With all the effort and money you invest in taking care of your body during the hours you're awake, it makes sense to do the same when you're asleep or relaxing at the end of the day. Your sleep and your downtime is when your body heals and rejuvenates itself, physically and mentally, so make sure you're allowing it to do this in the cleanest, most nurturing environment.
Keep your linen clean, naturally!
Linen including your doona, sheets, pillowcases etc quickly accumulate dust, dead skin, sweat, hair, bacteria as well as toxins from the air. Regularly clean your bed linen and couch covers to help reduce toxins and bacteria with all natural, plant based environmentally friendly laundry detergent as unfortunately, few of the chemicals used in conventional laundry care products have been sufficiently tested. Not only can you come in contact with caustic chemicals from sitting and sleeping in them but you can breathe them into your lungs once they become airborne in the process of doing your laundry.
The four worst chemicals in mainstream laundry care products:
1. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)/sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) - this is surfactant, detergent and emulsifier that is used in thousands of other cleaning and cosmetic products, not just laundry care!
3. NPE (nonylphenol ethoxylate)
Not only are these chemicals potentially damaging to your health, but they are also contaminating waterways and the environment.
Swap for a gentle, plant based, environmentally friendly and all natural laundry liquid such as the Abode Lavender & Mint Laundry Liquid which is biodegradable, plant and mineral based and free from SLS, zeolites, phosphates, artificial fragrances, palm oil, petrochemicals, optical brighteners, chlorine and heavy metals. Plus it suitable for those with sensitive skin and allergies.
To go an extra step further, try to buy sustainable, organic undergarments and pyjamas. They are softer, less irritating to the skin, are produced with less (or no) insecticides and are better for the environment!
Purify the air with plants
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the air inside the typical home is 2-5 times more polluted than the air immediately outside! Clean the air inside your home using the most natural air purifiers, plants. Place as many plants in your bedroom, lounge room and living area as you can to reduce the amount of chemicals (one of the most common being formaldehyde) that pollute your air. Some of the best-known plants to purify your air include Lady Palm, English Ivy, Peace Lily, Golden Pothos, Snake Plant, Boston Fern, Wax Begonia, Red Edged Dracaena, and Spider Plant.
Switch off electronics before bed
Scrolling through Instagram, reading your fav online blogs, vegging out on the couch or curling up in bed to watch your favourite show is the ultimate relaxation after a long day, but TV, smartphones and laptops (and any other electronics for that matter) don't help your sleep.
Not only do they overstimulate the mind right before you're supposed to wind down, but studies have shown increasing evidence that "media use around sleep time is bad for sleep initiation as EMFs (electromagnetic field) released from all electronics, especially ones that send and receive signals are shown to disrupt sleep patterns."
Sleep is the time you body needs to heal and rejuvenate and disrupted sleep patterns could hinder your body's ability to detox itself, possibly leading to things such as weight gain, fatigue, mood swings etc.
Try to switch off all forms of electronics about an hour before you plan to sleep and allow your body to truly relax. You could try reading, meditation, journaling, preparing your meals for the next day, taking a bath or treating yourself to a face mask!
Leave shoes at the door
After your shoes have been out and about all day, wearing them into the lounge room or bedroom brings in dust, dirt, lead, pesticides and other contaminants you may haves stepped in all day. Instead of bringing all this into your home, keep the air (and the carpet!) clean by leaving your shoes at the door, in fact Nicole Bijlsma from Down to Earth Mother says "removing your shoes can reduce dust in your home by at least 50 percent" (plus it gives you reason to treat yourself to a nice fluffy pair of slippers!)
This may seem like an obvious one, no one likes to be surrounded by dust but it may be doing you more harm than you think! A study by the Silent Spring Institute identified 66 endocrine-disrupting compounds in household dust. Not only does dust contain toxins, but also it possibly contains skin, hair, soil, dirt, food, mould spores, lead, particles from smoking and pesticides. Dust your bedroom and living room regularly and vacuum using a High efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter that basically forces air through fine mesh to trap harmful particles and reduce the levels in your home.
Sources: Mother Earth Living, Care 2 , Consumer Health, Mind Body Green