Okay, let’s talk about it. I’m a Baby Boomer. I’ve been working two days a week at The Organic Mattress in Sudbury, MA for 10 years. Many women in my age range come in and express that they have trouble sleeping and ask if the mattresses overheat. I know why they ask this. Some women are more direct and just say, “I have hot flashes. I’m awake at all hours of the night. Does this mattress sleep hot?”

What often leads my peers to the gallery to explore organic mattresses is their dismay with all of the mystery ingredients that are now in conventional mattresses and the trendiness of sleep science and technology. What are these new ingredients and who has done the research?

Conventional mattresses are made with synthetic ingredients and we all know that synthetics do not breathe.  We can apply this through experience with apparel because we all know what it feels like to have polyester or vinyl next to our skin. It is suffocating. However, most people don’t think about this with conventional mattresses. Memory foam is the worst, even if you aren’t going through menopause. I hear this complaint from men and women of all ages. In an effort to counteract the problem with temperature regulation in synthetic mattresses, manufacturers are creating and patenting proprietary gel and bio-infused synthetic materials that they claim (through whose research I wonder)  wicks off moisture and adjusts body and mattress temperature to provide optimal sleep conditions. This trend alarms me. Try researching exactly what these materials are and they are all made with chemicals, still. If they just used natural ingredients, the problem would not exist.

The brands of mattresses that The Organic Mattress, Inc. carry  have organic cotton ticking and use wool as the natural flame retardant. Wool wicks off moisture and is a natural temperature regulator. For as long as men have worn suits to work, they still wear worsted wool in the Summer and aren’t overheating from it. It feels cool. The other ingredients in the organic mattresses are springs, e pocketed coils and/or all natural latex rubber. Women my age ask if they will overheat in natural latex rubber. No. It is not synthetic and it has holes. It breathes. The entire mattress breathes.

Natural fiber mattresses can cost more than synthetic fiber mattresses because natural ingredients are more expensive than synthetic ones. The advantages, however, far outweigh the expense. Your face and body aren’t absorbing chemicals all night, many of which have been associated with brain fog, ADD, Autism, thyroid disorder, lower sperm count, asthma …on and on. Chemical flame retardants are linked to physical and cognitive health problems. Natural latex rubber lasts far longer than synthetic foam. It breathes. Most “organic” or natural fiber mattresses have warranties of 15 years or longer. What our pores and bloodstreams absorb are every bit as serious as the foods that we ingest.

While I’m on my natural mattress throne, I would like to add a couple more comments about creating a better sleeping environment. Your pillow should not have sensors, monitors or play music. Don’t lay on a smart pillow and read a Kindle until you fall asleep. The fewer electronics that are in the bedroom, the better. EMF’s interfere with our brain wave patterns. Knock off all electronics a couple hours before trying to sleep. Blue light from electronics disturbs sleep. Choose natural fiber bedding accessories for airflow. Polyester sheets are increasingly popular due to their price points, but polyester doesn’t breathe.

Joni Mitchell did have it right and still has it right. We’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.