I’m pretty unabashed by my love for sleeping; I’m not (and never have been) one of those people who brags about getting only five hours of sleep for a week in a row. I may be incredibly busy splitting my time between my house and my boyfriend’s NYC apartment, an active social life, a serious travel schedule, not to mention a veritable avalanche of writing, editing and consulting work, but I always make time to sleep. When I get my regular 8-9 hours I get sick less often, keep my moods in check, eat more healthfully, and I swear my skin looks better (skin does most of its anti-aging and repair work at night, but only when you are sleeping!).
And the time you spend in bed should be restorative and healthy; I make sure that my bedroom environment is cool, clean and quiet, free of most electronics (save my cellphone), and that my bed is made up with natural-detergent washed sheets, blankets and pillows made from natural materials. If you spend 1/3 of your life in bed, it should be a healthy and restful environment. Here’s how I do it in the winter, when I love to sleep in on the weekends.
Natural Talalay Latex Pillows are a serious upgrade from my old pile of pillows. (I got sent a couple to try out and now I want a mattress too, they feel so good.) Made from natural latex (which is sustainably harvested and a renewable, totally natural, eco friendly material), the pillows are hypoallergenic, resist mold and feel just like memory foam, but without all the toxic chemicals associated with the foam. Memory foam feels great, but has some seriously toxic offgassing for many months after you bring it home, not to mention it is made from petroleum; natural latex has the same feel but is much healthier for you and the planet.
Silk Pillowcases are a well-known beauty secret; because of their softness and silkiness, they reduce the ‘drag’ on your face as you move around and night (especially if you sleep on your stomach), and so can reduce the development of and appearance of wrinkles. These gorgeous ahimsa silk pillowcases from The Ethical Silk Company are made by silkworms who are not killed after they’ve done their spinning.
Shameless post for my new creative venture, Dogwood and Hastings! But I do have my bed decorated with these lovely pillows made from photos I’ve taken on my travels, and printed onto organic cotton knit fabric. If you’d like one (or both!), they are for sale here with kapok-filled, organic cotton covered pillows, or without (you can use your own). I love throw pillows to balance my book on for reading in bed, or to put my kitty on when she’s too warm on my legs. She loves a good perch!
I keep lavender sachets in my bed to promote restful sleep; I grow and harvest my own lavender from my plants, but you buy sachets here very inexpensively directly from organic farmers.
Organic cotton sheets are available from a pretty wide variety of retailers at this point. I prefer colorful, patterned sheets, like these Elly sheets from Pottery Barn (which happen to be on sale!).
A Baby Alpaca Throw is the perfect thing to wrap up in when you don’t feel like getting under the covers just yet – or when you feel the need to sleep with the window open and make your bed into a real nest of warmth (I love doing this every so often!). These blankets are handmade in the Andes by Peruvian knitters and crocheters, providing a fair wage. These pretty throws have matching pillows, both available in natural alpaca colors.
Happy Winter Sleeping!
Topmost image by Flickr User Hao Jan.