With the New Year upon us, we thought it would be a great idea to start a 2016 Detox series, where we let you know some great tips to get a healthier home, room by room.
The first post in the series will focus on a few things that you should banish from your bedroom in order to improve your overall health, get a better night’s sleep and create a space ideal for rest and relaxation. While there are a few tips in here you’ve probably seen before, there are a couple we’re sure will be new to you, so read on to find out how to successfully detox your bedroom in 6 steps.
A fresh coat of paint can liven up any room in your house, but when it comes to sprucing up your bedroom be wary of what types of paints you’re choosing to keep your sleeping area toxin free!
Since you spend almost half your life in your bedroom, choosing a paint with no or low-VOC’s is a good route to take for a toxin free space. Not only can VOC’s in some paints be bad for your health, they can also make the scent of the paint linger a lot longer than you’re going to want it to! Even after some paints with VOC’s are completely dried, they still give off that “fresh paint” smell, leaving your bedroom a less than desirable place.
So next time you decide you paint your bedroom the perfect shade of “Tranquil Blue”, make sure it’s low or no-VOC.
2. Your Old Detergent
Many of us probably don’t put much thought into our choice of laundry detergent (besides which one is on sale) but it can actually make a big difference in your sleep quality!
If you’re one of the 50 Million Americans who suffers with allergies, switching your laundry detergent to an all-natural, gentle brand can drastically change your nighttime habits. Since many people’s allergies flare up when in contact with strong scents or harsh chemical agents, choosing a detergent free from both of these things will help improve your allergies and improve your sleep.
Another tip is to change your sheets and pillowcases as regularly as you can to keep dust mites and other allergens from accumulating.
3. Your Electronics
If you really want to detox your sleeping space, removing your electronics is one of the best things you can do. Not only do electronics distract you from going to sleep (Netflix marathons come to mind) but they also trick your body into staying awake.
The light emitted from most electronic devices is enough to trick your retinas, and ultimately brain, into thinking it is daytime, making you much more awake and alert than you should be. In a recent study, scientist found that people who read every night for two weeks with an Ereader produced 50% less melatonin (the hormone needed for sleep) than the group reading traditional books.
Reduced melatonin can lead to disrupted circadian rhythms and impact your ability to go to sleep quickly and to stay asleep during the night. Ridding your room of any light-emitting devices can get your body back into its normal cycle and give you a better, deeper night’s sleep. Try getting rid of the TV in the bedroom, charge your cell phone in another room and ditch Ereaders to get a healthier night’s sleep.
4. Your Old Mattress
Did you know your mattress could be giving you a lot more than a good night’s sleep every night? Much like your paint, your mattress could be harbouring harmful VOC’s, along with other contaminants like formaldehyde which can cause allergies, asthma, skin irritation and have even been linked to different forms of cancer.
When it comes to picking a new mattress that will leave your space clean and toxin-free, look for ones made with organic cotton or ones labelled low-chemical, or low-VOC. You’ll also want to a look for a mattress free of PBDE’s (fire retardants) which have been linked to hormone problems and memory impairments.
It’s pretty safe to say that if your mattress is more than 10 years old, you’re going to want to start looking for a replacement, not only for a better night’s sleep but for a healthier you!
5. Excess Clutter
A clean room is a calm room. Remember this next time you find yourself with a nightstand full of magazines, glasses of water, skin care, cell phones and random things from out of your pants pockets.
When it comes to your nightstand, it’s best to stick with just the essentials. A glass of water, an alarm clock and your glasses are some good non-negotiables. Keep things like candles, decorations, lamps and phone chargers in a different part of the room so it isn’t the first thing you look at when you open your eyes.
Another tip is to turn your alarm clock around or find one that has a sleep mode, so you don’t find yourself counting the minutes when you can’t sleep!
6. All Day Shade
We know it’s tempting to keep your bedroom in perpetual darkness, but it’s a good idea to open up the shades and let some sunlight in every once in a while!
A good routine to get into is to open the blinds as soon as you wake up each morning. Not only with the sunlight get you going, it also helps to warm the room and kill any mold or fungus that could be lurking in the walls.
If you live in a warmer climate, opening the windows to get some fresh air into the room is a good idea as well, as it will keep the room fresh and limit the dust in the air.
Something To Add:
While we’ve done a lot of talking about what you should remove from your room, there are somethings that will make a great addition as well.
Plants are something everyone should have in their home as they bring life and fresh air into any space. They naturally absorb any pollutants in the air and improve the overall air quality, not to mention, they help with eliminating the VOC’s that may be in your mattress or paint.
Some of the best options for removing pollutants from the air are Aloe Vera, Spider Plants and Japanese Royal ferns – all of which are pretty easy to take care of as well so they aren’t likely to die anytime soon, even if every other plant in your house has.