It’s no secret that sleep is important for our well-being. But did you know it’s also crucial to the sustainability of the environment? We rely on natural resources, such as cotton and latex, to create products that help us sleep better. But these materials are becoming scarce because of population growth and increased consumption in countries like China and India. In this article, we will discuss how sustainable materials can be used to enhance your sleep without hurting the planet or your body.
What are you sleeping on?
It sounds like a strange question to consider but have you ever thought about what you are actually sleeping on? A mattress is often a purchase made with one thing in mind; comfort. But did you know that many memory foam mattresses can be made from petrochemicals that are, in essence, plastic? Many mass-produced mattresses can ‘off gas’ chemicals over time which can be harmful to our body in a number of ways, most notably for people who are susceptible to allergies. Next up, from the perspective of the planet, something that is made from plastic (which our seas groan with and landfill sites are full of) isn’t really that sustainable, but there are all alternatives, such as a natural organic mattress.
What are you sleeping in?
Like the mattresses, we sleep on synthetic materials we wear or cover ourselves in can be bad for our bodies and the planet. Here are some of the things you might be used to sleep more sustainably:
GOTS certified cotton sheets, mattresses or pillows (GOTS is a certification for textiles made from organic fibres that have been processed without harmful chemicals like chlorine). Similarly, manmade fibres on our nighties or pyjamas can trigger harmful reactions in those who are susceptible, try to avoid polyester materials as these can contain phthalates which have been linked with asthma in children. Wearing and using natural materials will be better for our bodies, whether it’s bedtime or not.
What is your bedtime beauty routine?
Skincare products free of harmful chemicals like parabens, PEGs, synthetic fragrances and nanoparticles. Our skin is our largest organ in the body so it’s important that we use products that not only feel good on us but also will be safe to put on our bodies – this includes putting them into contact with a child or someone else who may have sensitive skin. When choosing a nighttime moisturiser try choosing one that is fragrance and paraben-free.
Have you ever considered your sleep hygiene?
By hygiene, we don’t mean how physically clean you are but what your routine before bedtime is. For instance, many of us will watch TV, use a computer or smartphone before bed. But it has been scientifically proven that the ‘blue light’ these devices emit can be bad for our bodies when we sleep, particularly our deep sleep which is the state our body gets in to really rejuvenate our body and will ultimately make us feel refreshed.
Top tips to sleep more sustainably
- Choose products that are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) or GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) certified.
- Make sure your bedroom is cool and uncluttered. A tidy room can make a tidy mind.
- Don’t eat too late, full tummies can lead to and disturbed nights sleep. Also, alcohol can affect the quality of our sleep too.
- Look for nighttime beauty products that are paraben and fragrance-free.
Sleeping sustainably is holistic, there’s not one silver bullet but ultimately if you consider the products you put next to and on your skin you may well end up feeling more refreshed and safe in the knowledge that you are doing yourself, and the planet, some good whilst you sleep.