Has your romance fizzled when it comes to the sizzle? For many couples who live together, routine sets in and stability can wreak havoc in the passion department.
But did you know that your bedroom itself could be the culprit? For instance, certain toxins, fungi and germs can permeate bedding fabrics, and take a real toll on your libido. Who knew?! Well, the University of Manchester research reveals the average pillow contains 16 different types of fungi. Fungi, hidden allergens, flame retardants, pesticides and formaldehyde are not exactly what we'd call aphrodisiacs! Take a look around your bedroom and you might discover that you definitely don't have a libido disorder, but rather a toxic bedroom to blame.
In addition, certain bedroom-behaviors you have might be at the root of your problem. A few simple choices can either make or break the mood for lovin'. In addition to reducing the dangerous toxins and contaminants pervading your bedroom, you can cleanse yourself of particular habits to cultivate a healthier habitat all year-round -- for love, sex and so much more.
1. Don't be so hormonal!
Replace synthetic fragrance with natural scents derived from plants. Certain fragrance chemicals common to candles, body-care products and air fresheners mimic estrogen and upset the hormone balance in our bodies, as reported by the EWG and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Since we spend 1/3 of our life in our bedroom, it is vital to maintain clean and healthy air in this room in particular. According to the EPA, most air fresheners contain formaldehyde, p- dichlorobenzene (both carcinogens - not sexy), among other propellants. Opt instead for a healthy and affordable do-it-yourself air freshener by adding 10-15 drops of essential lemon oil to 2 cups of filtered water. Place in a glass spray bottle. Shake and spritz. According to research by Ohio State University, lemon oil proved to be a definite mood enhancer.
2. Go au naturel!
Did you know the cotton in 100% cotton or cotton/blend sheets -- unless labeled organic -- has been sprayed with pesticides? According to the Pesticide Action Network (PAN), nearly 25% of insecticides are sprayed worldwide on cotton. Add to this, the fact that irritants and carcinogens are likely lurking in your easy-care, no-iron and wrinkle-free sheets since the majority contain a formaldehyde releasing resin - a carcinogen - to prevent the fabric from wrinkling, according the New York Times. Buying organic doesn't mean sacrificing style either. Luxury organic linens can keep you canoodling with style while counting sheep - not chemicals.
3. Turn off to get turned on!
Electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones and other wireless gadgets interfere with restful sleep and intercellular communication. This interruption of the body's communication system can lead to a variety health problems including oxidative stress to our cells. Remove Wi-Fi devices from your bedroom or turn them off at night. You can also turn your cell phone to Airplane mode to disable the wireless feature.
4. Breathe more than you think you should.
Most mattresses are made with synthetic fibers and polyurethane foam derived from petroleum. Even the cotton covers and batting can be processed with pesticides and other carcinogenic chemicals. A mood breaker? Oooh, it gets worse. Since 2007, all mattresses are required to withstand a 2 foot wide blowtorch open flame for 70 seconds. While many manufacturers add flame retardant chemicals to meet the federal regulation, 16 CFR 1633, the tag assures compliance, but doesn't reveal the if/what chemicals were used. Many of the brominated chemicals used in past decades are linked to thyroid disruption.
The University of California, Berkeley research revealed utero and childhood PBDE exposures were associated with neurodevelopmental delays; including decreased attention, fine motor coordination, and cognition in school-age children. However, nontoxic flame retardant fabrics, such as pure wool or synthetic Kevlar (used in the natural memory foam mattresses), are viable alternatives that meet the national flame retardant legislation without subjecting you to boric acid, antimony, or other toxins while you snooze. Look for a mattresses made from natural latex derived from the common rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis).
5. Bare it on the floor.
It's warm underfoot, but rugs can harbor all kinds of nasty things. Millions of microorganisms and volatile organic compounds (VOC's) can be found in carpet backing, adhesives and fibers. In addition, stain or water resistant treatments can been applied to the carpet which can contain perfluorchemicals (PFC's). Choose hard surfaces instead with natural fibered area rugs such as untreated wool, jute, seagrass or sisal instead.
6. Snuggle with a mate -- not a mite.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that 60 million Americans suffer from allergies and 20 million from asthma today. According to Ohio State University, a typical used mattress may have 100,000 to 10 million mites inside. The study also revealed that ten percent of the weight of a two-year-old pillow can be composed of dead mites and their droppings! That thought (and image) cuts the mood instantly. Since your skin is your largest organ, you want to make sure what your sleeping on will prevent these unwanted mates from joining your party of two. If you have an allergy to dust mites, use an organic cotton pillow and/or mattress barrier or choose a hypoallergenic pillow like kapok which is a great alternative to down pillows. Derived from the ceiba tree, kapok is all natural and allergen-free. Also, be sure to wash your bedding in hot water of at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit on a weekly basis to kill dust mites.
There you have it -- a few tips to detox your bedroom and create a sanctuary not only for sleep, but for some good old-fashioned sexy time with your partner. Don't let your bedroom ruin your romance!