Adults spend approximately 30% of each day in the bedroom and children spend almost 50% in their bedrooms. Making this room of the house the most environmentally friendly will promote greater health, better quality of sleep, and in turn even better health due to the tissue and organ regeneration that occurs in the body during restful sleep.
First, it is important to remember that the bedroom should be reserved for sleep and/or sexual activity only, and not for working, watching television, or visiting on the phone. For children that study or work at a desk in their bedroom, try to discourage them from studying or working while lying on their beds. Having a separate desk or work space aside from their actual bed, and keeping the bed solely for sleeping and resting will promote greater sleep. In order to prepare your body for sleep, your mind must associate your bedroom with sleep. Try slightly dimming the lights the last few hours before you are ready to sleep, and try to avoid using electronic devices or watching television right up until bedtime.
Toxins in the bedroom come in many forms. One form is radio frequency energy that is emitted from cellular phones. Not only is the light on the cell phone distracting during sleep, the phone emits radio waves that have been found to be harmful for health. Thus, it is optimal to move your cell phone as far away from your bed and nightstand as possible – closer to your bedroom door or preferably in the adjacent bathroom. This benefit is two-fold because it helps you actually get up out of bed to turn off the alarm on your cell phone, which makes you less likely to hit the snooze button. Turning your phone to airplane mode during sleep will disenable the Wi-Fi and reduce the radiation emitted.
Other harmful toxins commonly found in bedrooms are room deodorizers, particularly wall plug-ins, and artificial candles. Go with natural products instead, such as 100% pure beeswax or soy candles, natural oil diffusers, or live plants. Lavender has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, making it a wonderful addition to a bedroom, in either an oil diffuser or a plant. Jasmine improves sleep quality. Lemongrass is a natural insect repellent. Peppermint, Rosemary, and Cinnamon have been shown to boost alertness, thus would be great for morning use in a dual oil diffuser, with lavender or jasmine released in the evenings before sleep. Natural coffee oil would also be ideal for morning use in an oil diffuser, for those who love the full, soothing aroma of coffee.
Live plants in bedrooms offer not only a pleasing scent, but improve the air the quality as well, by absorbing toxic pollutants in the air and producing fresh oxygen to replenish the room. For example, English ivy reduces airborne mold. Eucalyptus oil has natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, making it an ideal room addition. If allergies seem to be a problem, use an air purifier. If air dryness is a problem, try using a room humidifier.
Use hypoallergenic and all-natural laundry detergents for bedding and pajamas to enhance sleep. Toxic chemicals can be emitted from mattresses, linens, and even carpet, particularly ones which are fire-retardant, synthetic, and stain-resistant. Natural fibers in linens and carpets help reduce outgassing of chemicals and bedroom toxicity. Natural latex foam is the most optimal mattress for health, while natural latex carpet fibers, blended with jute and wool, combine to form the safest carpet for health. Likewise, wool carpet padding and wool comforters are the best for health, and allow the most air-flow. If purchasing a new mattress is out of your current budget range, strongly consider buying a mattress topper made of wool or organic cotton, and purchase all-natural sheets, such as organic cotton, with greater than 300 thread-counts, in order to create a nice barrier between you and the mattress.
Shoes that have been exposed to outdoor pesticides can release these harmful chemicals if tracked inside your home. Take shoes off upon entering your home, or at least have a no-shoe policy for bedrooms. Another carcinogenic toxin (formaldehyde) found in bedrooms exists in furniture made out of particle board and fiber board; natural solid wood furniture will reduce this chemical in your bedroom and house. Cleaning supplies are another major source of chemical toxins that are present in bedrooms. Consider making your own all-natural cleaning supplies out of baking soda, white vinegar, and maybe add some natural citrus.
Health and sleep quality go hand-in-hand. Thus, promoting the healthiest living and sleeping environment possible within your home will improve your quality of sleep and overall health.