Practically all aspects of our lives are improved by getting adequate sleep. Many of us believe we can survive on less than 6 hours of sleep each night, yet most health professionals recommend at least 7 to 8 hours.
That means we should spend about one-third of our lives sleeping. That’s more time than we spend in our cars, relaxing in our homes, or sitting at our desks. (If you spend lots of time at your desk, learn how prolonged sitting can be a health risk.)
Getting a restful night’s sleep is not only about the amount of time we spend in bed. It’s also related to how well we sleep. Just like Goldilocks said, some beds are too soft, and others are too hard. We’re all striving to find the bed that’s just right.
Several commonsense tips will help us get a good night’s sleep, such as not eating right before bedtime, turning off the TV or radio, and creating a quiet environment for sleeping. The right sleeping environment includes a dark, cool room and a comfortable bed.
Memory-foam mattresses have recently become a popular way to achieve this comfort. They have a few advantages, such as molding and contouring—at least somewhat—to a person’s body, resulting in fairly even distribution of a person’s weight and reducing the impact of pressure points. Movement is also more isolated on a memory-foam mattress, allowing partners to move and get out of bed without disturbing one another.
However, these memory-foam mattresses have a few disadvantages. For example, they have a “gassing off” period, which occurs after opening the box from the store. It can take about a week for the gases to escape. For some consumers, the gas is nothing more than a mild irritant, but for others, the gassing off results in headaches, nausea, eye and throat irritation, sweating, sleeplessness, and asthma.
Gassing off can be reduced when using an organic memory-foam mattress, such as those manufactured by Natural Latex Mattress Naturally produced Dunlop latex, which comes from havea milk (the sap of the rubber tree) harvested in Indonesia is the primary material used in this type of foam.
Using unbleached, organic cotton also makes a huge difference, because pesticides are often used on nonorganic cotton. In fact, an estimated 25 percent of agricultural pesticides are used on cotton, although cotton accounts for only 3 percent of the world’s agriculture.
Progressive manufacturers like SleepEZ are not the only organizations that see the need for cleaner, greener mattress materials. Delos, which conceived the WELL Building standard currently being used in Las Vegas hotel rooms and other residential development, employed Columbia University and the Cleveland Clinic to identify and measure the substances released from an array of products from the industry, rating each against established toxicity standards and one another. The best, SleepEZ included, were approved for use in WELL Building development.
For many people, memory foam provides the comfort they desire for restful sleep, and a good night’s sleep contributes to good health in many ways beyond waking refreshed, energized, and alert. You don’t have to accept toxic exposures to get your most comfortable sleep, however. You can find a bed that is “just right” for you