It's the long awaited "Back To School" season and there is something many of us may not be thinking about as we make that bed time transition from the late night's of summer to a rigid wake up call...Our kids' bedrooms.
Is it the sleep sanctuary our kids need for their best night's sleep?
Don’t panic. There's still time to investigate. But, trust us, doing this now will help you later.
We adults know how we like to sleep: chilly, warm, fan, white noise, silence, total darkness, etc...but often times our kiddos don’t know what to request, if they even know what helps them fall asleep easier.
Here's our first piece of advice: Lay in their room, after they have fallen asleep. Check light, temp, sounds, smells. Then, the next day, talk about those findings with them. But, you will probably know right away what steps to take.
Here are our top 5 tips for creating the perfect sleep sanctuary for the Littles:
1. White noise machine- get one! They are an underestimated hero. They drown out the exterior noise from the house and help their little minds unwind.
2. Motion activated night light. In the middle of the night, no one wants to whack an ankle or step on a lego on the way to the bathroom. (Or, let's be honest- on the way to find Mom.)
3. Black out curtains. They keep the room dark (duh), but also create a womblike quiet that helps create a soft mood. *Just check that there isn't remnant light peeking in from the top or sides.
4. Diffuser. We run relaxing blends of essential oils at bedtime to help bring down anxiety. Lavender, chamomile, vetiver, patchouli...feeling...sleepy...We also recommend our Organic Calm Kids pillow and room mist, to set the mood.
5. Bedding. This is important for many reasons. Sensory irritations are a real problem for kids. Have you ever tried to get out the door with a "wonky" sock?! Aside from the feel, there are actual health hazards involved with selecting non-organic bedding. Choose bedding that is free from formaldehyde, chemical dyes and those made with synthetic materials. Choose an organic pillow and mattress to see improvements in respiratory health, allergies and sleep.
Biggest takeaway here- spend some time in your kids bedroom to find those little things that can make a big difference at bedtime.
What are some things you do to improve your Littles sleep?
Why The Shape? April 24 2017
What does the shape of The Right Pillow have to do with sleep?
Sometimes we are asked “Why the shape of the pillow?!” and the answer is simple and why we reinvented the pillow: Less Tossing and Turning.
If you toss and turn like most people do, you probably readjust your pillow to the repositioning of your head and neck each time you roll. That interrupts sleep and that is a problem. When we designed our now patented pillow, we wanted to decrease tossing and turning during the night, allowing you to sleep sounder and stay still longer.
The 3 tufting wells and shape allow you to find the perfect level of support around your head, neck and shoulders. The “arms” of the pillow gently hug your shoulders, resisting the body’s natural urge to roll while sleeping. We affectionately call this the “hug zone”. If you like to snuggle the pillow while on your side, simply use the far left well, hugging the pillow in front.
If you are a side sleeper, but toss and turn, put your head in the far right well and allow the pillow to gently support you along your back. Back sleeping, one of the most difficult positions to get used to, is made easy; when you place your head in the middle and let the arms cradle your shoulders in the hug zone you stay in place longer, if not throughout the night.
3 Tips for Your Best Night's Sleep October 09 2015
We are all searching high and low for that "thing" that can make our night's sleep the best we can get. Here are 3 Tips to help you create your best night's sleep:
Clear the mind:
- Go for a walk or work out for 30 minutes each day, meditate, journal, pray, yoga, make lists...Things to avoid: TV, surfing the internet, playing video games- all of these things "stimulate" the mind and will cause you more awake time.
- Room Temperature: It is recommended to keep the temp between 65-72 degrees, but adjust based on your comfort.
- Light: Stop it with the "glow"! Make your bedroom a digital device-free zone! The ambient glow is actually causing more problems than you think. Another way to ensure better sleep is to provide window coverings that keep light out at night. Light in our bedroom at night causes the body to delay the release of "sleep hormones" and keep us in the awake state, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
- Scents: Avoid artificial and chemical "air fresheners". These chemical compounds can cause headaches, migraines, nausea, allergies, and- you guessed it- sleeplessness. Use natural essential oils to create a healthy aroma therapy experience; diffuser, sprays and oils are easy ways to incorporate healthier and organic alternatives.
- Bed: There are some fantastic organic, healthy and "melt into bed" comfortable mattresses are out there that last longer than 8 years, don't off-gas and remain hypoallergenic for their entire lifespan.
- Linens: This is an easy one...If it feels good to you, use it! Organic linens are the best for your health, so try to always buy organic. Marci Zaroff, the CEO and Founder of Under the Canopy, (their organic bedding line is available at Macys.com) is working hard to change the negative effects the textile industries have on our health and environment with organic and affordable bedding sets!
- Pillow: This is not always as simple as comfort. There is more to your pillow than you probably think. Do you wake up with a frog in your throat? Dark circles under your eyes? Sniffles? These are all symptoms of air-borne allergies, likely caused by your pillow...or rather- what is INSIDE your pillow.
Night time is your time to revitalize your body, mind and spirit. Clear your mind, create a room that appeals to your senses and gives your body a healthy environment to recharge in!
