Ultimate Sleep Solution

The Sleep Better Solution

Do you have troubles sleeping?

More and more people are having issues surrounding sleep.  Whether it be a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking in the morning feeling like you haven’t slept at all. Melatonin production could be the culprit.

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone that signals your body to sleep.  This hormone is converted from another hormone called “serotonin”.  Serotonin is produced at the onset of blue light exposure in the morning when we wake, and it signals us to stay awake and alert all day.  Serotonin is converted to melatonin during the later hours of the day when the sun sets and our body gets ready for sleep.

The Importance of Light Exposure

We definitely need blue light exposure during the day – hence the sun gives off a LOT of healthy blue light.  The counter to this is that we also need an absence of blue light in the evenings – hence, sun sets give off a soft amber glow that allows for normal melatonin production.

The problem we face today: We live in an age of electricity and a culture that depends on the use of digital devices.  Unless you’re lighting your home exclusively with fire or red light bulbs when the sun sets and turning off your computer, phone and TV, you’re probably exposing yourself to mass amounts of blue light in the evening hours.  This acts like an artificial sun and signals the body to wake up, thus disrupting the natural circadian rhythm of the earth.

A Practical Solution

Blue-blocking glasses can be a great solution to the problem that we face in our modern day society.  The use of glasses that filter out a portion, or all, of the blue light spectrum can help to mitigate some of the negative effects of evening blue light exposure and help regulate your circadian rhythm!  This can allow you to use regular lighting in your home, watch nighttime television, or work on the computer in the evening without disrupting your sleep quality.

Glasses Options

LowBlue Glasses offer 100% blocking of the blue light spectrum! These awesome glasses come in many styles, including fit-over wrap arounds!

Kelly and Hank with blue blocking glasses at Health Essentials Victoria

 

Spektrum Glasses offer a range of blue-blocking lenses. There are more discrete styles that block 50% of the blue-light spectrum, which is great for reducing eye strain even during the day, and look like entirely normal glasses!! These styles are great for students who study at school the evenings, people who work night shifts, or anyone who works on the computer during the day.

 

 

Healthy Bed

How Important Is the Health of Your Bed?

Have you ever thought about how much time you spend on your bed in a 24 hour period? Like… a third of it.  For most of us, the importance of how healthy our environment is on the daily, is rarely applied to our sleep environment.  Even the few who do apply it regularly to their sleeping environment, rarely think about their bed as being “healthy” or “unhealthy”.  It’s time to change that. Here are some pretty ugly truths about the very thing you spend a third of your life on.

Conventional Bed Ingredients.

What are they made of?

The world of conventional beds is very comparable to that of conventional clothing, or even food.  It’s just not made of the right stuff. Somewhere along the line cheap materials, cheap manufacturing and cheap point of sale became the main priority.  Unfortunately, this just is not acceptable.  Here’s why:

The components of a conventional bed and their make-ups are as follows:

  • Chemicals: Generally, the mattress industry tends to use a wide variety of chemicals in the making and “protection” of their mattresses.  Solvents, glues, and fire retardants are just some of the chemicals used in the mattress-making industry. These chemicals can irritate the skin, eyes & lungs, and are often known carcinogens. 😐 #nothanks
  • Foams made of Synthetics & Petroleum Byproducts: The soft part of the mattress is usually made of synthetic materials, and often contains petrochemical derivatives. What does this mean? It means they’re made of toxin-ridden materials that restrict the breathability of your skin, while simultaneously contributing to the overall toxicity of your skin which absorbs the chemicals that come in contact with it. Synthetic foam mattresses also hold onto sweat & allergens and become the perfect habitat for bacteria build-up, and mites to live. On top of all of that, they’re also produced by an industry that immensely harms the environment. Um. Yikes.
  • Box Springs: A lot of conventional mattresses include a box spring component.  These spring systems provide extremely unnatural support for all parts of the body.  They can cause aches and pains all over.  Being that they’re made of a metal, they can also disrupt your body’s electromagnetic field (EMF) which in turn can disrupt the quality of sleep you get.
  • Waterbeds and Airbeds: Waterbed & airbeds both use electric pumps & heaters to help them keep their form.  In addition to the fact that they can cause some seriously odd sleeping positions that don’t benefit the body at all, they can also have an EMF disrupting effect. Like synthetic foams, they also don’t breathe, which can make it hard to regulate your body temperature while sleeping.
  • Memory Foam: Memory foam is all the rage in the modern bed industry.  Unfortunately it is little known that the components of this ever-popular foam is riddled with toxic chemicals and flame retardants.  The surface also lacks breathability, causing temperature regulation issues. #notthebest
  • Sheets: Much the same as mattress foams, and the world of modern day, cheaply made, and mass produced clothing materials… sheets often fail to meet normal healthy standards. Often, they contain toxic chemicals, dyes, and synthetic materials that are not breathable, and allow for a build up of bacteria and mites.

Healthier Alternatives

Not a huge fan of the conventional mattress ingredients? Neither were we. Fortunately, there are healthier options.

