Psstt.. every Wednesday I write a post called “Why I” and last week I wrote one on Why I Don’t Refrigerate my Backyard Eggs — just in case you missed it.
Have you ever been sucked into the rabbit hole of natural living?
First you learn of animals being raised in cages, then of GMOs, then of chemicals in food, then in chemicals in beauty products, then you learn about WIFI radiation and how bad it is for you and even worse for your kids, and by then, you feel like everything you thought was safe was not. And even the safe things you thought were safe, are not safe.
It’s like it’s one thing after another and then you’re left wondering if you should just live in a bubble because everything seems to have some sort of level of toxicity.
I totally get it — trust me, I do.
Taking things with a grain of unrefined sea salt
In the past 3 years that I’ve been making this lifestyle change, I have learned to take all information with a grain of salt. I absolutely think it is important to read as much of the information out there instead of just sticking your head in the sand. I equally believe that not everything will work for everyone and the most crucial aspect of taking in #AllTheInformation is to figure out what works best for your family.
Yes, chlorine is terrible for my skin — but we still go in the pool because we enjoy it. Yes, when eating out we are subjected to (way)less-than-perfect quality of food — but we still go out to eat every once in a while because sometimes a mom and dad just need to get out of the house and enjoy time together (and yes, sometimes I need a break from cooking). Yes, sometimes I eat potato chips fried in safflower oil because, well, I love potato chips.
I kind of went off on a tangent but the point is, it’s important to pick and choose your battles. I think the more you allow yourself to worry about every little thing, the more unhealthy you become — mentally, physically, and emotionally.
The flip to the flop
That being said, there ARE some things that I don’t allow in our home and some precautionary measures we take that help our health for the better. Because a majority of my job requires me to be at the computer, I use a protective blanket that blocks radiation from entering my uterus and onto baby girl. I pay attention to how much time Andrew is exposed to my phone because of radiation and the harmful effects that can happen to his body.
I also don’t use a night light in his room because I truly believe it affects quality of sleep. From the very beginning of Andrew’s life, when he would wake in the night in our room, I would make sure not to turn the light on to keep the mood sleepy. I had no rhyme or reason for doing this other than I didn’t him to think the light meant it was daytime.
When we moved him into his crib in his room, we had a nightlight for maybe a month or so but I found that it was SO bright. I mean, have you ever tried to sleep well with a bright light shining in your face? Since he was already accustomed to dark rooms, I ditched the night light, added blackout curtains (we bought ours at Target but you can also find them online here), and used this sound and projector machine to help him fall asleep. I liked that the light would turn off after a certain period of time (usually he was asleep at that point) and then he could sleep in dark. In hindsight, that type of light could possibly affect sleep but in our case, it didn’t.
Day light vs Night light
Fast forward to a year or so ago and I read an article about the harmful effects light can have on our natural sleep patterns. I mean, when you think logically about it all, 100’s of years ago, we woke with the day light and went to sleep when it became dark. Our bodies were naturally in-tune to rhythm.
Now we have lights that fall into the “blue light” category: night lights, street lights shining from outside the window, TV’s, phones, computers, and all of those can have an impact on our natural body rhythms to fall asleep at night. These blue lights are similar to the light we experience during the day which can confuse the body at night when it’s time to go to sleep and reduce the quality of sleep we actually get.
According to this post,
Light inhibits the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that naturally promotes sleep. “Even if you doze off, light can be detected through your eyelids—and your brain won’t produce melatonin if it’s confused between night and day,” says Joyce Walsleben, PhD, associate professor at the New York University School of Medicine. “You want as much darkness in your bedroom as you can handle without tripping over things.” (source)
Not too mention, lack of quality sleep also affects our whole body health and can lead to serious problems (source). For me personally, I can totally tell how much better I sleep when the room is completely dark and especially how much better I feel in the morning. We actually need to get some black out curtains in our room because there is a street light that shines in from across the street.
When it becomes too dark
Maybe less than a year ago, Andrew mentioned that his room was too dark if he ever woke in the middle of the night.
To solve this problem, we bought this Himalayan pink salt lamp and put it in the hallway on the dimmer setting. We usually close his door at night but now if he ever gets up and needs to use the bathroom, he has light. If he ever says his room is too dark, we open his door halfway and the light that filters into his room is very mild. Because the salt lamp emits a soft, natural pink glow it does not disrupt sleep and we get the added benefits of it naturally purifying the air.
Since we have been using the salt lamp, Andrew has never complained about it being too dark and generally gets great sleep every night.