How to detox your bedroom
Your bedroom should be a place of peace, relaxation and comfort to support restorative sleep. If you want to support all aspects of healthy sleep, it’s essential to consider the sources of toxins in your bedroom.
I believe the bedroom is the most important room in the house to detoxify. Why?
When we are sleeping, our bodies should be in the parasympathetic nervous system mode. This is the “rest-and-digest state. In this state, immune function, detoxification and regeneration turns on.
When we look at the toxicity in our bedroom, it turns out to be a vicious cycle. Things that stress the body, including exposure to toxins, takes us out of that parasympathetic state. A toxic bedroom diminishes the body’s ability to detoxify and regenerate, and also floods our system with more toxins.
A low-toxin bedroom is even more important for babies and children, since they are growing quickly, higher respiration rate (potentially taking in more air-borne pollutants) and have smaller bodies more susceptible to toxins.
Here is a checklist to use as you detox your bedroom to support healthy sleep.
Remove sources of indoor air pollutants including:
- Paraffin and soy candles (they release toxins from the wax and fragrance)
- Artificial air fresheners, including arose sprays, reed diffusers, and plug-in room fragrance
- Toxic cleaning supplies
- Artificially fragranced laundry detergent and dryer sheets used on bedding and clothing
Add some natural air purifiers such as:
Consider a high-quality air purifier (particularly if you have asthma, allergies or a compromised immune system). The one I use is from IQ Air. It’s an investment, but one of the best on the market. I’m not affiliated with the company.
If you’ve read any of my posts on mattress toxicity and sleep quality, you’ve heard this story… the worse flare-up ever of my autoimmune disease correlated to the week that I began sleeping on a new mattress. Coincidence? No!
Your mattress may be the most toxic component in your bedroom. Regular mattresses are coated with highly poisonous fire retardants that off-gas. Even worse, popular memory foam mattresses are make with numerous other components that off-gas toxins, especially when the mattress begins to break down.
I got connected with intelliBED because they create the best, safest mattress I’ve found. After struggling with insomnia my whole life, my quality of sleep drastically improved overnight when I switched to intelliBED, because the mattress supports proper alignment and restorative sleep. Most importantly, I know that I am not inhaling off-gassing chemicals because I am sleeping on a non-toxic surface. Learn more about my experience with intelliBED here.
As a rule of thumb, I opt for natural fibers, specifically wool and cotton, for bedding instead of synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers may contain chemical residues from processing, which is why I also prefer natural fiber clothing.
I use this wool and organic cotton comforter from Holy Lamb Organics after looking into the other options for natural bedding.
Why wool for a comforter?
- Comfort and temperature – Wool is the most breathable comforter filling and helps regulate body temperature.
- Hypoallergenic – This is the primary reason I choose wool. It is more resistant to dust mites than other natural bedding materials, specifically down (which attracts dust mites). I’ve read two reasons why wool repels dust mites: 1. it has microscopic bristles on the wool fibers and 2. it has lanolin which repels the mites.
- Long-lasting – with proper care, a wool comforter will hold up well for decades.
- Renewable – Wool is an renewable resource, and I support Holy Lamb Organics because they source from sustainable farms.
I also use organic cotton sheets, since cotton is one of the most highly-sprayed crops.
Electronics and lighting
Reduce sources of EMFs
EMFs – harmful electromagnetic fields – are a ubiquitous household toxin, but not often considered. EMFs are biologically toxic electrical frequencies that disrupt electrical communication in the human body and have been shown to cause serious health issues ranging from diabetes to cancer. Here is my overview on EMF dangers and steps to reduce the damage.
Again, since we are in full parasympathetic mode when sleeping, this is when we are most vulnerable to the DNA-altering effects of EMFs.
- Turn of the WiFi before you go to sleep
- Turn off your phone before bed
- Switch to corded landline phones instead of cordless home phones
- Avoid digital baby monitors if possible, which are a high source of EMF. Use a wired or plug-in version or, if possible, move baby’s bedroom.
- Don’t use your laptop or tablet on your lap, where the radiation is concentrated over vital organs. I use a DefenderPad to block this radiation.
- Use full-spectrum or LED lights instead of fluorescent lighting
Reduce light pollution
- Take a “screen fast” at least an hour before bed. The blue light from electronic screens has been shown to disrupt melatonin levels, contributing to sleep issues
- Alternatively, install f.lux on your devices to block the blue light after sunset
- As another option, consider wearing “melatonin glasses” if you watch TV before bed
- Use blackout blinds to create a pitch-black sleeping environment
- If you struggle with hormone balance, you can do these simple tweaks to the lighting in your room at night to support balanced hormones
Have you checked off items on this checklist? Are there other steps you take to detox your bedroom?
