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Author Archives: omiclaire

The Science and Value of Organic

There are (literally) tons of benefits of choosing organic products. Check out this report from The Organic Center recently released by the USDA about the impact you can have by making an organic purchasing choice.   

The Organic Center Organic Report

For the full report click HERE.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Should Americans Fear Their Furniture?

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James Redford and Kirby Walker, directors of “Toxic Hot Seat” at Napa Valley Film Festival in California

Airing tonight on HBO is a documentary that explores the chemical-laden flame retardants contained in much of today’s furniture.

Here is an excerpt from the article, Should Americans Fear Their Furniture? by New York Times author Jane Margolies:

The pet hairs and red wine stains on sofas across America, it turns out, should be the least of our concerns. The real issue is what is in the foam cushions we curl up on every day: up to two pounds of flame retardants.

In their HBO documentary “Toxic Hot Seat,” scheduled to be aired on Monday, the directors James Redford and Kirby Walker disclose that these chemicals, as used in home furnishings, do not stop fires. They do, however, whoosh out of seat cushions when we plop down, hitching a ride on airborne dust and ending up in our bodies. They have been linked to cancer and other health disorders.

The film explores how a 1975 California law requiring retardants (Technical Bulletin 117) became widely adopted. And it follows the firefighters, scientists, health advocates, state legislators and investigative journalists who brought attention to the chemicals, leading to a recent reform of the California mandate — which the directors, who spoke from their homes in the San Francisco area, applaud.”

For the full article click HERE.

This issue was previous explored in the OMI blog “Makers of Flame Retardants Manipulate Research Findings.”

We at OMI continue to use a safer system that allows us to use organic wool as our only flame retardant. As a result, our mattresses are able to pass federal flame tests without the use of toxic chemicals or silica barriers. To use any form of chemical flame retardant in our products would violate our ethical standards and integrity. We stand by our purity so you and your family can have a safer place to rest your heads at night.

To learn more about OMI and the certified products we offer, click HERE

Are You Sleeping on an Oil Field?

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Here is an excerpt from the article “Are You Sleeping on an Oil Field?” by Channaly Philipp, about the health risks of traditional foam mattresses and the benefits of organic:

If you sleep on a conventional mattress (like most people do), you’re spending a third of your life lying on toxic chemicals. If this little-known fact has you tossing and turning, read on.

Since the 1960s, mattresses have been made of polyurethane foam, a material derived from petroleum that emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The popular memory foam mattresses are made from this material.

But VOCs are only part of the cocktail of chemicals in foam mattresses. Required to be flame-resistant, foam mattresses are imbued with flame-retardant chemicals that can cause cancer and nervous-system disorders.

Walt Bader, a sufferer of a condition called multiple chemical sensitivity and the author of “The Toxic Bedroom,” had several mattresses analyzed by a lab in Atlanta in 2005. One memory foam model was found to emit 61 chemicals.

The next year, he published the first definitive list of chemicals outgassing from memory foam mattresses.

Nine of these chemicals are recognized as carcinogens by just about every significant health organization in the world,” Bader said on his website. “And do you know what has happened? Nothing.”

The outgassing is not only nefarious to people who suffer from respiratory issues, but some of the chemicals are also known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.

As more people become educated about what they’re sleeping on, they are turning to organic mattresses and bedding in greater numbers.

.Organic mattresses, made of natural materials such as wool, cotton, and rubber latex, present an alternative to conventional mattresses and are becoming increasingly popular.

Wool is a natural fire retardant, and is excellent for regulating temperature and air circulation—a boon for anyone suffering from night sweats. The natural materials are also resistant to dust mites, which are a trigger for asthma and allergies.”

For the full article, click HERE.

You snooze, you….break the law?

SnoringOuthouse Who would have thought that there are laws about sleeping? Where are these ridiculous laws, and why did lawmakers feel that they were necessary?

