To sleep better, people should have a cool dark quiet environment. The temperature should range from 17 to 28°C with 40-60% relative humidity levels. It’s best to keep the room completely dark with no blue lights. Most of us consider these factors as crucial ones in maintaining a comfortable microclimate for sleep, but we often neglect the importance of clean air.
The bedroom often has the worst air quality compared to other parts of the house. People tend to shut the doors and windows to minimize noise or to have privacy. We stuff our bedrooms with carpet, pillows, stuffed toys, shelves, and wardrobes. They not only collect dust over time but also become a source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a variety of chemicals that have a negative effect on our health when we inhale them. Electronic devices, such as computers and printers, can also emit VOCs.
Another air pollutant we face at home is particulate matter, tiny particles with the size of less than 10 microns, such as dust, mold, soot, and pollen. Cooking, natural gas stoves and ovens, and electronic cigarettes can emit high levels of particulate matter, which can recirculate around the house if there are no air purifiers or proper ventilation systems.
Below we provide some facts and tips on how to keep your air in the bedroom clean.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR BED
We never think about our bed as a proxy for the microorganisms, fungal spores, and skin cells that routinely collect there. Here are some things you should know.
Mattress foam and fabrics often emit gaseous pollutants, including VOCs, plasticizers, and flame retardants. This is a problem, especially for new crib mattresses. However, old ones may have accumulated too much dust. Replacing an old mattress is one of the most effective ways to reduce dust.
Pillows provide a barrier against larger particles that could rise from the mattress. However, dust-covered pillows doubled resuspension of particles in total. Wash your pillows at least twice a year.
Heavy blankets may stifle dust, but other bedding cannot contain the dust as easily. Placing a blanket over your head increases the estimated intake of air pollutants by more than 20 times. If a blanket is used every night, you may want to put it on a weekly or biweekly washing schedule.
2. BUY LOW-EMISSION FURNITURE
Furniture can contain toxic chemicals, such as benzene, ethylene glycol, or formaldehyde. Most industrial-strength adhesives, paints, varnishes, or lacquers emit those VOCs.
There are a few steps that will help you prevent chemical poisoning released from new furniture:
● Check certifications before purchasing. One of the most famous ones is Greenguard Certification.
● Unwrap new furniture outdoors to let it air out.
● Avoid cheap particle board furniture as it may contain formaldehyde.
● Choose unscented furniture: It should have fewer chemicals.
3. CHOOSE RIGHT CANDLES
Of course, everyone wants their room to look cozy and smell good. However, keep in mind that regular paraffin scented candles are a huge source of indoor air pollution.
When burned, paraffin creates highly toxic substances, such as benzene and toluene. On top of that, many scented candles have wicks that contain heavy metals like lead.
Good news! Not all candles are that bad. There are some alternatives.
- Soy and beeswax candles. Beeswax candles emit negative ions, which can bind with toxins and help remove them from the air.
- Candles with wicks made from braided cotton or paper with a cellulose core.
- Candles that contain plant-based, all-natural essential oils.
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