What is Organic Cotton?

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Organic Cotton

organic cotton
Organic cotton is natural cotton grown from nongenetically modified plants without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides. Organic cotton is grown in subtropical countries such as Turkey, China, and USA.

The cultivation of organic cotton promotes and enhances biodiversity and biological cycles. Organic cotton is certified by certain institutes which supervise the complete agricultural cotton growth process.

High levels of agrochemicals are used in the agriculture of conventional cotton. Cotton production uses more chemicals than any other crop. 10-16% of the world's total pesticides (including herbicides, insecticides, and defoliants) are used for production of cotton.

Disadvantages of Conventional Cotton

  • Chemicals used in the processing of cotton pollute the environment, air and water.
  • Residue of chemicals in the final product (eg. shirt, underwear, mattress or bedding) may irritate human skin.
  • Pesticides cause hazard to biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as human health.

Advantages of Organic Cotton

advantages of organic cotton
  • Organic cotton is more healthy and clean. It protects the earth and also human health.
  • It prevents contamination of water and protects the quality of water on earth.
  • Protects biodiversity and ecosystems.
  • Protects soil and prevents soil erosion.
  • Eliminates the toxic chemicals inside cotton, offers a natural product which is safe for humans.

Advantages of Using Organic Cotton for Mattresses and Bedding Products

  • Since humans spend around 1/3 of their lives sleeping, they are in contact for very long periods with their mattress and bedding products such as bed sheets, comforters, pillows and blankets. Organic cotton provides a natural and chemical free sleep environment.
  • Reduces risk of allergy and protects the skin.
  • Reduces the risk of inhaling chemicals during sleep and protects the lungs.

Image Resource for Bedding: Coyuchi Bedding, http://www.coyuchi.com/organic-bedding-collections/organic-bedding-collection-windy-point.html
"Organic Cotton is Different", AbourOrganicCotton.org, http://www.aboutorganiccotton.org/OCdiff.html

Mobile Phones and Sleep

mobile phones and sleep
In  year 2008, a study which was funded by major mobile phone makers themselves showed that people exposed to mobile radiation took longer to fall asleep and spent less time in deep sleep.

The study indicated that “during laboratory exposure to 884 MHz wireless signals components of sleep believed to be important for recovery from daily wear and tear are adversely affected". 

The itch to check in at all hours of the night or wake up to the sound of a text message disrupts our sleep, too. 

A Swedish research showed that there is a link between heavy cell phone use versus sleeping problems, stress and depression.

cell phone in bedroom
Especially young people feel like they must be available by phone around the clock. Unreturned messages could cause a feeling of guilt because the communication technology is in our hands and always reachable. Some teens even return text messages while they are asleep.

Most people do not set limits on their nighttime availability. Nearly 75% of people from the age of 18 to 44 sleep with their phones within reach, according to a 2012 Time/Qualcomm poll. That number falls off slightly in middle age. Leaving the phone in another room is a behaviour as common as as keeping the mobile phone in the bedroom only among people who are 65 and older.

"How Mobile Phones Affect Sleep", Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/15/phones-sleep-mobile-_n_2680805.html

Sleep Deprivation and Alcohol

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What Happens When Sleepless People Use Alcohol?

Sleep and alcohol
Alcohol has mild sedative qualities, but it often causes poor sleep.

Studies have shown that alcohol use is more common among people who sleep poorly. The reason for this is interesting: 

Alcohol acts as a mild sedative and therefore it is commonly used as a sleep aid among people who have sleep problems such as insomnia. But this situation creates a more negative effect on the problem. Because the sedative quality of alcohol is only temporary. As alcohol is processed by the body over a few hours it begins to stimulate the parts of the brain that cause arousal. In many cases this causes awakenings and sleep problems later in the night.


Warm Milk and Sleep

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Does Warm Milk Aid Falling Asleep?
Does warm milk aid sleep?

