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Is your bed bad for your health mattress paleo natural-min

Is Your Bed Bad For Your Health?

Sometimes the simple things that we use in our everyday routine are things that we don’t think twice about – but can be very dangerous. Even more frustrating, when you follow an otherwise health Paleo lifestyle. Have you ever given any thought to the mattress that’s beneath you as you sleep each night?

Mattresses are often made with ployurethane foam (petroleum based material that emits formaldehyde), formalize (which is linked to asthma and lung cancer), and boric acid (roach killer). Formaldehyde is highly toxic and classified as a probable carcinogen. If you have a mattress like this, when you go to bed at night, you are lying in these chemicals. Mattress companies often claim that they have the best mattress – and they mainly focus on comfort. You will see several commercials advertising that their mattress will adjust to your back and help you get a better night sleep, but they never really mention just how clean and non toxic their mattress is, do they?

In 2005 a memory foam mattress was sent in to be inspected and the lab was able to find 61 different chemicals used in the mattress. Comfort doesn’t mean anything if you are lying in a pile of dangerous chemicals.

Is your bed bad for your health mattress paleo natural-min

What are some of the things that these harmful chemicals can cause?

It has been reported that a toxic mattress can cause respiratory problems, reproductive toxicity, allergies, asthma, SIDS, and many more complications. It’s scary to think that going to bed could be a dangerous activity!

Why would companies add these chemicals? They add them because they are flame retardants. In the 60’s, governments insisted that mattresses had to include flame retardants – and they had to pass flammability tests. It wasn’t such a huge problem when they first passed the law, but now companies are using more and more dangerous chemicals. Arlene Blum, a biophysical chemist stated “Instead of adding new fire retardant chemicals that may ultimately be shown to cause health problems, we should be asking whether we need to use these chemicals or if there are other ways to achieve equivalent fire safety.”

The mattresses that are being made today, especially some of the popular memory foam mattresses are considered to be more dangerous than the ones that were made within the past 50 years.

So what can you do about you mattress?

There are some companies that make organic natural mattresses. Before purchasing a mattress you want to triple check what exactly is in it. Some companies claim that they have a natural organic mattress – but are not willing to back it up. Companies have slowly started to realise the dangers that their mattresses are causing and are changing the chemicals that they are putting in mattresses – but this is not happening fast enough.

You are far better off getting a safe organic mattress. There are companies that sell mattresses that are completely natural and toxin free. Organic wool has natural fire resistant properties and it has been successfully used to pass flammability tests.
When you lie down to sleep at night the last thing you need to worry about is if it is safe or not. Night time is when you need to relax both mentally and physically. Don’t let your mattress ruin your health!

What type of mattress do you sleep on? Will you buy an organic mattress when you replace yours?

Sleeping on the Floor paleo diet natural health no bed hammock back mattress-min

Sleeping on the Floor?

The more I learn and think about evolutionary health, the more links I find with every aspect of my life.

Since I went from more of a Primal diet, to a strict Paleo diet, my previous sleep problems appear to have completely vanished.  I’m now tired in the evenings, fall asleep quickly without even noticing, sleep soundly all night – and wake up before my alarm.  This change in sleep has made it very clear what an essential role sleep plays to overall health and well-being.  I’m quite convinced that even with a perfect Paleo diet and a great fitness regime, without good sleep it would be impossible to attain optimal health.

This has got me thinking about where and how I sleep.  I suspect like you, I sleep on a bed with a big mattress and pillows.  This must be very far removed from how our ancestors slept for millions of years!

I’ve found some great resources on sleeping that suggest the body is under strain being upright all day, and therefore needs the resistance of a hard service to enable gravity to help realign and reshape the body.  This makes a lot of sense.  Even a relatively hard mattress won’t have enough resistance to enable your bones to realign – where as the ground clearly would.  It makes sense that when sunk into a mattress the lungs are not in the same position and have a reduced area – resulting in less oxygen, which is crucial, especially in enabling the body to relax and repair overnight.

I also wonder about the effect on the body’s temperature regulation, of sleeping on a mattress and under covers.  Is this another detrimental effect of sleeping on a mattress?

Sleeping on the Floor paleo diet natural health no bed hammock back mattress-min

Every time I’ve been camping and have slept with just a thin foam layer between myself and the ground, I have had a fantastic sleep – but I’ve also woken up very stiff and sore the next morning.  Perhaps the discomfort is due to being used to a soft mattress and will reduce after a few days?  Perhaps a bit of discomfort is not a bad thing?  As with camping, I also slept very well when I travelled to Japan sleeping on hard futons on the floor; again this was not comfortable, but resulted in very rejuvenating sleeps.

Sleep posture also appears to be an important factor to consider, something I’ve not given much thought to in the past.

I’m therefore planning to conduct a sleep experiment, of at least a week, where I will sleep on the floor each night.  I can then compare how I feel each morning, how well rested I am and how my fitness is affected (for example, if it would promote better posture and alignment, I’d expect this to show in my gym sessions).

Have you ever slept on the floor in the interests of your health, or is this a step too far?  I’d love to hear your comments on all things sleep related!