We spend about ⅓ of our lives asleep, so it’s important not to cut corners on the necessities that help us achieve a good night’s rest. Most of us looking to improve our sleep quality will look into upgrading our mattress, especially since the National Sleep Foundation recommends replacing your mattress every 5 to 10 years. But what if a new mattress could potentially make your quality of sleep worse?
It’s actually easy for a new mattress to interfere with your sleep quality, and it boils down to another factor that affects sleep: your bedroom air.
Many of us take for granted that the air we’re breathing is healthy, safe, and won’t have much effect on us since it’s not something we can typically see–but this isn’t the case, especially for air that’s indoors. In fact, indoor air can be 5x more polluted than outdoors, which can affect allergies, asthma, productivity, and more–even our quality of sleep.
Our air is filled with a variety of different factors that determine how healthy it is, from dust, to carbon dioxide, to its levels of humidity, to its most underestimated ingredient–chemicals.
The type of chemicals typically found in your air are called VOC’s: volatile organic compounds. VOC’s are much more common in the air we breathe than we realize, and can be found in a variety of household items–including your new mattress.
Simply put: VOC’s are usually a byproduct of new items and their packaging–they’re typically the reason for that “fresh out of the box” smell that new products can have. If you were to place a fresh new mattress in your room, VOCs would leak off the mattress as you slept, filling your bedroom air and finding their way into your lungs–a process known as “off-gassing”.
How exactly does this affect your quality of sleep? VOCs have been linked to a variety of health issues, including allergies, asthma, eczema, headaches, hives, and have even been known to cause flu-like symptoms–all of which can get in the way of your comfort and ability to get a good night’s rest.
This doesn’t mean you should use the same mattress for the rest of your life–it just means you should take control of the air in your bedroom! To help you get started, here are a few tips to help make sure you aren’t filling your bedroom with chemicals the next time you decide to upgrade your mattress:
Don’t Unwrap Your New Mattress in the Bedroom
It may be tempting to unbox your mattress directly in your bedroom, but its packaging is most likely going to contain VOCs that will spread quickly into your bedroom air.
Give Your Mattress Time to Off-Gas
If you can, allow your mattress to air out in a well ventilated room for a few hours before placing it in your bedroom. At the very least, try to have a few windows open in your bedroom every night before bed–the fresh air will help clean out any VOCs.
Track Toxins and Chemicals with an Indoor Air quality monitor, like Awair
Awair can help you track the air quality of your bedroom over time to see if it’s a safe and healthy space for a good night’s rest. With the Awair app, you’ll also be able to see tips and recommendations for keeping VOCs at bay.
If you’re still concerned about VOCs in your bedroom, read a few tips on how to keep VOCs at bay on our blog.