Milk contains two different sleep promoters: melatonin hormone and the amino acid tryptophan. However, the amount of both of these substances in one glass is minute, making it unlikely that a glass of milk would help you fall asleep faster. Despite this, there is evidence that warm milk may provide some psychological benefits to winding down. We connect the drink to memories of our mother, home and the comfort of childhood that can help us relax and decompress. Since it soothes and calms your mind, milk may aid in falling asleep. Drink up!

Dr. Mehmet Öz, Dr. Oz, http://www.doctoroz.com

The Oldest Mattress in the World

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The Oldest Mattress in the World Was Made 77.000 Years Ago

Archaeologists Had Found The World's Oldest Known Mattress In South Africa

world's oldest mattress
The mattress consists of layers of reeds and rushes. It was discovered at the bottom of a pile of bedding made from compacted grasses and leafy plants. The bed was found at the Sibudu Cave Site in KwaZulu-Natal and the oldest mats belonging to the bed date to 77.000 years ago.

"What we have is evidence of plant bedding that is 50.000 years older than any previous site anywhere in the world," said Lyn Wadley of the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

The compacted layers of fossil plants show that the bedding was periodically burned, possibly to limit pests and garbage.

Insect-Repelling "Top Sheet"

What's more interesting, researchers believe the ancient people added a "top sheet" to the bedding made of insect-repelling greenery, possibly to ward off biting bugs such as mosquitoes and flies.

The leaves are from the tree Cryptocarya Woodii, or river wild-quince, a medicinal plant that produces insect-killing chemicals.

“While there's no evidence that the cave dwellers suffered from bed bugs, they likely used the leaves to counteract body lice. At an estimated 30 centimeters high, the mattress would've been a "very comfortable" and "quite long-lasting form of bedding” Lyn Wadley said.

"Oldest Known Mattress Found; Slept Whole Family", National Geographic, http://bit.ly/sTZMRU

Better Sleep for Beauty

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The growth hormone is secreted more during sleep, and this makes the skin remain more lively, fresh, shiny and young

One of the golden keys of your health is "a good night sleep". Better sleep is one of the main factors which determine the quality of our life.

There are hundreds of research studies indicating that sleep deprived people are more prone to heart attack, paralysis, heart rythm disorders (arrhythmia), hypertension, weight gain and even obesity, depression and many other diseases.

beauty sleep
When we can not sleep well at night we become tired, exhausted, nervous, and tense; showing nervous bursts at unexpected times, having difficulty in focusing on our work, and having difficulty in learning. Our work success is significantly reduced, and what is more important, we become more prone to making accidents.

Sleep is not just a "break", it is a curing process in which the body heals itself, repairs problems which occur during awake periods, cures sores and wounds.

When we look at the research studies made in this field, we will see in near future that sleep deprivation is correlated to many more health problems. According to experts, if you can not sleep well, your risk of obesity and diabetes is increased. Risk of sudden death seems to be higher for people who have sleep problems. People with sleep deprivation have a higher possibility of facing memory problems and even dementia during their old ages.

Growth Hormone Increases During Sleep

sleep and beauty
Sleep has another very important benefit: Better sleep makes people more beautiful. The growth hormone is secreted more during sleep, and this makes the skin remain more lively, fresh, shiny and young. The amount of growth hormone in blood increases with regular sleep, increasing production of collagen and elastic fibers (fibrils) which are fundamental building blocks of human skin and thus it adds humidity to the skin.

Furthermore, growth hormone (somatropin or somatotropin) is beneficial for hair and nails too.

A good sleep is a pill of youth and the expression "beauty sleep" is very well deserved.

Some Natural Sleep Aids
  • Passiflora
  • Valerian
  • Melissa
  • SAMe (S-adenosyl-methionine)
  • Camomile tea

Note: You can talk to your doctor and/or dietician before deciding to use a herbal supplement and for choosing among the alternatives.

Prof. Dr. Osman Müftüoğlu, http://www.hurriyet.com.tr