All the information is wonderful, but those mattresses, although well worth it I’m sure are completely unrealistically priced. There are 4 of us in our house. That would mean 1 king and 2 twin size. Are there actually a lot of people out there that can afford these? I’m just curious if many people pay that much for mattresses because I sure can’t see any time in my life I’ll be able to afford it. Are there other options? I’ve looked at organic rubber tree sap non toxic foam mattresses for 25% of the price of these. I’m sorry, I’m just flabbergasted at the 5000$ US sticker.
intelliBED does have an intelliBED 20 model that is under 2K for a king mattress only. This uses the same intelli-Gel and materials as their other models but is manufactured at a lower cost. They also have toppers for under 1K. Since moving to on-campus housing, I am using their topper (I couldn’t bring my mattress into the dorm) and it provides great support.
We discuss organic mattresses in the holistic sleep webinar. The main problem is that they don’t support you properly. Also, they break down quickly and need to be replaced more frequently. intelliBED has a 30 year warranty (the longest in the industry) so they can be most cost-effective in the long run.
I hope this is helpful to you!
I guess I missed the lower price. I was so shocked at the first prices I saw. I saw the toppers, but I would figure that the toppers don’t really eliminate the VOCs in the room, just the toxins in direct contact, no?
I’m curious about that as well!
I’m afraid if I put the topper on a standard mattress it would not eliminate the toxins which is the whole purpose of going organic for a mattress in the first place.
The toppers are primarily for adding support to improve alignment, and won’t eliminate the toxins of your underlying mattress. In order to eliminate the off-gassing from a toxin mattress, the whole mattress needs to be replaced. Older mattresses off-gass less, but also offer very little support for optimal sleep. Memory foam mattresses are likely an exception, however, since as they break down they can release more chemicals.
Thank you for the answers.
Wow that’s a really great deal! Last week I finally bought an intellibed mattress and splurged on the same holy lamb organics comforter! My mattress is being delivered this week. Oh I wish I waited a week until I saw your post! Lol
First of all, I want to thank you so much for doing all the research you do and for sharing it with us! I am truly grateful that you get so much great information out there! I was wondering if you could elaborate on why you purchased the Intellibed rather than the Deep Healing Sleep intelli-gel bed. I guess they are the same company since I know the technology is patented? Or are at least affiliated since the Deep Sleep website directs you to the Intellibed website for “medical grade.” I’m just not sure I need medical grade, but I am interested in minimizing toxins and pressure spots. Just curious to hear your thoughts. Thanks!
In reference to one of the above questions, regarding the price of these mattresses, I acknowledge that there are people that simply can not afford any of these products, even the discount models. Something worthy of noting is that the toxic products off gas way more when they are new, and much less once they have been exposed to the air and used for years prior. If you can not afford one of these expensive products, you will be much better off sticking with your old toxic mattress or pillow, than buying a new toxic one. The new ones off gas at a much higher rate. If you are concerned about dust contained within them, put some dust covers on. I am an advocate of buying non-toxic products, but we have to realize that the price tags attached to some of them make them well beyond the reach of many low income earners. It is always helpful to get tips of “the next best thing”, which I think is missing here, such as potentially sticking with the old pillow or mattress that you already have. Regardless, I applaud your efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of toxic products, Lauren. 🙂
I just bought a brand new tempurpedic and while I would love to now switch over to an organic mattress my husband will kill if I get rid of that very expensive mattress so soon. So on some sites I see “bags” so to speak that you zip up around your mattress and they are organic then you add you organic linens etc and there you have it. Is this a viable option?
I would like to know this as well!!
Thanks for the great post! I just ordered a defender pad, because I have been thinking about this radiation issue and I use my laptop sooo much, directly on my lap.
One other detox tip–though it might not be as direct as some of your tips–is to make sure the bedroom has the proper humidity. My apartment is SUPER dry in the winter only, and this snuck up on me. I was getting seriously dehydrated while drinking tons of water, and you cannot detox while dehydrated!! I got a small humidifier for my bedroom and this helped my Crohn’s tremendously.
thanks again for the tips!
I believe this is only part of the problem. I cant see spending that kind of money for a mattress when you may still have carpet, paint, plastics, and many other nasty chemicals built into your bedroom. Might want to look into a house built from natural materials before a mattress. Or just use a hammock as a more economical option. 🙂
Great tips. We do what we have to do to protect our families. Thanks. That defender pad is a must buy for us at home.
Availability as well as price can be an issue too. Here in the UK there are no mattress brands (that I can find) offering this technology. I found out about Ekornes with their Svane range (could be good for EU folks) via Intellibeds customer services but apparently their mattresses aren’t up to UK standards and not sold here. Could you offer any next best options for us non U.S. readers please? I’d really appreciate it. Cheers!
Have you come across any healthy comforters that are washable? I have a local source of raw wool batting and have made comforters inexpensively for my husband and I and one of our older kids, but with really little kids, there tends to be a period of occasional bedwetting, and I need to be able to wash their blankets. Any thoughts? I saw a silk-filled “natural” comforter that is washable, but it’s from China and I’m not convinced of the “naturalness.” Thank you for any insight you can offer!