating a healthy bedroom is to extend your organic ethos into the rest of the space. Hip and Zen offers a variety of handmade, fair trade, and natural products for your home. In addition to their organic linens, VivaTerra boasts a stylish collection of eco-friendly home furnishings and accents. And finally, rest peacefully and wake up naturally with the Zen clock from Now and Zen.
With her love of health and writing, Melissa has written for such publications as Shape, Natural Solutions, Yoga Journal, Self and Pilates Style, and has created recipes and food-oriented stories for such publications as Delicious Living and Cooking Light.
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