5 Ways To Clear The Air In Your Bedroom To Promote Deep Sleep
When Sophia Ruan Gushée, author of A to Z of D-Toxing, began the process of detoxing her home environment, the bedroom was on the top of her to-clean list. "I think it's the most important part of the home to consider," Gushée tells mbg. "If you are an average person who spends about a third of their life sleeping in their bedroom, or spending time in their bedroom, it's a high-impact area."
And though the healthy home expert admits that sleep is her "greatest weakness," she's noticed that making a few key changes in her bedroom have helped her out tremendously. Here's the routine that she recommends for clearing the air in your bedroom so you can rest a bit easier:
Nix heavily scented products.
Gushée opts to reduce synthetic fragrances in her sleep space in an effort to cut down on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to poor air quality—and potentially compromised sleep1 in turn. While naturally scented products and essential oils are OK in her book, any synthetic candles or air fresheners are left out of her sleep sanctuary.
Simplify your cleaning routine.
Along those lines, heavily scented cleaners that contain ingredients and byproducts like ethylene oxides, 1,4-dioxanes, and VOCs have also been associated with skin2 and respiratory irritation3. Instead, Gushée uses a simple mix of plant-based Castile soap and water to clean her bedroom. She's also sure to dust all surfaces down with a wet cloth twice a week. Keeping the room decor on the minimalist side makes this process go faster and cuts down on distractions at bedtime.
Crack open the windows.
Indoor air tends to be more polluted4 than outdoor air, even in densely populated cities like NYC, where Gushée and her family live, so she'll often crack open the window to let some fresh(er) air into her sleep space. While some allergens, bugs, or debris might make their way into the bedroom as indoor air slips out, "Nothing is perfect," she admits. "But it's just good to let your home breathe every now and then."
Consider saving up for big-ticket items like an organic mattress and air purifier.
While an effective air purifier and organic mattress made from natural materials will cost a pretty penny, Gushée considers both of them really important to the bedroom's overall comfort. She uses Intellipure's air purifier and appreciates that it can filter the air in her entire bedroom, down to the teeniest, tiniest of particles. As for mattresses, she recommends going with one made from natural materials like 100% natural latex foam. These options fit the bill.
Move phones and electronics out of the room (or at least away from your bed).
Gushée notices a big difference in how she sleeps when she isn't surrounded by tech. "It's generally impossible for most people to have no technology in their bedroom," she knows but finds that simply moving her phone to the other side of her room and turning it on airplane mode before she goes to sleep can be helpful.
Not only does this cut down on EMF exposure, but it also makes it less tempting to scroll at night and derail your bedtime in the process. "I really try to limit my digital screen exposure overall," Gushée says. "Even during the day, it has a big impact."
Beyond these bedroom tweaks, Gushée has found that keeping her room at a cool 68 degrees, cozying up under a heavy wool blanket, and taking a relaxing magnesium supplement before bed have helped her overall sleep quality.* "I sleep more deeply and longer, and I fall asleep more easily when I do," she notes.
Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to maintaining a bedroom that promotes rest. Keep clutter, heavily scented products, and technology out to make space for deep, restorative sleep to come in. And if your body needs extra support against the constant onslaught of environmental and internal stressors, there are supplements for that, too (our favorites here).*
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.
Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.