What do you do to help yourself have your best night's sleep?
The Healthy Pillow September 29 2015
I am often asked "How do I know if I have a healthy pillow or if I need a new one?"
So I ask "How did you sleep last night? How did you wake up this morning?"
Top 4 reasons you need a new pillow, ASAP:
- You wake up with symptoms of airborne allergies (see below).
- Your pillow is filled with down, poly, memory foam or other non-organic materials. *It contains chemicals, flame retardants and synthetics.
- You wake up with neck, shoulder or back aches and pains.
- Your pillow celebrated a birthday (is 1 year old or older).
If these reasons caused you to have questions, that's great! They should! We address many of the health issues associated with traditional pillow fills in a post I wrote a while back, called 'A Million Fungus Among Us'. To paraphrase: "...inside a pillow that is 12 months old or older are so many gross and unhealthy things. There is mold, bacteria, dust-mites and their feces, skin cells, and if that isn't bad enough- FUNGUS."
The #1 cause for allergies in the US are airborne allergens.
What are airborne allergens? (Hint: 3 of these are more than likely INSIDE your pillow right now.)
- Dust Mites
The signs and symptoms are familiar to many:
- Sneezing often accompanied by a runny or clogged nose
- Coughing and postnasal drip
- Itching eyes, nose, and throat
- Allergic shiners (dark circles under the eyes, caused by increased blood flow near the sinuses)
- The "allergic salute" (in a child, persistent upward rubbing of the nose that causes a crease mark on the nose)
- Watering eyes
- Conjunctivitis (an inflammation of the membrane that lines the eyelids, causing red-rimmed, swollen eyes, and crusting of the eyelids)
Washing your pillow and covering it with a protective cover will help, but why just continue to fight a battle that you can avoid all together? Wool and latex are hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant (NO DUST MITES), anti-fungal, anti-microbial and when organic and untreated- they are chemical, synthetic and poison free. Safe and healthy. They are safe and healthy. You don't need to wash them every month. You don't need a protective cover on pillows containing these fills because there is nothing to protect against!
Still have questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I am happy to help!
A million fungus amongus? EEEW. June 25 2015
As I am turning into The Pillow Lady, the question was asked of me recently: "How long is too long to keep my pillow?" If you know me, you won't be surprised to know that I answered the question with a question: "How long have you had your pillow?" Knowing that the pillow had...expired. Yep, pillows can expire. Well, the majority of them can.
Warning: The following information may cause you to have the same reaction I had when I learned what was lurking inside my pillow, which quickly met an instant death in the garbage can at the curb.
You see, inside a pillow that is 12 months old or older are so many gross and unhealthy things. There is mold, bacteria, dust-mites and their feces, skin cells, and if that isn't bad enough- FUNGUS. Yuck. There can be over a million fungal spores inside your pillow right now. 75% of people feel that fresh air, free of allergens in their sleeping area, is as important as getting a good nights sleep. So why rest your head on all those allergy causing creepy-crawlies?
The biggest reason that I can find is the lack of understanding of just how important pillow fill really is to your overall health. We spend 30% of our lives cheek to cheek with our pillows and when sleep is finally rewarded, we should rest well knowing we are not in the presence of a million fungi and their dust-mite roomies. Walk into any major store in the US and you will find 3 common pillow fill types: Down, Polyester and Memory foam. Not so natural and definitely not organic. People say 'wash your pillow regularly', but even me- the biggest germaphobe ever, will not do that on 6 month basis. Besides, does that really work? Why not just eliminate the issue and go with something healthy?
So what is a good, healthy, comfortable alternative for a pillow? I prefer wool and latex. There are so many reasons why. Let's start with the most top level: Both can be sourced organically and sustainably. HUGE. To be able to decrease your contribution to the destructive consumption habits of most of the world makes a big difference over time. Wool and latex are both incredibly durable materials and, if properly cared for, will remain healthy and comfortable for a decade or longer.
Another reason why I love wool and latex? They are naturally fire resistant. There is no need to add chemicals or fire retardants to wool or latex pillows so you eliminate exposure to scary off-gassing and respiratory irritants.
Wool and latex are:
Hypoallergenic: Unlikely to cause any allergic reaction.
Antifungal: Destroying fungi or inhibiting their growth.
Breathable and thermal, regulating a neutral body temperature. You won't get too hot or too cold because of your pillow. Less sweating=less bacteria, mold and fungus.
Dust-mite resistant: The wool fibers and latex properties are inhospitable for dust-mites. They just can't live in the wool or latex environments. No dust-mites. No dust-mite feces. YAY!
These are some of the many reasons why we choose organic wool and organic shredded latex for the fills in The Right Pillow. We needed ingredients that didn't expire or make us sick. We needed pillows that improved our sacred 30% sleep time. We needed to shake up the thought that down, poly and memory foam were the best solutions out there...and we did. We make sure that from pasture to pillow, we stick to what was important: the health of the planet, the animals and the sleepers.