Things to look for in a bed:

Healthy Mattresses & Sheets:  

There are many different natural fibres that mattresses and sheets can be made of.  Some of the top naturally antibacterial, and breathable materials are organic cotton, wool, and organic bamboo!

Natural Wool Fibres:

You may know that wool happens to be one of our very favourite natural fibres for clothing at Health Essentials.  It’s also one of our favourite bed materials! Wool is naturally antibacterial, thermoregulating, flame resistant, and hypoallergenic. It’s also great for the environment when sourced from a premium farm! If you’re thinking: “WOW! That sounds like the exact opposite of synthetic materials!” Yup. You’re right. #yesplease Wool helps you to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, so it’s the ultimate duvet filling as well!!! Wool ventilates really well, and can absorb up to 30% of its weight in water without even feeling wet… so it’s ideal for humid climates…. AND sweaty sleepers. 😉 You can find wool mattresses and duvets on the market today! Check out some awesome sustainable & high quality mattresses at Shepherd’s Dream and Custom Woolen Mills 100% Wool Fill Bedding Duvets! #welovethem

Organic Bamboo:

Organic Bamboo can be a really sustainable, uber soft & comfortable option for natural sheets or mattress materials! Bamboo is also highly breathable, doesn’t want to hold onto bacteria and when organic, is free of chemicals & pesticides!

Organic Cotton:

There are many organic cotton sheets and mattresses available in the market today! Organic cotton is also breathable, hypoallergenic and antibacterial.  Check out Coyuchi Sheets which is a Californian company who sustainably and organically sources their materials!

Healthy Bed Frames

Choosing a bed frame material is more important than one may think.  Being sure to choose a bed that does NOT include box springs, metal, or chemically treated wood is of the utmost importance for your health and sleep quality! Here is what we have found to be the best option:

Slatted Wood Frame:

Slatted wooden frames allow for breathability through the mattress, provide natural support for the body, and don’t disrupt your body’s EMF. Look for a wooden frame that is sustainably sourced and free of chemical treatments!

 

 

Essential Oils Uses & Benefits

fill-your-room

Fill your Home with the Scents you LOVE.. and Benefit!

The many uses & benefits of essential oils.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are natural oils typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrances of the plant or other sources from which they are extracted.

History of Essential Oils.

Essential oils have been dated back to 2500-3000 B.C! They have been used all over the world for literally THOUSANDS of years!! These plant-derived oils have long provided us with many benefits including sensory enhancement (aromatic scents) – thus beauty care, as well as a lot of medicinal benefits.  Throughout history they have been used both internally and externally, although it is not advised to use essential oils internally unless directed by a healthcare professional.

Essential oils are used today in many different natural wellness fields! The main one by which most people associate essential oil use is Aromatherapy. It is also used in Ayurvedic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine and even in Conventional Medicine in certain parts of the world!

How are they used?

Essential oils can have many positive effects on the mind & body.  They can help us relax when we’re feeling stressed or anxious; they can energize us when we’re feeling sleepy or down; they can help ease headaches, and nausea; they can boost a wintery mood; and they can simply make the room and our bodies smell nice!

On our Bodies – Natural Beauty Care Products

herbal-oils

Many essential Oils have an extremely pleasant aromatic scent making them fantastic for use as a natural perfume or fragrance.  Many natural skin care products use essential oils for a fresh, floral, energizing, or calming effect.

In our Homes – Diffused into the Air

Diffusing essential oils into the air can help to disinfect the air, add a pleasant smell into a room, and can enhance a calm or energized state. There are a few ways that essential oils can be diffused into the air.

The traditional method of doing this is heating the oil directly over a flame, or boiling a few drops in water.  These are both effective methods, so long as a good portion of your attention can be directed toward the heating oils as to not start an accidental fire.

ecospa

 

Nowadays, diffusing essential oils into the air is much more efficient, and far less dangerous.  Modern day diffusers have sensors that auto-shut off when the water levels get low, and in most cases don’t use much heat at all to produce steam!

This EcoSpa Deluxe Ultrasonic Diffuser has multiple mist options, an auto-shut off and a light on/off button! It also has a very appealing shape and design, so you can feel great about making it a part of any room! 🙂

Some of our Favourite Essential Oils and their Benefits!

Single Oils:

Lavender
Lavandula

lav

  • Promotes relaxation – great for bedrooms & nurseries.
  • Can improve mood and reduce stress.
  • Antibacterial properties – often used in natural cleaning
    formulas for both the body & the home!

Peppermint
Mentha piperita

mint-leaves

  • Energizing!!
  • Can improve digestion.
  • Enhances mental alertness.
  • Soothes sore muscles.

Clary Sage
Salvia sclarea

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  • Supports hormonal balance.
  • Can reduce menstrual pain.
  • Improves ability to cope with stress.
  • Can increase libido.
  • Natural aphrodisiac.
  • Complements male pheromones.
  • Can increase energy.
  • Extremely grounding.

 


We hope you were able to pick up a few tips about Essential Oils in this post :). For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us!