Check out these strange sleep laws:

  • Tulsa, Oklahoma has a law that prohibits people from sleeping while wearing boots. However, wearing shoes to bed is perfectly acceptable.
  • In Minneapolis, Minnesota it is illegal to sleep naked, even in your own bed, in a home that you own.
  • In different parts of Maryland, a woman may not go through her husband’s pockets while he is sleeping.
  • In Clawson, Michigan they have a law that makes it legal for a farmer to sleep with his pigs, cows, horses, goats, or chickens.
  • In the state of Washington it is illegal to sleep in another person’s outhouse without having their permission first.
  • In Logan County, Colorado it is illegal to kiss a sleeping woman.
  • Although it is thought to be common knowledge that sleeping while driving is highly dangerous, Tennessee ensures that there is no confusion by having a law that makes driving a car while sleeping illegal.
  • Pilots in Tulsa, Oklahoma must sleep 10 hours before flying two planes in one day.
  • Pennsylvania law prohibits people from sleeping on top of a refrigerator outdoors.
  • In Delaware it is not only illegal to sleep on a public bench it is also illegal to pretend to be sleeping.
  • Sleep laws do not apply to just humans but to animals, too. In Santa Ana, California it is illegal to let a horse sleep in a bakery.

So when you go to sleep tonight, make sure you are not wearing your boots while sleeping on top of your outdoor refrigerator (but only if you are in Tulsa or Pennsylvania).

Add A Little Softness To Your Life

As you are transitioning your bedding from summer to winter, think about adding a layer of comfort to the surface of your mattress with a natural rubber topper.

The Allura

Allura

This 2″-deep natural rubber topper offers surface softness without taking away the support of your mattress.  It’s made with a single core of USDA certified organic natural rubber latex sap, and covered with our signature OrganicPedic® knit quilting.

For more information about OMI pillow tops, click HERE.

 

Foundations 101: Understanding Support and Function

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When buying a new bed, you might generally think about finding the right mattress, then dressing up your bed with new linens.  Often the foundation for a mattress is completely overlooked.  A foundation not only provides support, but can also help the mattress in other ways.

First, the foundation ensures proper air circulation, which helps lessen the chance of mold and mildew.  Second, it provides fabric-to-fabric contact so the mattress does not rub against a rough surface such as the wood or metal of a frame. Lastly, it allows you to adjust the height of the mattress from the floor.

Natural rubber mattresses are recommended to be placed on wood-slat foundations, while innerspring mattresses should be placed on box-spring foundations.

OMI offers both types of foundation:

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Our 8″ box-spring foundation is constructed with 2″-thick boards of cabinet-grade, untreated, kiln-dried fir. The heavy-duty steel springs (free of potential toxins from solvents and oils) are covered with a layer of durable organic cotton canvas, padded with organic cotton batting, then upholstered with the same organic quilting materials as our mattresses.

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Our wood-slat foundation is made of cabinet-grade, untreated, kiln-dried fir. A layer of durable organic canvas is placed over the 2″-thick boards, padded with certified organic cotton and pure wool batting, and upholstered with the same organic quilting as our mattresses. Slats are spaced approximately 2.5″ apart. The wood-slat foundation is made in several different heights: 2”, 3.5”, 8”, 10”, and 12.”

You don’t need a foundation if you have a platform bed. The slats on the platform bed should be between 2” and 3” apart and between 2” and 3” wide.  If your platform bed consists of a solid surface, the mattress will not ventilate properly and will be subject to mold or mildew. We recommend our Wool Underbed Pad to protect your mattress from rubbing on the slats and developing wear over time.

WoolUnderbedPad

For more information about OMI or to find a retailer near you, click HERE.

25 Facts You May Not Know About Dreaming

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Check out these great and unusual facts, compiled by List 25, that you may have never heard before.

If you do not have time to watch the video we have written them out for you:

25. The average human spends 6 years of his or her life dreaming.

24. Ancient Romans submitted their significant or unusual dreams to the Senate for interpretation.

23. The Beatty Papyrus is the oldest dream dictionary in existence. It was written around 1350 B.C.

P._Chester_Beatty_I,_folio_13-14,_recto 22. Birth order influences the world of progression of dreams. Men generally dream about more violence, and first-born females tend to have more aggressive characters. On the other hand, first-born males tend to dream about themselves in a more positive light than their younger siblings.

21. People who grew up watching black-and-white TV when they were younger dream in more monochrome settings while people who grew up watching color TV have more vivid and colorful dreams.

Family_watching_television_1958 20. Visually impaired people dream too. Those who lost their sight later in life can see visual images in their dreams, while blind people who don’t dream visually can dream in sound, smell, and touch.

19.  We only dream of faces of real people we have encountered but might not remember, because people usually see hundreds of faces every day.

