Robyn Openshaw
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What baby sleeps on. And why it matters.

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Oct 26, 2012

sleeping babyYou do it 8 hours a day, if you’re the average American.  I do it 6 hours, since I converted to a whole-foods, plant-based diet. It’s all I need.

Sleep. We think about it very little. Many Americans have accepted that even though they do so much of it, they rarely feel rested.

The idea you need 8 hours is based on American averages. Most people are eating heavy, toxic food for dinner and need an extra two hours to recover, because their bodies are working overtime while they sleep. Instead of RESTING.

I’ve become a real believer in the role a mattress plays in the quality of sleep received. I used to sleep on this crappy Craft-Matic bed.  My dad worked for them and got it for me, free. The only good thing I have to say about it is that it was nice to have for the 6 days I didn’t walk, after my ATV accident in June 2011. Because I could move it up and down to get out of bed, when I was in excruciating pain with two broken ribs and a bruised kidney.

I used to look forward to getting away on my business travels, where the Marriott and Hyatt beds let me sleep far better than I did at home.

Now it’s the exact opposite. I now dread sleeping in even high-end hotels, because my IntelliBED at home is so awesome.

Lots of you took advantage of the group buy we did on IntelliBED last month. (Right now they’re letting us leave it open: check out the webinar we did with IntelliBED founder Bob Rasmussen. And check out the deal you can’t get anywhere else, just for GSG readers.

The webinar covers how sleep is affected by the support and comfort that the mattress gives, and we talked about toxicity in a mattress. Did you know your mattress off-gasses? I didn’t know either! Did you know baby mattresses do, too, and that research suggests a link to SIDS?

We talked mostly on the webinar about adult mattresses.  Today let’s talk about what babies sleep on.

It took me five years, several miscarriages, lots of fertility testing and drugs, to get pregnant with Kincade. Before he was born, his twin died. I was terrified that SIDS would take my baby who I spent years trying to bring into our family. I studied everything I could. I learned of a potential vaccine link and stopped immunizing him. I learned that baby boys die of SIDS at age 4 months, at a higher rate, if they have a cold. I was terrified of him being around sick people.

Crazy to think that a crib mattress could poison a baby, but there are, in fact, a number of toxic substances in bedding and mattresses that our faces are buried in, for one-third of our lives.

US News and World Report asks the question “Does your child really have ADHD?” HERE.

The article says,

“A lack of sleep can damage brain neurons, particularly in the prefrontal cortex region,” says Karen Bonuck, lead author and professor of family and social medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. This may be due to a decrease in oxygen and an increase in carbon dioxide levels; interference with sleep’s restorative processes; and a disruption in the balance of cellular and chemical systems. What can result is inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity—the classic trademarks of ADHD. When the disorder is suspected in a child, “nighttime sleep patterns should be reviewed with the primary care doctor,” says Bonuck. “Parents may even wish to video or audio tape the problematic behavior as a first step.”

What if it isn’t ADHD at all, but our kids suffering from poor sleep beginning when they are babies?

A related article in the same publication entitled “Nine Drug-Free Approaches to Managing ADHD” suggests that two of the things I write about constantly:

….that diet and good sleep on non-toxic materials are two of the most important approaches to managing ADHD.

When women get pregnant, they are encouraged to increase their sleep to greater than 8 hours. A study from the University of California, San Francisco reveals that an overwhelming percentage of pregnant women in the U.S. have high levels of toxic environmental chemicals in their bodies.

The trial found that out of the 268 pregnant women tested for toxins, 100 percent showed traces of several individual chemicals in their blood or urine. They include certain PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, PFCs, phenols, PBDEs, phthalates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and perchlorate.

Two new studies have provided even more evidence that toxic chemicals used in everyday products contaminate the bodies of pregnant women, who then pass the chemicals on to their fetuses before birth. Scientists from both the Harvard School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that certain chemicals like PCBs, toxic flame retardants, and Teflon chemicals move across the placenta to the fetus, with concentrated levels found in breast milk.

Most women in the U.S. are sleeping on a modern mattress that is full of synthetic foams that contain many of these toxins.

This research has common themes: the need to get better sleep from the time we are babies to when we reach adulthood, plus the need to eliminate as many toxins as possible from our living space.

IntelliBED products help with both. There is a lot of evidence out there suggesting that one of the biggest off-gassing offenders is petroleum based polyurethane foam (including memory foam).  Many of the crib mattresses being sold today are full of it, as is almost every adult mattress.

Knowing that, IntelliBED designed a crib mattress that has no foam of any kind in it.  Their “Just Gel, Baby!  Crib Mattress” is made of a plush layer of Intelli-Gel.  Intelli-Gel is so safe, it was approved for use in baby-bottle nipples, and is used in many toys.  It is made of food-grade materials and has been shown to be non-toxic and hypo-allergenic.

The cover of the Just Gel, Baby! Crib mattress is made from organic cotton.  And they don’t use spray-on additives to make their crib mattresses meet the Federal Burn Standards required by the Federal Government.  They use a non-off-gassing silica fiber that is naturally burn resistant.

Pregnant moms may not be able to afford a new mattress, but a great “budget” option to solve these problem may be an Intelli-Gel Mattress Make Over.

This is a topper made from Intelli-Gel, with almost no foam in it.  It will not only provide substantially more comfort increasing the likelihood of better sleep, it will also form a barrier separating you from the surface of your old mattress and all those potential toxins.

When you order a new Just Gel, BABY! Crib Mattress, the Mattress Make-Over or a new mattress, use the “greensmoothiegirl” coupon code I worked out for you, and get a 10% discount plus free shipping – it is the best deal you can get.

Visit to order. Before you check out, click “Have a Coupon Code” and put the code in.

Posted in: News, Parenting, Research, Robyn Recommends, Testimonials

3 thoughts on “What baby sleeps on. And why it matters.”

Leave a Comment
  1. katie says:

    Hi Robin,

    I am trying to purchase the Just Gel Baby crib mattress with your code “greensmoothiegirl” and it is saying my coupon code is not valid? Am I doing something wrong or did I miss the deadline?


    p.s. I am desperately trying to move my 1 year old from our bed to her crib (we have a baby on the way) and am trying EVERYTHING possible, I think this mattress would help, any other suggestions?

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