A good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to enhance your physical and mental wellness. I know what I feel like after a great night’s sleep and I know what I feel like after a poor night’s sleep; the difference makes me feel like I’m two different people. I’ve really made my best effort to clean up my bedroom and make it optimtimal for sleeping. Sleep is one of those areas that many of us struggle with and many of us don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. THis adds up to a chain reaction of health issues that could be prevented.
But there’s more than just improving our sleep. To take it one step farther, we want to create a sleep environment where our body can be away from some of the toxic chemicals and harmful toxins we come into contact with every day. Every day we put our body through a stressful series of toxin exposures. From the moment we get up, we’re introducing our bodies to products and food with chemicals, toxic air and other unhealthy elements of our world. By the end of the day our body has been burdened by all these elements.
When we go to sleep for the night, wouldn’t it be great if our body had time to be away from these toxins and restore to its natural state? This is the idea behind a sleep sanctuary. Your bedroom can become a place for you to rest and restore and return your body to a natural state of wellness.
One of the ways you can remove toxins from your bedroom is through your bedding and linens. Often sheets and bedding are made with synthetic materials, contain toxic dyes and have chemicals like formaldehyde woven into the fibers. When we sleep on sheets with toxins and chemicals, our bodies are surrounded by this for 7-8 hours at a time. What’s more is that these toxins and chemicals release at much higher rates in warm, humid environments. Due to the nature of sleeping, this means our beds are a perfect environment for these toxins to release at an exponential rate.
This is why organic sheets and organic materials are of so much importance to our overall health and wellness. Here’s what to look for:
The best way to find linens that are truly 100% organic is to find companies that have their products certified by a third party.
Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) is one that make sure dyes and inks comply with biodegradability and toxicity requirements. GOTs also makes sure that products do not contain any allergenic, carcinogenic or toxic chemical residues. Finally, they also certify factories have a high functioning wastewater treatment plant to ensure it protects local ecosystems and water supplies.
Organic Content Standard (OCS or OE) is another great third party verification that checks the products to make sure they contain the proper amount of organically grown materials. This certification doesn’t necessarily address the use of chemicals or environmental aspects of a product, however.
Oeko-Tex Standard 100 does independent testing and certification to verify textiles at all stages of production. They look at the raw and dyed fabrics, finished fabrics and knits as well as ready-made fabrics. The testing they provide focuses on the intended use of the textile and how much skin contact the fabric will have.
Toxic dyes are something you can easily avoid in sheets. By checking the verifications above, you should be able to tell if your product contains synthetic dyes. Opt for something that uses undyed fabric or uses an organic dye to change or enhance the color of the fibers.
The fabric content of the bedding you purchase has a large impact on whether it’s considered healthy or not. Try to find sheets and bedding made of 100% certified organic cotton as opposed to a synthetic fabric. Cotton is breathable and easily washed, which makes it easy to prevent dust mites. Some sheets are made of bamboo, which may be organic, but in order to turn bamboo into a fabric, many chemicals are used in the process and it’s not really the most eco-friendly or healthy option.
AVOID WRINKLE FREE & BLEACH
Wrinkle free sheets and blankets often are treated with Formaldehyde in order to keep them smooth and wrinkle free. Try to find sheets that are as natural as possible, without any added chemicals to change the fabric. Many conventional cotton sheets and blankets use chemicals to make the fabric appear more appealing to a consumer. In truth, bleach and formaldehyde are dangerous chemicals that can cause skin and eye irritation as well as disrupt hormones. When you think about laying on a chemical for 8 hours every night, it certainly can be alarming.
The good news is, there are some certified and verified sheets and bedding out there, you just have to do a little research on what is healthy and what is safe. Below are some great options and some of the benefit of each particular brand and set:
MOST TRUSTED BRANDS
SOL ORGANICS: Sol Organics has sheets, duvets and blankets to make any bed healthy and comfortable. Their products are 100% organic cotton or sateen. The blends they use are created with GOTS certified organic cotton as well as organic dyes. The organic fibers they use are woven to make a light, breathable fabric that is long lasting.
They also boast of a smooth surface due to the very fine, single ply thread they weave throughout the fabric. Sol Organics is Fair Trade Certified and GOTS certified to ensure the fibers they use are 100% safe and chemical free.
GRUND: Grund Organics is part of the Organic Trade Association and is certified by GOTS and OEKO-TEX Standard 100. They use only environmentally-friendly materials and use no chemicals. Any dyes they use are organic and safe.
Their sheets are 100% organic and are free from bleach, formaldehyde and other dyes or toxins. The sheets are a sateen weave, which means they’re softer than other sheets and will last a long time. All of their products come in a variety of neutral colors and can be washed just like any other product.
MAGNOLIA ORGANICS: Magnolia organics uses high quality, natural products that are 100% certified organic. They don’t use any pesticides or other chemicals in growing their cotton, which is Certified by GOTS. They understand that organic cotton supports the health and well being of families and those farmers who are working to grow the cotton. Their materials are minimally processed and 100% pure. Their cotton is noticeably softer, as it is ring-spun as opposed to open-end yarn.
WHISPER ORGANICS: Whisper Organics is another company with plenty of GOTS certified products. They have sheets, blankets and even bedding for cribs.Their cotton is grown with no GMOs, pesticides, herbicides or insecticides and it is dyed with natural dyes. The 100% cotton breathes really well, which prevents overheating.
BOLL & BRANCH: Boll & Branch is a fair trade company, affecting everyone who works on their cotton and products. They are also GOTS certified at every step of the process. Their organic cotton is grown without any pesticides and that means less irritation and healthier skin. They dye their products with GOTS certified dyes and never chlorine.
Another interesting fact about Boll & Branch is they grow their cotton strictly with rainwater. They use and store rainwater for the cotton and grow the most during monsoon season. They have an extensive set of bedding, sheets and even baby bedding available at a very reasonable price.