Galen pharm is a bimonthly informational magazine on health, distributed in pharmacies in Serbia. In the last edition, number 26 for the months of March and April, an article from Jean-Claude Ott explains the rational and the importance of natural bed systems on health and well being.
In search of the perfect sleep system
The Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine has classified sleep as one of the three pillars of health together with proper nutrition and exercise. Yet, nutrition and exercise are well understood while sleep is often misunderstood and neglected.
A never-ending quest
However, it comes as no surprise that people have always looked for the most comfortable solution to lie down and sleep. And as they get older, back pain and other aches make them even more eager to find the perfect solution. For a long time, there was nothing more than materials one could find in nature. Everything has been used and tried: tree leaves, straws, mosses, hay, feathers, wool…
Some of these solutions were certainly not that bad although they were hard to adjust and tend to get more compact over time hence diminishing comfort. Search to find solutions to that old problem made a genuine breakthrough with the advent of metal springs.
The springy mattress
Metal springs were introduced in mattresses around 1850 and literally revolutionized the comfort of beds. Springs react to the pressure of the body to provide dynamic support while a cushioned layer provides the base where the body rests. Although springs do get tired over time, they would last many years. They provide good ventilation and good distribution of pressure points of the body.
Springs are not exempt of problems tough. The push back force created by the springs is hard to control and can increase pressure points. But the main trouble with springs is the fact that they act like a giant antenna on which you are lying all night long. As we are surrounded by electro-magnetic pollution it has become such a problem that studies show the carcinogenic effect of the metal springs under the body. What used to be a good solution became plain dangerous.
The chemical mattress
By the end of the 1960s, synthetic foam mattresses took that market by storm. They were extremely cheap to manufacture at large scale and could be marketed in million ways. Chemical foams mattresses are placed on rigid or semi-rigid slats. The spring effect comes from the foam itself which has to be made rather thick.
These foams are made of petrol derivatives combined with all sort of chemicals in a recipe that only the manufacturer knows. Over time, they release toxic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) that are potentially carcinogenic and allergenic. Air cannot flow in the mattress, humidity builds up, and development of dust mites, bacteria and microscopic fungi is unavoidable. The industry came up with more chemicals to prevent that proliferation but they simply worsened the VOC problem. Not talking about the nightmare these foams are in term of environmental pollution.
The natural sleep system
As the mattress industry continued its crazy course toward a dead end, some manufacturers in Austria, Switzerland and Germany decided to go back to the drawing board with the goal of designing a completely new sleep solution that would follow these principles:
- do not harm the sleeper
- do not harm the environment
- provide lasting comfort that respects the anatomy of the body
The principles above led to a sleep system made with three components: the bed frame, the slat system and the mattress. All made without metal using only natural materials (particularly pure natural latex).
No metal solid wood bed
The bed frame provides a solid base on which the whole sleep system can rely upon. Natural and sturdy, solid wood is the best material to make it. Following the principles above, the assembly has to be made without metal (no nails, no screws) using traditional proven methods such as dovetail joints. In addition, wood finish must also be completely natural using only linseed-based oil that lets wood breath and does not release VOC (no varnish, no paint).
The ergonomic natural slat system
The natural slat system is at the core of the sleep solution. It advantageously replaces metal springs providing dynamic support and ventilation to the sleeper. It is made of solid wood slats laid on natural latex beams. The firmness as the number of beams can be adjusted to provide the right support for each individual.
The natural mattress
The mattress is made of pure natural latex for the comfort and wool for the well-being. It is not more than 12 to 15cm thick in order to be ventilated and to let the slat system work. Pure natural latex is resilient and long lasting while wool regulates heat and humidity.
After so many years of bad excess, good sleep solutions are finally available. It is time, at last, to take care of the third pillar of good health.