You’re always in a rush, or else
you’re too exhausted to have a proper conversation.
Soon enough, the long hours, the traveling, the broken sleep
have all crept into your being and become part of you,
so everyone can see it,
in your posture, your gaze, the way you move and talk.
―Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
What’s the gift that every man (and woman) needs?
Along with time, it’s the great commodity. But while wishing for more hours in the day is just a wistful pastime, one we know is impossible, the desire for sleep haunts us. We could get more sleep— we know we should— and yet we don’t. And no one else can give it to us. Right?
Well… sort of. We can’t wrap up a full night’s rest with a pretty bow, and we can’t offer a loan to pay off a sleep debt. But for many people, it’s not just the quantity of sleep they receive that’s lacking. It’s the quality. We don’t sleep deeply enough, we toss and turn, we stay too close to the surface of consciousness and are pulled awake by the slightest thing. Deep, restive sleep is necessary for our bodies to recover and repair, and for our minds to sort through the mess of our day and file everything away in mental cabinets. Over time, broken sleep means sluggish bodies not performing as they should; jumbled thoughts and disorganized memories.
I’ve had cause to reflect on all this recently as Jeff went through a period of really sucky sleeping. I don’t know what the root cause was: stress, maybe, as he burned the candle at both ends, working weekdays and renovated our dining room at nights and weekends. Overtiredness or too many cans of Monster during the day. A flaring up of his colitis. Maybe a combination of all those things. In any case, he was sleeping, but fitfully. Tossing and turning all night. Fixing his pillow over and over. Fidgeting. Sighing. Mumbling.
I don’t think I slept more than 30 minutes in one place or more than three hours total any of those nights. I snatched an hour’s nap after he left for work, before I had to wake the kids. I was going slowly insane.
Because the Universe provides (I am really more a believer in this every day; start looking for it and you will also find new people and seemingly random events to be grateful for), I was right at this time sent two talalay latex pillows to review from Plush Beds.
Besides being fun to say, talalay latex is all-natural and toxic-free; these pillows are molded from sustainably-harvested botanical latex. It also makes up the top layer of PlushBed’s mattresses.
What is latex, anyway?
I didn’t know, so I looked it up: natural latex is actually tapped from rubber trees, like sap! But not all latex is natural, so it’s important to look for that distinction.
Talalay latex is:
- mold and mildew proof, inhibiting spore growth (a big allergy trigger)
- dust mite resistant. Dust mites are the #1 source of indoor allergens; these allergens are a leading cause of asthma attacks.
- breathable and resilient
- made using a process that features biodegradable ingredients that stem from renewable resources and water-based raw materials: natural latex, air and water.
Detoxing your bedroom and especially your bed is just a smart investment. This is where you sleep. You spend a tremendous amount of time here. Your whole body comes into contact with your bed; anything toxic is lying right against your skin (your largest organ) all night long. While your body is vulnerable, repairing itself. While you breathe deeply.
So how did I sleep?
I slept so soundly that I didn’t notice a Saint Bernard climbing onto my pillow or her heavy head upon mine. Or her getting back down off the bed, for that matter.
Not only is talalay latex fun to say AND 100% natural, it’s also an awesome balance of comfy and supportive. Most pillows give too much; your head sinks down. They are comfy but not supportive. My Technogel pillow is super supportive but not comfy cozy; it’s almost like a medically prescribed pillow. It’s great for my back and overall sleep, but it’s not for snuggling in, and sometimes you do want that coziness.
These pillows are a perfect suspension of support and coziness, which is actually a really odd feeling at first. There is give, but support beneath the give. The website describes it as a “pressure-reducing, buoyant sensation” found only with natural botanical latex, and this is an apt description.
I’ve never encountered it elsewhere, but it keeps making me think of that goop I’ve seen as a science demonstration of a suspension: if you were simply step onto it, you would sink as if it was a liquid. But if you were to run across it, the impact causes resistance like it’s a solid. (OH! It’s cornstarch in water. I found a video, it’s at the end of this post. Watch it, it’s cool.)
I slipped one under Jeff’s head that week he was keeping me up all night. And glory be to talalay latex: he slept. Deeply. Without moving around. Which means I slept, too.
The Gift Everybody Needs (and a buy one, get one offer)
Not sure what to give someone this Christmas? Have a hard-to-shop-for person on your list? Give the gift of good sleep, baby. Non-toxic sleep. All-night-long sleep.
You don’t really appreciate how miraculous a good night’s rest is until you’ve been seriously deprived of it for a while.
I’m now a loudmouth advocate for sleep. YOU NEED IT. IT’S GOOD FOR YOU (15 reasons why here).
I firmly believe that if you’re planning to improve your health, improving your sleep should be just as high a priority as moving more and eating better. Sleep works with your body to maximize any other changes you make. Without restorative sleep, you’re just fighting an upward battle. Every day. Against yourself.
So to recap
- sleep is crazy important
- a non-toxic sleeping environment is ideal
- these talalay latex pillows are like sleeping on magically supportive/comfy clouds that remind me of science experiments
- they are made using sustainable practices
- they are perfect for allergy/asthma sufferers
- I sleep so well on them that even the weight of a Saint Bernard’s head does not wake me
Buy One, Get One Free
Buy one (but get two!) for someone you love. Urge them to make it a first step towards an all-natural bed: an eco-mattress, organic sheets and blankets, the works. Maybe once they see the difference in the quality of their sleep, they’ll take that sense of quality + non-toxic = healthy care for your body into the other areas of their homes, and their lives.
You can learn more about PlushBeds mattresses & pillows here. To order pillows alone, you can call 1-888-449-5738. Mention you heard about the pillows from this review and you can buy one, get a second one free (limited to one offer per household).
A natural talalay latex pillow sells for $79, $89, or $99 each (Standard, Queen, and King Sizes).
Trust me, a good pillow is an investment you will not regret.
Here’s that video. It’s fun.
Disclosure: I received two pillows to try out for review purposes. They are awesome. That, and all other opinions presented here? All mine.