Monday, May 23, 2011

Make the bedroom an ideal place for rest. It's where we spend half of our lifetime.

Abe V Rotor

House dust mite (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) greatly
magnified under electron microscope.
It makes the bedroom its home.

The one place we least expect to find dirt in is under our bed.

Here clouds of talc powder settle down, particles slowly crumble from paper, paint, plastic, clothes and foam as they slowly disintegrate. Flakes that fall off daily from our skin and hair attract countless mites that live with us in our room. Wiping and sweeping often miss them stuck in corners and crevices.

We sneeze as if struck by allergy. Our nostrils clog and we mistake our misery for colds. Our sleep is shallow and disturbed. When humidity is high our room smells musky. Imagine how bad the smell is for those who are bed smokers.

If you suspect to be a victim of this condition, these are the things you can do.

1. Have a general cleaning in your room every weekend. It is best to take the bed out so that you can expose it under the sun for at least two hours. This will drive out the mites, bedbugs and vermin. Scrub, beat if it is foam, and vacuum it if feasible. Clean the room walls and ceiling with warm water and mild detergent. As for the floor scrub and polish it.

2. Simplify and organize your room. The fewer things we have in our room the better. Take out those books, magazines, and old newspapers. Discard unneeded cosmetics and medicine. Keep no food in the bedroom. Remove those racks and shelves that tend to accumulate dust. And keep that computer out of your room. You can have a TV, radio, study table, and a few of your “favorite things”. Don't make your room a collector’s showcase of figurines, dolls, posters, Mementos, etc.

3. Next, clean the apparador or closet. You are likely to encounter another pest there – the silverfish (Lepisma saccharina). This is an insect that eats on old clothes and paper. It is a most primitive of all insects, and perhaps the most resistant. It is a living fossil, older than the dinosaur. If your barong (Filipino formal shirt) bears some poke holes, it is likely the work of this pest. The silverfish likes starchy materials, and natural fiber.

Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) feeds on clothes and paper

Other tenants in your room are the fungi. Fungi live on old materials, especially under humid conditions. They are the moldy growth on your shoes, bags, at the edge of the mirror, on top of cosmetic cream, on the armchairs. They cause buni, an-an, and athlete’s foot. Because they cannot produce their food by photosynthesis, unlike the plants, they have to become saprophytes (nature’s scavengers), subsisting on almost anything, including the lens of the camera.

4. The number one enemy of fungi is sunlight. Allow sunlight to penetrate into your room as much as possible. Do not store moist materials, especially clothes in your room. Expose fungi-prone materials like shoes and bags to the sun by bringing them out, or letting the sunshine in. Open the case and click your camera directly toward the sun if you intend not to use it for sometime.

5. Your room should be clean, cool and dry. Air conditioning is good, but a room that allows natural ventilation and sunlight is best. The ideal kind of room is one integrated with the outdoors where one step leads to the garden and to nature, which is the essence of the American bungalow architecture, and the bahay kubo concept. Here the confluence is not only defined by aesthetics, but by spiritual communion with nature.

The bedroom is where we can find most often time to reflect and meditate. Away from the maddening crowd, we seek refuge from the fast pace of life outside. Here is a poem for meditation.

Dust in My Room

Alone in my room, I wrote and wrote:
The door was locked, my meal cold;
With clumsy hands, my pen dropped,
On all fours I groped in the dark.

There to a curb, it rolled and rolled.
Into a mat of dust and web.
Whence I found, a old tale untold
Of my life like the tide in ebb.

Words flowed, like a river on rush,
To be weaned, yearning to be free;
Chronicler and vanguard, oh dust,
You led me out of my misery.

Our health is greatly influenced by our room, the place we rest our tired bodies, where we keep ourselves away from the rigors of work. This is where we spend half of our lifetime. It is the very core of Home, Sweet Home.

Other tips in making our room an ideal place of rest and good health.

1. Never make your bedroom your office. By all means, never make it your working area, dining room, guest room.

2. Avoid making your bedroom a storeroom. You are only inviting cockroaches, mosquitoes and flies, and even rats.

3. Secure doors and windows with screen. Be sure to clean screen regularly as they are dirt traps. Check on any possible passageway of vermin, especially mice and rats.

4. If you share your room with others, have a common agreement on good house keeping.

5. If you have a problem of bedbugs, flea and mites, the most practical way is to place some dried leaves of madre de cacao (Gliricida sepium), or neem tree (Aziderachta asiatica) under the mat. Consult a pest control officer. To rid your room of mosquitoes check your screen. Do not use chemical spray or aerosol. If you cannot help it, use a plant derivative insecticide such as pyrethrum and rotenone. Allow at least three hours before occupying the room. Do not spray inside the houe. As a rule, the presence of vermin in your room is an indicator of unsanitary condition.

6. If your room is newly painted, do not occupy it. Paint fumes are harmful. Place some pieces of charcoal at a corner to absorb the gas molecules in the air, thereby reducing the odor. Place a bowl of natural vinegar in a corner to reduce chemical and foul odor.

7. If you are building a house or designing your bedroom, present your plan to the architect and hear his suggestions.

8. Keep noise levels as low as possible. Piped in music can be soothing. That goes with subdued light.

9. Always be prepared in case of emergency to find the fire exit or the nearest gate.

10. Lastly, don't forget to hang a crucifix and provide a handy bible to remind us that we are not alone in our room. For other faiths it is equally important to exercise devotion and reverence to God in the bedroom. After all there is but one God that binds us all.

Allergy-proofing the bedroom
  • Strictly don't smoke
  • Keep pets out.
  • Encase sleeping place
  • Replace sheets regularly
  • Run your aircon through filter
  • Replace the blinds with curtain
  • Steer clear of soft seats
  • Filter the vents
  • Choose pillows and comforters wisely
  • Wash away the pollen
  • Leave flowers outside
  • Take off shoes before entering
  • Give Teddy a bath

Reference: The Living with Nature Handbook by AV Rotor, Ust Publishing House, Manila

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