OUR NEW MATTRESS HAS ARRIVED!
I'm so happy. I'm finally experiencing what it's like to sleep through the night and it's awesome.
I guess I told you before how poor my sleep has always been and how big an impact insomnia has had on my energy levels, my confidence and even the way I perceive the world and myself. For me, most days are just time to recover from the night before, which is exhausting. This is not how I want to live. I want to be able to feel alive during the day, not recover and rest, which is something you should be doing during the night, right?
This winter, it became even more obvious that we urgently needed to do something about my night rest. My boyfriend had been sleeping on the couch for more than two months (!), because every noise or turn would wake me up, and then I would start feeling itchy and I would lie awake for hours.
Last month, I decided that it couldn’t go on like this anymore. Every night again, I had to get up several times to moisturize my super-dry skin. At one point, I thought it would never be possible for me to sleep more than three hours in a row.
I had done much research before on what factors can be keeping you awake at night: it could be diet, stress, candida, low blood sugar, irregular patterns, room temperature, lack of oxygen, looking at screens before bed, things like that.
Over time, I worked out all of these factors:
- I quit coffee, sugar, gluten, dairy and processed foods
- I didn’t eat after 7pm (except for light tryptophan-rich foods like oats, banana and pumpkin seeds)
- I tried to go to sleep every day around the same time, before 10pm
- I started doing yoga and breathing practices before bed for relaxation
- I made sure there would always be a window open for fresh air
- I installed the f.lux app and avoided screens late at night
So many changes, yet there was relatively little improvement with regard to my sleep. On the contrary, I even started having swollen eyelids in the morning, as if I had an allergic reaction to sleep or something. I started getting desperate.
But in all my well-worth efforts, there was one major thing that I’d been overlooking all the time: the bed itself.
Consider this: we spend 1/3 of our lives in bed and yet many of us forget to take a moment to regard the quality of it. Did you know that mattresses often contain harmful chemicals like flame retardants and insect repellents?
From a scientific point of view, this might be useful for preventing your mattress from catching fire (uh, okay) or for keeping away insects like bed bugs and dust mites.
That is much like spraying vegetables to prevent organisms from consuming it — and you can include ‘humans’ under the categorie ‘organisms’. I won’t go into detail here about how harmful chemicals are — my point is: avoid them at all costs. They are not doing you any good.
So YES, I'm a big fan of all things organic.
From organic food to organic clothes: they all make me feel good. Due to my super-sensitive skin, I can really feel the difference between organic and non-organic fabric.
And that also goes for our new COCO-MAT mattress.
COCO-MAT is a Greek company that sells mattresses, pillows and sleep products, which are all hand-made in Greece, on order, to guarantee fresh and dust-free products.
They only use natural materials like rubber, coconut fiber, seaweed, cotton, wool and wood, which are all locally harvested in Greece. Jeroen and I bought the 200x160 Atlas mattress, which is made of natural rubber, coconut fiber and seaweed. We also purchased the Kleon duvet, which is made of wool and organic cotton, the Narkissos II pillow and a set of organic cotton Persefoni bed linen.
It was a big investment for us, but so far I haven't regretted our purchase, on the contrary. This is what I noticed since sleeping on COCO-MAT:
- From one day to another, I suddenly sleep through the night. I am serious. I am not trying to sell anything here, I am really sincere when I tell you that since I sleep on COCO, I have a much deeper, more relaxed sleep.
- The materials used in the mattress and pillow support the shape of your body really well. I don’t wake up with numb arms or a stiff neck anymore.
- The mattress, duvet and pillow have much better ventilation due to the natural materials and unique design, which allow any humidity to vaporize.
- Where in cold winter months, I used to sleep under three polyester blankets and still feel cold, I now sleep under one woolen blanket that regulates temperature naturally. Wool is a great thermo-regulator.
- The fabric of the IKEA sheets we used to have was kind of rough and the paint of the fabric was irritating my skin. The organic cotton of the COCO bed linen feels much softer and more natural.
In general, the biggest difference is that I don't feel 'irritated' during the night anymore.
Our previous bed was made of synthetic materials like polyester and polyether, which didn't allow proper ventilation. Now, when I am in bed, I can feel that I am surrounded by natural materials, which make me feel calm and relaxed. Yep, this is definitely one of the best investments I made in my life so far.
Sparked your interest? You can visit COCO-MAT online or you can go to one of their local stores. If you live in Belgium and you're interested to see what COCO-MAT can do for you, I recommend visiting the COCO-MAT store in Antwerp. They also have a hotel upstairs, where you can test the bed for the night. The store manager, Michael, and his colleague Charis are super-friendly staff. They give personal advice as to which mattress and pillow is best suited for you, as well as answer any questions you may have.
And last nut not least, a big shoutout to my beautiful boyfriend, who has been sleeping on the couch for months just to give me some peace at night. Jeroen, you are too sweet. I hope that now we have the COCO-MAT, we can sleep together again, feel each other’s warmth at night, cuddle, and wake up well-rested and connected. That is my goal.
Are there toxic chemicals in your mattress?
In Dutch: http://www.matras.info/gezondheidsklachten-na-aankoop-nieuw-matras.php
In English: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/12/30/mattress-toxic-chemicals.aspx
Feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below!