We all know the feeling of tossing and turning in bed, restlessly trying to sleep while the mind wanders uncontrollably.
According to the results of a study by the National Sleep Foundation based in Virginia, the key to a good night’s sleep is a comfortable bedroom.
Sleep is vital in maintaining good health, allowing your body and mind to rest, and having you refreshed when you wake. A lack of sleep can impair your ability to concentrate and process thoughts.
Even psychomotor skills can be affected by restless sleep. People living with insomnia have been known to have an impaired ability to drive or use heavy machinery.
Most adults need an average of eight hours of sleep a day, yet up to a quarter of people surveyed in the UK have reported less than five hours of sleep a night.
Why Silk Sheets?
The benefits of silk are plentiful - it is a soft, smooth, and durable fabric. In addition, it is hypoallergenic, breathable, and temperature regulating.
Silk Bed Sheets Are Good For Allergies
Its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties make silk an excellent choice for people with allergies.
Allergies are a leading cause of insomnia, affecting millions around the world. Three out of four allergic reactions are linked to the bedroom, where you spend a significant part of your life resting and sleeping.
Wheezing and sneezing is no fun in a room that is supposed to be your safe haven. Dust mites are a common culprit triggering allergic reactions. These microscopic troublemakers live in our mattresses and bedding, feeding on the dead skin we shed.
Silk is naturally hypoallergenic and repels mites, mould, and other creepy crawlies, making the fabric ideal for allergy sufferers. To add icing to the cake, there’s nothing more comfortable than snuggling under a silk duvet cover!
Silk Sheets Have Unrivalled Comfort
They don’t call it “soft as silk” or “silky smooth” for nothing. Silk is a luxurious, soft fabric that looks and feels fragile but is incredibly durable.
Its temperature regulating properties has low heat conduction, helping you stay cool in warm weather and warming you up in cooler climates.
Silk keeps your body cool by wicking away moisture from the body while keeping you warm on cooler nights by trapping air within its threads, making it a popular choice for usage in winter gear.
In addition, it is a lightweight, breathable fabric that allows better air circulation to the skin and hair.
Silk Bedding Is Great For Skin And Hair
The smoothness of silk allows the hair to move freely on silk pillowcases, preventing tangles and breakage that other harsher fabrics might cause throughout the night.
In addition, silk doesn’t dry out the skin the way other fabrics do and can visibly slow the appearance of wrinkles from aging.
A clinical trial on 40 participants found that sleeping on a silk pillowcase significantly reduced the appearance of acne compared to those sleeping on cotton.
The non-irritating properties have made medical silk dressings suitable for use for burn victims and eczema sufferers.
Silk bedding might also help with skin disorders like eczema and topic dermatitis. A 2019 study found that wearing pure silk clothing reduced dermatitis in 30 participants with the annoying skin condition.
More Affordable In The Long Run
Although silk looks and feels fragile, it is a remarkably strong fabric that will outlast any cheap set of cotton sheets by far.
Better For Health
Low-quality bedding often contains VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). They continue to off-gas harmful chemicals after being removed from their packaging.
Many VOCs are carcinogenic and classified as a health hazard by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Cotton and polyester bedding often have high levels of VOCs. Imagine breathing in toxins from your pillowcases and bedding every night. Eeeks.
Better For The Environment
Long demonized for its water consumption, cotton is also one of the most environmentally damaging crops requiring high amounts of insecticides and pesticides.
These chemicals then leak into the surrounding environments and pollute the soil and waterways.
The high levels of greenhouse gases by cotton production have made it one of the most unsustainable textiles, yet cotton remains the most popular fabric of choice due to its low cost.
A study from the World Health Organisation found that about 20,000 individuals living around cotton farms suffer from deformities, cancer, and miscarriages.
Silk has a far smaller environmental footprint. Although not a vegan fabric, the relatively fewer resources used in the production process make it a more eco-friendly choice.
Tips On Healthy Sleep
Switching your bedsheets to silk is the first step to ensuring a restful night’s sleep that leaves you refreshed and energized in the morning.
In addition, here are some other good sleeping habits to have.
Establish A Bedtime
The body’s internal clock is also known as the circadian rhythm. Setting a bedtime will help regulate the body’s natural sleep patterns and allowing you to wake before the alarm.
Although tempting, try avoiding sleeping in during the weekends. Any change in routine would destabilize the circadian rhythm and might lead to sleeping disorders during the week.
Increase Light Exposure During The Day
Melatonin is the hormone in our brains that control our sleep, secreted during the night when it is dark and less during the day.
Exposure to natural light during the day has been shown to reduce the time taken to fall asleep by up to 83%. In addition, two hours of light exposure has proven to increase sleep duration by up to two hours.
Regular exercise has an impressive range of health benefits, causing heart rate and adrenaline levels to rise.
Engage in vigorous activities at least three hours before bedtime and save low-impact activities like yoga and stretching for the evenings before bed.
Approximately 60% of all Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) cases are linked to obesity. No matter how brief, including a moderate exercise routine in your day might help you sleep better.
Reduce Nap Time
If you are an enthusiastic napper, limit naps to only 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon. Naps are great to take but can disrupt your internal clock.
If you feel sleepy after a big dinner, get off the couch and don’t fall asleep!
Cut Back On Caffeine
While coffee is the favourite beverage of millions worldwide, people living with insomnia would do well to avoid or reduce its intake.
Caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours, which means a cup of coffee drank at 4 pm would still be in your body at 10 pm.
Keep that cup of coffee to just once or twice in the morning and avoid it from mid-afternoon.
Limit Your Sugar Intake
Skip the refined carbohydrates for dinner and switch to high-fiber, complex carbohydrates. Whole wheat, brown rice, nuts, and beans have high concentrations of carbohydrates that won’t affect the sleep duration.
In contrast, refined carbohydrates convert into sugar and could affect a good sleep. In addition, certain studies have shown that consumption of sweet drinks could lead to poor sleep. Skip the sugary beverages like beer and colas and opt for water instead.
Make Your Room Comfortable And Dark
Use heavy or blackout curtains to block any light coming in from windows, or if not possible, use an eye mask. If you cannot avoid traffic or background noise, think about using earplugs or playing ambient noise.
Keep the room’s temperature at 15.6 to 19.4 °C (60 to 67 °F). Of course, the sleeping temperature is a personal choice, but doctors recommend this as the best temperature for restful sleep.
Evaluate your mattress and bedding to optimize comfort. If the bed starts to sag or develops lumps, or if you wake up in the mornings feeling achy and sore, it might be a sign that you’ll need a replacement.
Choose your bedding wisely. Top-quality bedding will cost more but will last much longer than inferior cotton sheets.
In addition, comfortable bedding is an essential factor contributing to a good night’s sleep. We spend a third of our lives in bed, making high-quality bedding a worthwhile investment for your physical and mental health.
Going shopping? Check out our handy guide on finding your perfect bed sheet set.
Reduce Stress And Worry
Although it might be easier said than done, reducing stress levels improves sleep quality and duration. Stress and worry have long been linked to causing both acute and chronic insomnia. Learn more about the relationship of stress and sleep here.
Try calming activities like listening to soft music, meditation, or taking a relaxing bath. Breathing exercises can also lower stress levels, heart rate, and blood pressure, all ideal for promoting sleep.