How to create a beautiful bedroom and get a great night’s sleep with products that are good for your health
When you lay down to sleep each day, do you think about the quality and safety of your bedding? As we spend around one third of our lives in bed, it’s only natural that we should pay attention to the materials we use in our bedrooms for both health and comfort.
The bed you sleep on, the linen you lay on, the paint on your walls, the flooring you choose – all have an impact on your health and wellbeing – so what can we do to ensure a good night’s sleep and a healthy one too.
Choose a great mattress. A natural mattress made from organic latex, coir, hemp and organic cotton will ensure a great, healthy sleep. And if you need a frame for your bed, select one made from natural timbers with no nasties added in the manufacturing process. Most hardwood trees cut down in Australia are turned into wood pulp, sold very cheaply and shipped offshore to make paper, which we then buy back. By buying furniture made from Australian hardwood timber, you’re contributing to a much more sustainable future.
Our bed linen should keep us warm in winter and cool in summer and one of the best fibres you can choose for your bedding is hemp. Hemp is durable, comfortable and most of all a natural fibre that ‘breathes’ as well as being a natural insulator due to its hollow core fibre. And the beauty of hemp is that at the end of its – very long – life, it will degrade naturally and leaves no toxic residue. Hemp is more absorbent and last longer than cotton sheets too. Hemp is also anti-bacterial and allergy friendly. It is grown and processed without the need for toxic chemicals so is perfect for allergy and asthma sufferers. And as hemp requires little water and is self-mulching it’s a wonderfully environmentally-friendly plant. Available in many weights and weaves, hemp textiles can also be used to make beautiful curtains, cushions, bed quilts, doonas, shower curtains and even your PJs!
What flooring to choose? A soft floor in a bedroom is one of life’s luxuries. Choose a pure wool carpet made from a renewable resource, or try a carpet or rug made from sisal, jute or hemp.
Sisal is a renewable resource par excellence and can form part of the overall solution to climate change. Measured over its life-cycle, sisal absorbs more carbon dioxide than it produces. During processing, it generates mainly organic wastes and leaf residues that can be used to generate bioenergy, produce animal feed, fertiliser and ecological housing material and, at the end of its life cycle, sisal is 100 percent biodegradable. By contrast synthetically produced fibres do not possess any of these traits. Moreover, sisal plants reduce soil erosion through an extensive root system and contributes positively to watershed management. Sisal plants used as hedges act as effective vegetative barriers/ fences to protect the crops lands and forests from predatory animals and intruders. (source International Floorcoverings Australia)
Choosing a wall colour or finish that’s healthy is as easy as selecting products with low or no VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Look for the ingredients in the products you purchase and ask for those that do not contain these potentially harmful chemicals (formaldehyde, ethanol, phthalates, acetone, benzene, butanal etc), which may be found in many household products and materials including carpets, paints, wallpapers, textiles and other home furnishings and accessories.
Last but by no means least, select lighting with LEDs for overhead and accent lighting. These will emit less heat and save you money.