Is your pillow harming your health?
If you are getting your eight hours of sleep a night, then you spend about one third of your life sleeping.
Snuggled up on our pillow, dreaming…… breathing………….. in….. what?
Have you ever really thought about what you are inhaling, night after night?
What about fungi or mould, dust mites, flame retardants, formaldehyde, polyester, acetate and antimicrobial compounds such as Microbian or Allerban? Of course there is also sweat, drool and skin flakes to consider too!
“From memory loss to headaches, depressions to itchy eyes, an array of health problems can arise from exposure to seemingly innocent bedroom objects. Most mattresses and pillows, for example, are filled with chemical-drenched synthetic fibers such as polyurethane foam that release chemicals into the air for years; these airborne toxins can cause headaches and nausea, and even lead to multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), a condition that stems from exposure to toxic chemicals and results in a myriad of crippling symptoms. Microscopic dust mites (and their allergenic fecal matter) frequently infest mattresses, pillows, and carpeting, leading to respiratory problems including coughing and sinus congestion.” Tina Spangler, Natural Health Magazine.
Now, of course I take everything I read on the internet with a grain of salt, but these testimonials really gave me food for thought! My daughter was sleeping on an ‘egg crate’ foam mattress topper and a memory foam pillow. Her health improved when we got rid of the mattress topper and got her onto a new pillow! I couldn’t believe it took me so long to work out.
We swapped our pillows over to biodynamic wool pillows, dust mite protectors and organic cotton pillowcases. I sourced ours from Blessed Earth, here in Queensland. It wasn’t cheap, but I literally sleep better at night! Not only because of the better sleep quality, but just knowing that I am not breathing in nasty chemicals. I also like Blessed Earth because they are fair-trade, local and truly organic. Their pillowcases are not snow-white (which indicates some sort of bleaching!)
Wool is naturally mould, mildew, dust mite and fire-resistant. “Wool can absorb bodily moisture up to 30% of it’s own weight and dissipate it naturally into the atmosphere.” Blessed Earth. It also is biodegradable and can go on the compost! You can also source organic wool pillows at Fishpond.
Nicole Bjisma, author of Healthy Home, Healthy Family, says natural latex pillows are also a healthy alternative option. Natural latex has antimicrobial properties that resist dust mites and other allergens as well as being mold and mildew resistant.
Ettitude sell bamboo pillows which are a little more economical. They are filled with fluffy bamboo fibre encased in a soft, bamboo fabric. Not only is it naturally light, soft, warm, breathable, hypo-allergenic, anti-bacterial, it’s also low impact to the environment. Get them here.
Down pillows, kapok and buckwheat or millet hulls are other natural alternatives, but you need to investigate to make sure they are processed without chemicals.
It is really worth checking out what is available and considering the effect that your pillow might be having on your health.
How does your pillow shape up?