Not getting enough ZZZ’s? Feeling less than rested in the morning? Take a look around your bedroom and you might discover that you don’t have a sleeping disorder, but rather a room that’s not restful.
If sleep continually eludes you, it’s time to take a look at your surroundings and take some steps to create a true sleep sanctuary.
1. De-clutter and Remove Everything that’s Not Bedroom Related
Clutter traps dust and dust can trigger a host of allergies. If your room is full of books and newspapers or hobby supplies, clean it up and clear it out. If you keep a computer in the bedroom — move it! Ditto for hobby supplies. Computers contain cadmium, lead, flame retardants, epoxy plastics and there is a plethora of inks and glues involved with many hobbies. You want to avoid breathing in these dangerous toxins at night.
2. Remove Carpet or Use Area Rugs
It’s warm underfoot, but rugs can harbor all kinds of nasty things. If you can’t live without carpet in your bedroom get an area rug or have a piece of carpet cut to the size of the room, air it out, and wash and rinse it with water before having it fitted. Chemicals can be found in carpet backing, adhesives and the fibers themselves, as well as stain or water resistant treatments that have been applied to the carpet. Make sure to choose untreated, natural fiber options.
3. Choose an Organic Mattress and Linens
Replace old bedding, especially ‘wrinkle-free’ and other sheets containing synthetic additives like formaldehyde and pesticides, with organic linens. Use organic barrier covers for pillows and mattresses to provide an allergen barrier. Synthetic fabrics release chemicals as your body heats them through the night. Since your skin is your largest organ, you want to make sure what your sleeping in is safe enough to be absorbed by your body.
4. Check the Room for Mold
Mold can wreak a whole host of health issues from mild allergy-like symptoms to debilitating illness, depending on the level of mold in a building and the sensitivity of the exposed individuals. Mold can grow on a variety of surfaces like drywall and wood as long as there is moisture to feed it. If there’s a leak in a roof, window or plumbing, mold can even grow unseen behind walls and under floors.
5. Air Out Dry Cleaning
An abundance of unhealthy chemicals are used in the dry cleaning process. But you can lesson your exposure. Before you bring your dry cleaned clothes into your bedroom, air them out for 3-to-4 days and choose a green-friendly dry cleaner.
6. Use Battery Clocks Near the Bed
Research has shown that exposure to high magnetic fields while sleeping can cause severe long-term illness. Many electric clocks produce high magnetic fields. Replace your alarm clock with a battery-powered model.
7. Turn Off Circuit Breakers Before Bedtime
Electric fields affect the body’s bio-communication system, keeping you from sleeping soundly. Even with everything unplugged, current still runs through the walls and floors of your bedroom. Turn off the circuit breaker to your bedroom when you turn in at night.
8. Eliminate or Shield from RF
Radio frequency (RF) signals from portable phones, cell phones, and wireless devices have been shown to interfere with the body’s immune system. Turn them off before going to bed.
9. Use Non-Metal Beds and Keep New Furniture Out of the Bedroom for the First Few Months
Metal frames and metal box springs can amplify and distort the earth’s natural
magnetic field, which can lead to a non-restful sleep. Use natural materials instead. Furniture can also make a significant contribution to the chemical concoction in bedroom air. By choosing a natural latex organic mattress, you will avoid any metal springs in your mattress.
10. Create Healthy Indoor Air Quality
Since we spend 1/3 of our life in our bedrooms, it is vital to maintain clean and healthy air – in this room in particular. Make sure to implement a HEPA filter containing carbon like the Sanyo Air Washer™ for removal of biological and chemical contaminants. Don’t forget to change your furnace air filters regularly – every 3 months to be safe.
Lisa and Ron Beres are published authors, award winning TV media experts, Building Biologists and Certified Green Building Professionals.