Creating An Allergy-Free Sanctuary:

A Bedroom for Dreaming

“What is without periods of rest will not endure.”---Ovid (BC 43-AD 18)

Since we spend approximately 1/3 of our lives in bed, it is critical for our health and well being for the bedroom to be an oasis for rest and rejuvenation. This potential haven can be a place to hang out, to mediate or merely to daydream. The energy created in our immediate surrounding can have a powerful influence on the human psyche as well as our mood. According to the ancient Chinese Art of Feng –Shui, the bedroom represents the yin or quiet energy. There are specific rules that govern the ways to harness the forces of nature and the energy flow known as “Qi” and channel it correctly in the bedroom. Particular colors are suggested for the bedroom such as pale blue that is used in hospital newborn units to nurture a calm environment. An interesting book on the subject of the psychology of colors and how to use them positively is “The Language of Color” by Dorothee L. Mella. Creating a bedroom sanctuary for the weary spirit is not as complex as one might think and well worth the time. For those who suffer allergies though, the bedroom can be a place of nightmares unless more careful strategies are considered. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology,, about 40 million people in the United States suffer from allergies. If you don’t suffer from allergies yourself, chances are you know someone who does. After suffering a multitude of allergies myself and reading all the research I could gather, I was told by a wise eastern practitioner that many of the culprits for chronic allergies reside in the bedroom. The main cast of characters in this arena include dust, pets, bedding, carpet and plants. According to “Real Green Magazine”, some simple instructions to rid your bedroom of allergens include the following:

1. Since carpets are a safe haven for allergens, replacing carpets with hard flooring or tile is enormously helpful for allergy relief. If this is not economically feasible, HEPA filter vacuum cleaners are a reasonable alternative and should be used frequently.

2. Walter Bader co-founder of Lifekind, and the author of “Toxic Bedrooms” was one of the first to discover that “chemical exposure can occur during sleep as a result of gases used in the manufacture of mattresses”. His company is just one example of many I found that have arisen to address this important source of allergens with products such as organic pillows, mattresses and sheets. Magazines such as Natural Solutions, Wellness, and Positively Green are wonderful resource guides for both educational articles and products that provide solutions in this area.

3. Household plants in the bedroom should be minimal unless one knows for sure that they are not a source of their allergies.

4. Since allergens seem to thrive in humid environments, keeping humidity levels below 50% in the bedroom can be very helpful to alleviate allergy symptoms.

5. Keeping a bedroom free of dust mites and pet dander involves keeping the environment as clean as possible with non-chemical cleaners and encasing allergen collectors such as pillows in allergen-proof covers. Avoiding down comforters that attract dust mites and washing bedding in hot temperatures is important as well. The Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recommends temperatures of over 130 degrees to kill dust mites. Reducing clutter reduces the number of places that allergens can hide. With these simple steps, one can be well on the way to creating an allergy-free sanctuary in the bedroom. I have found that experimentation with color, mood lighting with non-toxic candles, and other creative solutions can add zest and fun to creating an individual touch in the bedroom. Developing a style that fits your individual needs is often the final step on the path to a warm, comfortable place to rest and rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit.  

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