We sleep, on average, about 7 hours a night, which means that we spend way more time in our bedroom than we do in any other room of the apartment. And, naturally, we spend more time in our bed than on any other piece of furniture. It follows then that the bedroom can affect our health more than any other room.
So, when we started waking up every morning with a stuffy nose and a sinus headache, we knew something was wrong. After the jump: How we tackled the problem, and some general ideas on how to make your bedroom a healthy place...
1. Start with the basics: take a peek under the bed. Is it clean down there? It's easy to forget about sweeping, vacuuming, etc. under the bed. But you've got to do it. Pull out all the storage bins, clean them, and clean the floor under your bed regularly.
2. Consider your sheets: a) are they organic cotton, and b) are they clean? If they aren't organic, consider buying organic fabric the next time you need to purchase new sheets. (Target carries fantastic, affordable organic cotton sheets). Now, ask yourself: How often do you put fresh sheets on your bed? You should be doing it once a week. Do you? We know we weren't, but we've started and it's helping!
3. Rethink your pillows: Think about it: If you sleep on your stomach (like we do) you are literally breathing your pillow for 7 hours a night. So, obviously, it's a good idea to wash it! Then consider what your pillow is stuffed with. A lot of us are allergic to down, so consider a natural, hypoallergenic filling, like wool. Or, invest in some hypoallergenic pillow covers: they'll keep the bad stuff (dust mite feces and other grossness) in your pillow and out of your nose. But remember, they need to be washed regularly too! A more expensive, but possible, solution is a natural foam pillow. We like Keetsa's Down Alternative Memory Foam Pillow ($69.99).
4. The heart of the matter: your mattress: A natural mattress is always the best way to go. But a lot of us already own an expensive mattress and don't intend to swap it out anytime soon. If you fall into that category, treat your mattress just like your pillows and invest in a hypoallergenic cover. This CleanRest Mattress Cover gets great reviews at Brookstone.
5. Keep pets out: Lastly, something we continually fail to do: Keeping pets out of the bed can be a critical step, especially if you struggle with allergies.
Do you already do all of this? What else do you do to keep your bedroom healthy?
Top image via AT:LA