Create a natural, healthy and healing bedroom
by Andrew Pace
As an avid racquetball player, I’m often reminded that the best method for recovering from a twisted ankle is RICE: rest, ice, compression, elevation. It’s simple but highly effective. It gives the body the time and tools it needs to effectively heal itself. Rest at least six to eight hours a night. But how and where you rest might play a much bigger part in the healing process than you think. It’s even more important for common ailments like headaches, allergies and, counterintuitively, insomnia. One of the keys is to create a natural, healthy bedroom that promotes healing.
Most people don’t realize that the average home contains 10,000 to 15,000 chemicals that are emitted from the building materials used during construction. While the number dwindles as the home ages, other chemicals are introduced in their place from clothing, cleaning materials, electronics, etc. Using flooring and wall finishes that are nontoxic and free of chemical outgassing will reduce the initial emissions by up to 75 percent. The use of a high-quality air purification system will ensure particulate capture, reducing allergens and that morning stuffy nose. The materials you surround yourself with during the night should be healthy and chemical free — most importantly, the mattress and bedding.
Flooring and finishes
While the feeling of something soft and cushy underfoot is nice in a bedroom, there really is no flooring material that is less healthy than carpet. Besides the chemicals that emit from carpet (for over 20 years!), carpet will trap allergens and pollutants that cannot be removed with vacuuming. Hard surfaces, like wood, cork or, best yet, natural linoleum are recommended. These materials are far easier to maintain and keep clean. Natural linoleum is inherently anti-static and anti-bacterial, too. Anyone who really wants a soft surface to step on in the morning should consider a natural wool area rug.
For wall surfaces, use nontoxic paint (not just zero VOC) or other natural finishes that do not outgas. Clay plaster, which is completely free of chemical outgassing and actually helps reduce chemical fumes in the rooms where it is applied, is a great option.
Mattresses and bedding
The average mattress contains chemical flame retardants, formaldehyde, heavy metals and various other VOCs. Look for a natural latex mattress encased in an organic cotton or wool cover. Not only is natural latex chemical-free, it is a responsive surface that provides pressure relief and appropriate support for your spine and specific shape. Unlike the synthetic “memory foam,” natural latex breathes, which discourages the buildup of moisture and heat in the mattress interior. No more musty smell!
For sheets and blankets, look for natural and organic fibers that are GOTS certified. The Global Organic Textile Standard is the world’s toughest processing standard for organic fibers. Thus, consumers know that no pesticides or chemicals were used in the growing or manufacturing process.
Sunlighten saunas use infrared heat instead of hot rocks or steam used in traditional saunas. Traditional saunas heat the air at extremely high temperatures which can make the experience unbearably hot and difficult to breathe. Because infrared heats the body directly instead of simply heating the air, infrared saunas are seven times more effective for detoxification. In a Sunlighten sauna, you will experience the deepest, most detoxifying sweat of your life.
After everything else is done, the final bit of insurance is the implementation of a quality air purification device for the things you can’t really control. Dust, mold spores, pollen and outgassing from clothing and furniture can still build up in your bedroom. Portable purification units that use a four-stage filter containing medical-grade high efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) and activated carbon will address the most serious household airborne contaminants.
There you have it. A quick and easy checklist for creating your healthy haven. You’re just a few steps away from a truly restful, healing night of sleep!
- Sunlighten saunas
- Austin Air Portable purification units (use coupon code NONTOXIC at checkout for a 5% discount!)
- Savvy Rest natural latex mattress (use coupon code NONTOXIC at checkout for a 5% discount!)
- Marmoleum natural linoleum flooring (use coupon code NONTOXIC at checkout for a 5% discount!)
- AFM Safecoat nontoxic paint (use coupon code NONTOXIC at checkout for a 5% discount!)