We spend 30 to 40% of the time from the bedroom, according to the American Time Use Survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Ideally, it is where our bodies and minds rest and rejuvenate, and at which we find respite from the external world’s toxins and migraines. Regrettably, most Americans sleep one hour and a half less each night than they did a hundred years back, and fewer than 35 percent of American adults frequently get the seven to eight hours per night that medical specialists urge, says Stanford University sleep researcher William Dement in his book The Promise of Sleep. Meanwhile, the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke states that 60 million Americans suffer from stress-related sleep disorders.
Given these obstacles to a fantastic night’s rest, it makes sense to have a refuge that facilitates uninterrupted sleep. Here is the way to make a new, wholesome bedroom.
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Many bedroom products contain chemical flame retardants known as PBDEs, which are prohibited in several U.S. countries and other nations because they interfere with nervous system growth, causing problems with attention and memory. The Environmental Protection Agency claims that its toxicology database PBDEs “is inadequate to truly understand the risk.” Given these uncertainties, it is smart to keep PBDEs from your sleeping area.
A few general things to think about:
Look for bedding and beds made with natural fibers such as cotton, wool, and hemp, that don’t catch fire easily or burn quickly and are less inclined to be treated with toxic flame retardants.Not sure how to find PBDE-free mattresses and bedding? Find a list at ewg.org/pbdefree.Ikea no more uses PBDEs in any of its own accessories or furnishings.
When you consider how long spent in bed and also the important work your body does to rejuvenate and revive you while you sleep, your bed might be the most underrated, undervalued piece of furniture within your property. Buying a comfy, toxin-free bed such as Savoir Beds’ handmade Savoy bed (shown), that is made of lamb’s wool, cotton and horsetail, can make a massive difference to your physical and mental wellness.
A few things to think about while purchasing a new bed:
Most beds and mattresses are made with many different petroleum-based chemicals, foams and plastics that evaporate in the air. While you sleep, you inhale those compounds. Continuous exposure could make you sick. Common petroleum-based chemicals have been proven to weaken or damage the nervous and immune system, and to induce arthritis, autoimmune disorders and damage to soft tissues, organs and the mind, based on Richard Pressinger and Wayne Sinclair, M.D., of Chem-Tox. com. Current laws do not require industrial chemicals to be tested before they’re placed on the current market, and manufacturers are just infrequently required to provide information essential to assess safety.If you encounter any new health problems such as shortness of breath, headaches or sore throats immediately after buying a new bed, remove it from the living room (perhaps to the garage) and see if the problems ceased. Look for a bed made from natural materials produced organically. Cotton, wool, natural latex and horsehair are solid options.
Contemporary Duvet Covers – $330
About 25% of all the pesticides used in the United States are utilized to grow cotton, and many of them are carcinogenic, according to the Sustainable Cotton Project. Don’t get in bed with them! Choosing organic cotton bedding such as this contemporary duvet cover out of Amenity can go a long way toward safeguarding your wellbeing.
A few things to think about if purchasing bedding and other textiles:
Organic cotton is grown without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, irradiation, sewage sludge or genetic engineering. While federal organic-fiber standards regulate the way cotton is grown, there are no criteria for how it is processed and completed. Cotton could be treated with sizing agents, chlorine bleach or heavy metal–containing dyes and still legally be “organic,” so do your homework. If you’re not sure how it was processed, ask questions.White Lotus Home sells organic cotton batting from the pound. To save money, consider purchasing the lace and lace it up at a pillowcase.
Van H. Robinson
Light pollution in your bedroom can rob one of much-needed rest and impede your body’s ability to regulate its sleep cycle. Artificial lighting interrupts natural rhythms, so confusing our bodies into thinking that they ought to be awake long after the sun has gone down. This can lead to sleep deprivation, depression, weight gain and increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Sleeping in a room polluted with artificial light causes significant sleep and interferes with the body’s natural production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep cycles and sexual improvement and might even help prevent cancer.
A few facts to think about about lighting:
The darker the area, the better you sleep. You should not be able to see your hand once you turn off the lights.Be aware of light pollution sources, such as streetlights, nightlights, hallway lights, clocks, telephone dials, baby monitors and electrical blanket controls. Move or cover resources inside the bedroom and set up blackout curtains to block out sources.Turn off the tv and computer at least an hour. These light sources can reset your biological clock and make falling asleep difficult. If possible, keep televisions and computers from the bedroom altogether.Think of light in terms of layers. Ambient light should offer enough for general jobs; task lighting can reside on the bedside table, a desk or close to a reading chair; and accent lighting can highlight art, furniture or an accent wall.
In a test of more than nearly 2,300 background samples, the Ecology Center found that the huge bulk — 96 percent — contained polyvinyl chloride (PVC) coatings, and 53 percent of the PVC-coated papers contained one or more toxic chemicals, such as lead, cadmium, chromium, tin and antimony.
The majority of the samples contained phthalates, a type of plasticizer that’s prohibited in children’s products.
A few facts to think about about background:
Natural finishes such as milk and plaster or limewash paints are great alternatives to wallpaper.Even wall coverings made from natural materials can have PVC coatings for durability. If it is not clear whether the wall covering you’re contemplating does, you might want to check at other options.Look for background printed using water-based inks.Natural fibers such as sisal, hemp, grass cloth and cork are hardy and tactile.
Kat Alves Photography
Removing wall-to-wall carpeting, which off-gases compounds and harbors toxins and pollutants, would be the most effective thing you can do in your bedroom. Hardwood, natural linoleum and cork are great choices.
A few facts to think about about flooring:
• If you choose bamboo, shop carefully. Prefinished bamboo flooring can off-gas formaldehyde and other dangerous chemicals.
• If you choose hardwood, utilize a water-based finish.
• Should you choose carpeting, opt for untreated 100 percent wool and have it installed utilizing a tack-down method rather than glue.
• Seal existing carpeting using AFM Safecoat’s SafeChoice Lock Out, which prevents chemicals from off-gassing and repels dirt and stains.
Keep plywood, particleboard and fiberboard — resources of formaldehyde, which has been associated with watery eyes, headaches, depression and even cancer and Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) — from your bedroom. The glue holding those materials together off-gases formaldehyde with time, and it is ideal to keep those poisonous vapors from your sleeping area.
It’s great to buy organic and cosmetic bedroom furnishings and textiles to start with; a bit of easy maintenance also can go a long way toward creating a healthy bedroom.
A few facts to think about about upkeep:
• Over a quarter of the U.S. population is anticipated to become sensitive to dust mites, which live in bedding, carpeting and upholstery, based on Darryl Zeldin, M.D., of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Studies show that more dust mites live in the bedroom than anyplace else in the home. To keep them at bay, wash bedding curtains biweekly; vacuum upholstered furniture, mattresses and rugs; and dust with a damp cloth.
• Vacuum using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to catch allergens, and clean stuffed animals, throw rugs and cushions in the washing machine. Bag unwashable items and set them in the freezer for 24 to 48 hours to kill dust mites.
• Enclose your mattress and cushions with impermeable dust-mite covers.
• Wash bedsheets per week in water that’s at least 150 levels to kill and remove dust mites.
• Dust often. PBDEs attach to dust particles, so keep the bedroom as dust free as possible.
• Open the windows. This simple act brings fresh air inside and moves out toxins.