18. Between 18 – 38% of people say they have experienced at least one precognitive dream, and about 70% have experienced déjà vu.

17. Daydreaming, according to psychologists, may be related to dreams that occurred during sleep.  However, they require different mental processes.

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16. Within 5 minutes of waking up, half of dreams are forgotten. Within 10 minutes, 90% are forgotten. In just 10 minutes, however, people are more likely to remember their dreams when they are awakened during REM sleep.

15. Dreams of unpreparedness, falling, flying, and public humiliation come from common human anxieties and seem to transcend social and economic boundaries.

Flying_to_Paradise_Stock_7_by_SimplyBackgrounds 14. The inventor of the sewing machine, Elias Howe, said the cannibals who chased him in his nightmares held spears that looked like the needle he designed.

13. Falling dreams typically occur in the early stages of sleep. The muscle spasms of these dreams are called “myoclonic jerks.”

12. Even fetuses in the womb dream.  Even with the lack of visual stimuli, scientists think their dreams come from sound and touch sensations.

11. Experienced by 40% of the population, sleep paralysis occurs when a sleeper awakens and recognizes his or her surroundings, but is unable to move for up to one minute.

10. Around 70% of characters in men’s dreams are other men, whereas women dream of an equal amount of men and women.

9. Plato believed that dreams originate in the organs of the belly. He described the liver as the “biological seed of the dreams.”

8. Research involving students suggests that waking someone up at the beginning of REM stage of sleep can cause irritability and hallucinations, and can eventually lead to psychosis.

7. William Shakespeare used dreams to help develop characters and advance the plot in many of his plays.

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6. The Greeks regarded dreams as messages from the gods, and would sometimes sleep in sacred places to conjure significant dreams.

5. Children tend to have shorter dreams than adults do, and 40% of them are nightmares.  Scientists believe this is because dreams act as a coping mechanism.

4. Studies have revealed that animals (mammals in particular) dream just like humans.

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3. Known as “Dream Incorporation,” while sleeping you may include or incorporate sounds and stimuli from your surrounding environment into your dream. For example, if your brother is playing a loud guitar next door, you may dream you are at a concert.

2. The word “dream” is most related to the West Germanic “draugmus,” meaning “deception,” “illusion,” or “phantom.”

1. Toddlers do not appear in their own dreams until the age of 3 or 4.

Which fact did you find the most surprising?  Comment below!

Beat the Chill This Fall With New OMI Blankets

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As the hot nights of summer are coming to an end, fall is bringing cooler weather.  It may be time to think about adding a blanket to your bed.  Here are our new offerings for staying cozy and warm on chilly autumn nights:

Thermal Blanket  

CrepeWeave

Starting at $55 MSRP

Perfect for lightweight warmth or for layering in colder seasons. The pebbly textured fabric is 100% organic cotton in a crepe weave. Offered from crib to king sizes.

To learn more about how to dress your bed, check out our previous blogs “How Does Your Mattress Stack Up?” and “Mattress Protection: The OMI Mattress Pad Line”.

Sleep Cool This Summer with a Wooly Pillowtop

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Most people would assume that wool is used only to keep you warm on cold winter’s nights.  They don’t realize how amazing wool is, and that it can actually help you keep cool in the summer.

When customers mention that they are getting too hot when they sleep, we often suggest either the Wooly pillowtop or the Wooly Lite.  Both these pillowtops are filled with plush layers of our organic Eco-Wool.  Wool is a great natural heat regulator, and actually wicks body heat and moisture away from you during warm nights.  (It also helps regulate your body temperature during the cold winter months, so it’s a great choice year-round.)  The Wooly is covered in certified-organic cotton sateen, and its feel closely resembles that of a feather bed, adding a nice, luxurious feel to any mattress.

The Wooly (3”)

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The 3″-deep Eco-Wool Wooly is well suited for sleepers who need a softer surface depth or who enjoy a bed with a “nesting” feel. (Depth is approximate.)

Starting at $545

The Wooly Lite (1.5″)

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The economical 1.5″-deep Eco-Wool Wooly Lite is perfectly suited for the sleeper who needs just a little extra surface cushioning. (Depth is approximate.)

Starting at $385

Contact your local retailer for more information; click HERE to find a store near you.

Add a little softness to you bed and beat the summer heat!

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