Best Tips for Creating A Healthy Sleep Environment
We spend one third of our life asleep and it is during this time that the brain and body are focused on healing and regenerating. This means that it is very important to create a healthy sleep environment. Here are some of my tips after years of optimizing our sleep.
Keep your bedroom clean and clutter-free.
Our bedroom literally only has our beds and a sound machine, which makes it very easy to clean and to prevent dust from accumulating. We use it for sleeping or resting only. I love having this sacred space just for sleep!
Invest in a non-toxic bed.
We sleep on certified organic cotton and wool futon mattresses from The Futon Shop with organic cotton sheets made by DOPLNOK. I love these companies and highly, highly recommend them. They’re both ethical, high quality and affordable. Conventional mattresses and bed linens are full of toxic chemicals these days and it’s well worth your money to invest in healthier alternatives. (I wrote a blog post about this here -- Co-Sleeping: Our Non-Toxic Family Bed)
Make sure the air is clean.
We have an air purifier by Coway. If you don’t have an air purifier, you can just make it a point to open the windows regularly and consider adding air-purifying plants. The EPA says that indoor air pollutants are often 2-5x higher than outdoor levels. I actually open the windows in our home as much as possible to freshen the air.
*Note: This is why it's important to avoid harmful chemicals when selecting our mattresses and linens. Toxins are both absorbed by our skin and they off-gas into the air that we breathe.
Keep it dark!
Light has a profound effect on our sleep. Sleeping with the lights on can decrease your melatonin levels by as much as 85% and even contribute to poor vision. We don’t allow any artificial light into our sleep space. This means absolutely *no* nightlights for kids, no alarm clocks, no televisions. Black-out curtains are a good investment if you live in an apartment with artificial lighting outside your bedroom window. We even fold up a towel and put it in at the bottom of our bedroom door so that light cannot come through.
Turn Off Your WiFi
In most homes, WiFi is the single largest source of EMF radiation. EMFs are very harmful to our health (Google it!) and they negatively impact sleep. If you can do this one step every night, you're giving your body truly regenerative sleep and your lifetime exposure to EMFs is greatly reduced (remember, we spend 1/3 of our lives asleep!). We also put our cellphones on airplane mode.
As with everything else, this is a process. Focus on making small (or big) changes to your sleep environment -- whatever feels good to you -- and you'll be on your way to healthier sleep. :-)