Create a Sleep Sanctuary
...and sleep the night away.
What is a Sleep Sanctuary?
Sleep Sanctuary is a term given to a bedroom which is designed for optimum healthy sleep. Ideally, it be designed to have the lowest Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) possible. It will also be as free as possible from all other pollutants eg. chemicals from personal care products, off gassing (VOCs), and air fresheners. The point of eliminating these pollutants is to achieve a healthy indoor air quality.
If you are reading this article because you think your home is making you sick
then this step to create a sleep sanctuary is an important one and you will need to follow all the following steps.
If you just want to maintain your good health or to improve your health, then creating a sleep sanctuary is a great thing to do for yourself.
You may follow all the following steps, or just choose the ones you can do easily until you feel it is appropriate to do a whole revamp on the bedrooms.
When you do, remember to print off the Green Home Design Checklist to help you.
Good sleep is vital for health. Most people think they can get away with few hours sleep, even sleeping on the couch or a recliner chair. They don’t realize that they are harming their health by doing this and will blame their condition on other causes. You don’t just get sick for no reason.
See my article on How to Sleep Better.
Steps to create a sleep sanctuary:
- Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland's production of melatonin and serotonin. Even the tiniest glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep so cover it up if you must have it in the room. This will help decrease your risk of cancer. Close your bedroom door, and get rid of night-lights. Try not to turn on any light during the night, even if you get up to go to the bathroom.
If you can't cover the bedroom windows then I suggest you invest in a Sweet Dreams Sleep Mask.
- Ensure that the EMR is as low as possible. There should be no fuse boxes on the outer bedroom walls. If there are get in an electrician to have them moved. Have no electrical items in the bedrooms eg. no electric blankets, clock radios, TVs, computers, iPods or anything else that requires electricity or batteries to run. If you do have an electrical item in the bedroom that you can’t remove eg electric bed base, then turn it off at the wall at night if you can. Choose a wind up clock or one that takes a small battery and put it at least 6 feet away from you.
- You will need to ensure that your mattress has no dust mite killing chemicals, or fire retardants. Look for a mattress that is made of natural and organic fibers, is orthopaedic (keeps your spine in alignment, has washable covers, and has the capacity to breathe. My personal recommendation is Wenatex Sleep Systems.
- All bedding should be made of organic fibers and be able to be washed in hot water to remove dead skin cells and kill dust mites.
- Only use Green non-toxic detergent in the washing of the bedding or my best recommendation is to use Miracle Wash ® Laundry Balls
- All personal care products should be organic and chemical free. Use NO fragrances, air fresheners, or insect sprays.
- Never smoke in the bedroom and if you want to get that addiction out of your life then read this book - The Only Way to Stop Smoking Permanently
- Remove any toxic furniture from the bedroom. When choosing furniture, it should be from sustainable/renewable sources, or recycled and not treated with arsenic or formaldehyde. Although there are exceptions like CDX plywood, which contains phenol formaldehyde and will pass the LEED certification as it only outgases at very high temperatures like in a fire. Untreated wood, steel, cement, and stone are not toxic and do not offgas.
- For floor coverings choose Marmoleum, Cork or undyed Wool carpets. The dyes in carpets are most often toxic, and vinyl is also toxic and will offgas.
- Of course, ideally you will have used a VOC free paint for the walls. If you are painting in the future, then VOC free paint is a must.
- Do not keep cell phones, or wireless phones in the bedroom. Phones should be at least 6 feet away from your body at all times.
- Always replace the air in the bedroom every day. The air becomes very stale after you have been breathing in there all night especially if the windows are shut. So throw open those windows. If you live on a busy road, or near a source of pollution then invest in a good air filter. You may want to filter the air in the hours before you go to bed and then switch it off for sleep.
- Do not have lights on at night or lights shining into your bedroom, and do not play music.
Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z . . . . . . . . .