We spend a lot of time in the bedroom. Even compared to our kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms combined, there’s no other place in the house that gets more of our time than the place we spend an average of eight hours a day. It’s a place to which we can retreat, recharge and recover from the chaos beyond. While it can be a quiet haven, there are other, invisible inhabitants of your bedroom that are not so welcome. We’re talking about all of the toxins that live in your bed, on the walls and in the air.
Give yourself the sanctuary you deserve by ridding your bedroom of the toxins that are found in many of the products meant to furnish it. Because you spend so much time there and because it should be an escape, it’s time to reclaim your place of refuge. What follows is a list of items and ways to make your recovery bedroom a healthier, more enjoyable place to be.
First things first: the air you breathe indoors (especially in the bedroom) is full of VOCs, or volatile organic compounds.. While the name contains the word “organic”, we can’t say this is good news. VOCs are found in many household items and evaporate into the air at normal room temperatures over time. Exposure to some VOCs can cause asthma, eye and respiratory irritation, along with headaches, dizziness and nausea.
- DETOXIFY: To make sure the air you’re breathing isn’t going to interfere with a restful night’s sleep, add a room air purifier into the mix of bedroom furniture. To find an energy-efficient machine that’s right for your budget, we recommend browsing AirPurifier.com’s top-rated products. If you’d rather go the literal green route, you can bring certain plants into the bedroom that are known for their exceptional air-purifying abilities.
It’s easy to forget that cotton sheets started out as a plant. Just like the fruits and vegetables we eat, it would be nice if the cotton we sleep on wasn’t sprayed with pesticides and other harmful chemicals. If you’re not sleeping in organic bedding, chances are you spend a significant amount of time cuddling up to cotton that was sprayed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. If your sheets aren’t 100% cotton, they likely contain synthetic fibers, like polyester. Synthetic fibers don’t breathe the way natural fibers do, and you might have trouble maintaining a comfortable temperature between the sheets throughout the night. While wrinkle-free sheets are a nice luxury, we regret to inform you of how they got to be that way: formaldehyde. That’s right, the same chemical used for embalming is used to treat non-organic sheets so that they don’t wrinkle. While we’d all like to sleep as soundly as someone who will never wake up, we’re guessing you’d rather not cozy up to anything that’s come in contact with cancer-causing formaldehyde.
- DETOXIFY: For a truly restful night’s sleep, shop for 100% organic cotton sheets. We love Coyuchi’s organic bedding.
BETWEEN THE SHEETS:
We can’t talk about detoxifying your sheets and skirt around the topic of sex. Detoxifying where you sleep is just as important as eliminating toxins from the activities that go on there. If your bedroom really is where the magic happens, have you given much thought to the products you use during those intimate moments? It’s understandable that one might be unsuspecting of the toxins found in a lot of condoms that are currently on the market. Most condom companies fail to prevent the formation of nitrosamines when the product is manufactured. Nitrosamine is a carcinogen. We aren’t going to use scare tactics or even suggest that conventional condoms are dangerous products because it’s always a good idea to use a condom, no matter the brand. What we will tell you is that there are toxin-free alternatives to your usual go-to contraceptive and you don’t have to settle for condoms that have harmful chemicals.
- DETOXIFY: Detox your bedside table drawer with nitrosamine-free, Fair Trade, natural latex condoms made by Sustain. These prophylactics keep with the theme of a detoxified retreat for you and your partner.
Just because you’re covering it up with a splendid set of organic cotton sheets does not mean all of the yucky stuff in your mattress is out of reach. Most conventional mattresses contain an alarming range of toxins. Most mattresses are made with foam, and most foam is polyurethane, a petroleum-based, non-renewable, and highly flammable resource that requires more flame-retardants than other mattress materials. Since we spend so much time on them, we open up the chance of exposure to the chemicals in conventional mattresses, which have been linked to issues like allergies, asthma and fertility problems. If you can afford to make the switch, consider these tips while shopping for a greener mattress: If it’s a springy surface you’re looking for, search for a mattress that contains natural latex versus synthetic foam. If you prefer coil springs, make sure that the batting between them is made of organic cotton and/or wool, not foam. A more budget-friendly option is the futon. Look for one that’s made with organic cotton and a wool core, rather than a traditional foam one.
- DETOXIFY: Picking out a mattress is personal. To point you in the direction of a truly green mattress, try browsing Apartment Therapy’s list of organic and eco-friendly options.
A major host of VOCs that we mentioned earlier is the paint on your walls. While you may be in love with the color of your bedroom, if it’s synthetic paint it’s releasing toxins into the air you breathe. If you don’t want to rely solely on an air purifier to combat the VOCs being released from your painted walls (and you’re up for a painting project), it’s a good idea to cover your poisonous paint with an organic alternative.
- DETOXIFY: We love the VOC-free, eco-friendly paint made by Yolo Colorhouse. It will be easy to find a shade you love with 128 artist-crafted colors to choose from.
Whether you’re looking to set the mood before some fun between the sheets, or just need a relaxing atmosphere after a long day, lighting in the bedroom is an important factor. You may not be aware of just how much electricity your lights can draw. Most of us grew up using incandescent light bulbs, which gave off a soothing glow, but are not energy efficient. On the other end of the spectrum, we have LEDs, which are an incredible energy-saving alternative. However, a lot of people complain that the light given off by an LED bulb doesn’t quite set the mood they’re looking to create.
- DETOXIFY: For a bulb that’s eco-friendly and won’t ruin the mood, we recommend Finally Bulbs. Since Finally’s product replicates the warmth of an incandescent and pairs it with comparable energy efficiency that LEDs boast, it’s the best of both worlds.
Happy detoxifying! Now you can get back to doing what’s natural.