I love my green bedroom.
And so do my sinuses. I know, I know…what do sinuses have to do with asthma? Or with the color green, for that matter?
Actually, these all have quite a bit in common – or they did for me. Because what I discovered through trial, error, morning headaches and a lot of maddeningly mysterious sniffling – and a good dose of desperation -- was that making my bedroom as green (natural/organic) as possible made not only my chronic sinusitis but a number of other conditions simply disappear.
A Little Disclaimer
First of all, I’m not a physician. I’m a wife, mother, parent, hiker, dreamer and writer, who just happens to have discovered his personal treasure trove of wellness in going natural. Where? Well, everywhere. It started with organic foods (then, growing my own garden). Next, chemical cleaners went out. Yet I was still suffering with respiratory issues, sinusitis, and eventually, what my doctor could only describe as asthma, though she too was a bit puzzled.
“We don’t know what else to call it,” the doctor told me as I sat miserably on the exam table (good grief, why are these always SO cold?), “but the wheezing and shortness of breath aren’t an issue with a disease or scarring in your lungs that we can see, your heart is fine, you’re not currently sick with a virus, so we’ll just say asthma.”
Great. Now what?
“For now, an inhaler. If necessary, we’ll move on to steroids,” Doc told me, almost casually (yikes!). “But let’s not jump the gun on that yet.”
I was floored.
Not that they don’t have their place, but I have to be honest: I’ve heard a lot of very, very non-happy experiences with steroids. These weren’t for me.
I couldn’t be asthmatic…could I? How could it come on in adulthood? Couldn’t there be another answer?
Don’t Worry…This Isn’t an Infomercial
There was another answer, for both me and my family. Fear not: I won’t be trying to sell you anything unless trying to sell you on the idea of greening up your bedroom counts.
Now mind you, I’m not advising ignoring your doctor’s orders. (For the record, I did try the inhaler.)
But I do want to share with you what ultimately worked for me. Your mileage may vary.
With that said, here are the changes I made. Give them a try and see whether you feel better. I’m willing to bet that at the very least, they’ll increase your comfort level and may even benefit your overall sleep and health.
Believe it or not, electronics really do emit radiation. That’s not a myth. Generally, this is in small doses, and removing the issue might not directly impact your respiratory health, but I found removing as many electronics as possible (yes, even my phone – gasp!) helped me to sleep better, sleep deeper and this seemed to translate into better health over time.
The ONLY fragrances I keep in my bedroom nowadays are petals from flowers I show no allergic reaction to, or herbs grown naturally in my own garden. Even “natural” fragrances, if canned in a spray form, will dissipate into the air in a way that could irritate your mucous linings and make asthma and other conditions more pronounced.
As for candles, it’s the same principle, but with smoke. Smoke is smoke is smoke, as they say (do they say that? Well, I’m saying it). Even the smoke of a soy candle rolled gently on the thighs of mermaids and sprinkled with their tears (that might be slightly facetious) is still smoke, and smoke of any kind can negatively impact a respiratory condition. So skip the candles, or if you want them for their fragrance alone without burning, make sure they ARE all-natural, including the fragrance itself.
Clean your bedroom thoroughly and regularly, but ditch the chemical cleaners. Sprays in particular can be a problem, even if they’re low on lab-created chemicals or are touted as natural/organic, as you are still spraying particles into the air.
Instead, wet a rag with water to clean up dust (and DO clean it up – dust is a gigantic respiratory system offender), vacuum and then change the bag immediately (or empty the canister), and wash bedding regularly.
Get to Bed
And speaking of bedding: many commercially produced sheets, comforters and mattresses contain chemicals such as flame retardants or stain shields. These don’t HAVE to be artificial, but due to costs and ease of use, generally, they are. Switch to organic bedding (cotton; linen; wool; hemp; silk) and wash regularly, as dust mites love to cuddle into any bedding, synthetic or not.
Air Things Out
If you live in a low-pollution area, you’re not allergic to what’s currently blooming outside, and the weather is nice, open the windows once a week and allow air to circulate on through. Make sure you keep the door to your bedroom open and another door in the house or apartment, ideally across or diagonally from the bedroom door, open as well.
If you simply can’t do this, consider a great air purifier. READ REVIEWS (I can’t stress this enough), get one with a guarantee/warranty and follow all instructions for REGULARLY cleaning it and changing the filter.
Try these fixes and see whether your respiratory system is happier. For us – my entire family saw improvement, not just with respiratory issues but with skin itchiness and hives (my son), general aches and pains (my husband) and better sleep overall.
Have a good (and natural) night tonight…and every night.
Your Home. Your Life. All Organic.