Mattresses are a big purchase and one that you don’t want to have to make too often. A good friend of my mother’s purchased a new conventional (non-organic) mattress over a month ago now. It was a top of the line latex mattress for around $4000.00. It all sounded quite decadent with its multi layers of foams – like buying a layered sponge cake. Gail had been suffering from lower back and hip pain, restless sleep – waking up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason and finding it very difficult to fall back asleep – and a general lack of energy. She decided, and rightly so, that her 12 year old mattress needed to be replaced, that it was likely contributing to her growing health concerns. It was time to make an investment in her health and happiness.
I went to visit her about 2 weeks after she had received her new mattress; I was looking forward to hearing all the benefits of buying a new bed. When she opened the door my jaw almost hit the floor, she looked dreadful. Was my memory eluding me or did Gail look like she had aged 10 years? I didn’t dare say anything but asked subtly if she had been sleeping well on her new bed and if her symptoms had been alleviated by her new investment.
Needless to say Gail’s lip started to tremble followed by a whimpering – “I haven’t slept in 2 weeks”, she was completely distraught. She had been getting headaches nightly and a rash started to develop on her arms and legs. I asked to see her bed and upon entering her bedroom I was immediately hit by a strong stench of chemical smell coming from her new bed. I couldn’t believe the strong odour. Gail was in shock and in disbelief about the whole affair, she didn’t know what to do, her husband was returning from a business trip in a couple of days and she was the one who convinced him that this was a wise purchase. What would he say now when he saw Gail in such a mess? I asked Gail if she could smell the chemical odour, she said that she smelt it only for the first few nights and then she couldn’t smell it anymore, only occasionally when coming back into her bedroom at the end of the day. I explained to her that this is a very common occurrence with the human sense of smell, the medical term is olfactory syndrome. It’s when you lose your sense of smell to a certain scent after a period of time or excess exposure to that smell. Gail couldn’t smell the chemicals anymore, not because they had disappeared but because her body had become completely saturated with the smell and therefore couldn’t actually distinguish the smell any longer. This is a very dangerous situation to be in as your natural smell warning system can’t alert you any longer to dangerous chemical toxins. There are literally dozens of carcinogenic and nerve disrupting chemicals in all conventional mattress, and particularly in synthetic latex and foam products. They can cause headaches, sleeping disorders, lung cancer, and hormone disruption (particularly in children and menopausal women). I told her to take a long walk in the freshest air possible and then return to her bedroom, she would then be able to once again smell the chemicals for a short period of time ensuring her that the off-gassing chemicals had not disappeared but were still there and probably would be for at least 7 years. Gail couldn’t believe that products like these were allowed to be sold, she said – “no wonder everyone is getting sick and cancer they days!!” I told her that there was absolutely no government or independent regulations on the chemicals used in conventional mattresses and that it was only recently that the consumers have become informed about the hidden ingredients these companies are using in our beds. I explained to her that many people have been experiencing multiple health problems due to chemical exposure from their own beds. And that new studies are finding these chemicals to cause neurological and reproductive problems, thyroid disorders, and cancer.
As it turns out Gail luckily could return her conventional mattress for a full refund as it was still in the trial period time frame. I helped her pick out a new organic mattress online that suited her and her husband’s needs and sleeping habits. It was shipped immediately and free of charge to her home that week. I was there when it arrived and helped her make up her new bed with her new organic cotton bedding and sheets that she had also just purchased. The organic mattress was gorgeous, it was extremely well tailored and stitched, there were no smells at all and the ingredients of the mattress were listed right there on the attached label. There were no hidden chemicals or ingredients just pure natural materials – the difference between the conventional mattress and the organic mattress was like night and day. Needless to say, Gail slept like a baby, she didn’t wake up in the night, the contouring properties of the organic mattress alleviated all her hip and back pains and her energy increased dramatically. It’s been over 3 months now and her and her husband couldn’t be happier and they both look like they’ve been vacationing in Hawaii for months. She was that impressed with the organic mattress that she purchased one for her daughter and son in law and also bought an organic crib mattress for her new grandson.
Sleep tight Gail and thank you for sharing your story!!!