During sleep your body is actually working hard for you. It’s a time where essential repairs take place and both body and mind can recover from the day’s activities and rejuvenate. Essential proteins including hormones and antibodies are manufactured and potentially harmful metabolic waste products are processed and removed from the blood. All the more important, then, to keep our sleeping environment as conducive as possible to a good and health-restoring night’s sleep. An often neglected, yet critical component of this is the actual bed linen we wrap ourselves in each night. By using ‘conventional’ (non-organic) bedding we are actually adding to the toxic load on the body which over time takes its toll on our health. In the modern world, many of us admit to feeling ‘half healthy’ at best, and the good news is that by simply switching to organic bedding you can take a big step in the direction of better health including immune and respiratory function, healthier skin and an enhanced sense of well-being. We look at the reasons why below.
Healthier skin with organic bedding
Amazingly, it is standard practice in conventional textile manufacture and processing to use, among others, carcinogenic Azo dyes, formaldehyde, toxic heavy metal ions, chlorine-based bleaches and nano-particles. When you see claims on bedding such as ‘wrinkle-free, ‘stain-resistant’, ‘colour-fast’, beware, as this normally indicates the presence of extra formaldehyde. Not only is formaldehyde a strong skin irritant, it also acts as a cross-linking agent and helps fix those other nasty chemicals to the textile fibres - a double whammy! Thankfully, none of these toxic chemicals is permitted in certified organic bedding. I stress the word certified as ‘organic’ is not a protected term in textiles (as it is in food). Therefore, always check for the GOTS organic certification label on your bedding. GOTS - the Global Organic Textile Standard is the gold standard worldwide and covers organic status in both farming and manufacturing stages in textiles. You may be wondering if these chemicals are present at high enough levels to do any harm. While they are present at relatively modest levels it must be borne in mind that we spend approximately 8 hours every day in contact with our bedding and hence these chemicals! Indeed, a recent 2018 scientific study demonstrated significant adsorption of textile contaminants (benzothiazole was investigated) in skin mimicking membranes in the laboratory*. We at Sleep Organic know from customer feedback that those with young children or adults with sensitive skin or conditions such as eczema immediately notice the huge difference in their skin’s (lack of) reaction to the toxin-free organic bedding.
Sleep better, sleep organic
We all know how important a good night’s sleep is to our health and general sense of wellbeing. Less often do we consider the direct impact of our bedding on this. High quality organic bedding made from natural fibres such as cotton, particularly in a percale weave is highly breathable. This allows us to maintain a steady body temperature throughout the night and is conducive to a deep and restorative sleep. Deep down, our body knows and seeks the natural way, and our customers continuously tell us they instantly feel the difference of our organic bedding with no irritating chemicals or residues and no alien synthetic fibres.
Another source of entry of bedding contaminants and derivatives such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) is by inhalation. Again the proof is in the pudding - or chemical soup in the case of non-organic bedding. Sleep Organic customer feedback such as Drew’s highlight the advantage of organic bedding - ‘I suffer with asthma and Sleep Organic’s cotton bed linen is a godsend for me, with nothing to irritate my lungs. It’s gorgeous quality too’. It’s worth bearing in mind that for those of us who don’t suffer from obvious respiratory conditions the insidious effects of using non-organic bedding can still be present. All that’s needed is sufficient time, and by the time we’re 50 we’ve spent almost 17 of those years in bed!
Allergies from things like dust mites can be another issue. Rather than synthetic fibres (cue the chemicals), natural fibres such as wool are an excellent way to combat such issues as the fibres are naturally hypoallergenic. Organic wool duvets and pillows can be encased in organic cotton for that extra soft and sumptuous feel.
While diet and exercise are key to a healthy lifestyle, don’t ignore the third of your life spent in bed. Using toxin free organic bedding can significantly contribute to a balanced and healthy life, free from respiratory and dermal complications. And best of all, you can do it in your sleep!
Dr Chris Murphy, co-founder Sleep Organic
*Chemicals from textiles to skin: an in vitro permeation study of benzothiazole. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018; 25(25): 24629–24638.