The Science of Sleep and Why Wool is Better
Scientifically proven: humans sleep better under wool than under other textiles and fibres.
Recent research studies have proven that, under many conditions, people sleep better if their sleep and bedding products are made from wool.
Known for the natural features of comfort and quality, wool bedding products, such as wool duvets, pillows and sofa throws have been proven in studies to actually help you sleep better - but why?
Scientists believe the reason people sleep better with wool is due to the moisture retention and wicking properties of wool, which help you to stay at a comfortable temperature, dry with less sweating and overheating.
The wool effectively creates a microclimate that controls how much moisture there is around your body when you sleep. Too much moisture and you will feel sweaty and your sleep will be compromised. People who sleep under wool blankets or duvets know this but most people think that modern synthetic (plastic) fibres do as good a job as wool however a number of scientific studies have demonstrated that wool is better.
The recent ‘Sleeping Comfort’ study, conducted by the University of Sydney (Australia) Faculty of Health Science, set out to establish a scientific link between the human body, bedding products and sleeper comfort.
By establishing a Thermal Comfort Assessment Rating through a series of human and laboratory trials, the results of the study established that wool bedding products:
• Breathe more naturally than synthetic products
• Increase the duration of the most beneficial phase of sleep known as the REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep stage, where the sleeper is totally relaxed and most dreaming takes place
• Facilitate a comfortable body temperature – the body gets to a comfortable sleeping temperature more quickly and stays there for longer.
Quite simply, it all adds up to a better night’s sleep.
N.A. G. Johnson and I.M. Russell (eds). Advances in Wool Technology. The Textile Institute, CRC Press, Woodhead Publishing Limited (Cambridge, England, 2009) p. 273 (buffering), p. 284 (30% absorption)
The effects of fabric for sleepwear and bedding on sleep at ambient temperatures of 17°C and 22°C. Shin, M., Halaki, M., Swan, P., Ireland, A., and Chow, C. Nature and Science of Sleep, Volume 2016:8 Pages 121—131, 22 April 2016.