Is that true? Can I actually get sick from stuff in my bedroom?
At the end of a rough day, most of us are longing to crawl into bed and get away from it all for a few blissful hours. Your bedroom should be a haven from your busy life, a place to rest and recover. But what if it’s harboring things that chip away at your good health? Ordinary bedroom items could, over time, make you sick. Here are a few of the worst offenders.
Because the bedroom is a private space, where visitors usually don’t enter, people tend to think of it as a handy place to stash things. However, filling your bedroom with too much stuff is bad for you in two ways. First of all, scientists have established that being in a room that is cluttered causes people to feel tense and overwhelmed, and even reduces creativity. And secondly, clutter collects dust, increasing dust mites which can cause you immune system to work overtime and leave you more prone to getting sick. Stressed and sneezing is no way to prepare for a good night’s rest.
Artificial light affects how your body produces melatonin, which soothes your body to sleep at night. Being in bright light right up until the moment you climb in bed means your body doesn’t realize that night has arrived. Not only can this impact your sleep, there’s evidence that it can actually tinker with DNA, possibly increasing the risk of cancer. A dimmer switch on your bedroom light can help you prepare your body for rest. Light from screens is the worst offender, so turn off the television at least an hour before bedtime. Try to keep phones and laptops out of the bedroom altogether, setting up a charging station elsewhere. It may feel strange to not have your phone close by, but it can be the source of the next thing to consider.
Life is pretty fast-paced, and it can be difficult to slow that pace down when it’s time to sleep. Spending a few minutes unwinding and letting go of the day can make all the difference for healthy sleep. Journaling, meditation, or prayer are all good ways to calm your mind before bed. Try not to bring work into your bedroom if you can avoid it. Leaving your laptop and cell phone elsewhere is a physical reminder that this is your sanctuary from the day. If the worries of tomorrow are nagging at you, try writing them down, then putting the list somewhere out of your room. It will wait. Tonight, you rest.
Our innocent-seeming shoes bring a lot of nastiness into homes. Bacteria, toxins, and dirt that are all found on the bottom of shoes can definitely make you sick – especially if you have young children playing on the floor. The best choice is probably to take off your shoes at your home’s door, but at the very least take them off before you go into your bedroom. This will also reinforce the idea that you are leaving the world behind.
It’s wonderful to walk into a room that smells nice, but air fresheners contain chemicals that can actually be hazardous. This isn’t good in any room, but they could be especially harmful in your bedroom, where you stay for hours at a time. Fortunately, you can still add good smells to your bedroom with essential oils. As an added benefit, some of them are excellent for promoting restful, deep sleep. Lavender is well known as a soothing smell, but jasmine, rose, juniper, and cedarwood are all sleep-promoting. You can make your own pillow spray by adding 10 drops of your favorite oils with a tablespoon of witch hazel and 3 tablespoons of water. Pour your mixture into a small spray bottle. Shake, and spritz your pillow and sheets for a soft scent that will lull you to sleep.
It may feel like the definition of comfort, but your pillow might not be doing you any favors. Pillows are a party for dust mites. In fact, after two years of use without cleaning, one-third of the weight of a pillow can be dust mites. So toss your pillow in the washing machine 2-4 times a year, and replace it periodically.
Even if your pillow is fresh out of the wash it may be time to replace it if it’s worn or flattened. Signs that your pillow is due to be replaced are waking up with a sore neck or a headache, having a hard time fluffing it back into shape, or if you’re waking up frequently to readjust it. The beautiful thing about a supportive pillow is that you don’t think about it at all.
Your bedroom should be a safe haven from a busy world. To keep yourself feeling your best, it’s worth it to spend a few minutes taking care of it so it can take care of you.