Bed down in linen for your most comfortable night’s sleep
As the seasons change, and autumn tucks the darkness in a little earlier each evening, it is time to prepare our bedrooms for the longer, cooler nights to come. Linen’s soothing touch is the proven ideal bed mate to ensure a deeply comfortable night’s sleep, so essential for our physical restoration and mental rebalance.
“Sleeping well means feeling refreshed when we wake up. It is important to sleep enough, at the right time of day and not to shift too often between different phases of sleep and wakefulness,” says Professor Luca Imeri, from the University of Milan’s sleep research department.
Prepare a safe and calm sleep space
Your bedroom environment plays a huge part in your sleep satisfaction. The goal is to create a serene sleep sanctuary, or what Prof Imeri terms “an ecological niche” where sensory inputs are reduced, and you are unaware of the world outside. In practical terms that means getting ready for bed in a quiet, comfortable, stable and dimly lit environment – without the distraction of screens.
Keep your cool
While we may be tempted to turn up the heating and increase the togs as the thermometer drops, the optimum bedroom temperature for a good night’s sleep is 18°C. And we sleep best when we are kept comfortably cool and dry, two of linen’s intrinsic technical feats.
During a normal night, on turning out the light and drifting off, our sleep becomes progressively deeper. After about an hour we enter REM sleep where our brain activity is similar to that when we are awake, yet our muscles are inactive. “During the REM sleep stage, we are not very good at keeping our body temperature constant as the ambient temperature changes,” Prof Imeri explains. “What we sleep in is very important because the bedlinen and duvets or blankets create the closest part of the ‘ecological niche’ in which we sleep, and so helps our body to keep the right temperature.”
Proven moisture performance
According to a performance study by the University of Lorraine, France, linen achieved the highest score for of air flow through the fabric in comparison to other regularly used bedding materials. Linen also scored highest for breathability, moisture management and wicking, allowing perspiration to pass through the fabric and keep you feeling comfortable and dry all night long. Linen is also great at retaining heat. In balance, linen scores the highest in terms of overall comfort.
“We do not sleep well if our bodies are shivering or sweating and the feeling of skin wet from sweat is unpleasant and disturbs our sleep,” confirms Prof Imeri. “Linen, because it absorbs and sheds moisture rapidly keeps our skin dry and so aids sleep. The pleasure of soft and smooth linen helps the feeling of wellbeing, a pre-condition for sleep.”
As well as having many inherent benefits -including being non-allergenic - linen’s crisp-soft texture, is never cold to the touch. Sliding in between linen sheets each night is both a sensory pleasure and a proven method of supporting your sleep self-care ritual.
Think of your bed as a platform to support your body, an extension of the earth.
Dress the bed in linens that allow you to fully relax and for the moisture your body releases to escape.
Use uplifting colours to support your mood – linen lends itself to vibrant colourways.
Use mindfulness techniques to be in the present and enjoy the feeling of lying flat, your body fully supported and at ease in between your linen covers.
Swich off your mind, switch off your phone – remove digital devices from the bedroom.
Linen laundry care
For best results, machine wash with a neutral detergent.
For whites, use an oxygen-based product rather than bleach.
White linen can be washed at 95°C and colours at 40°C or 60°C.
Spinning on a low speed avoids creasing.
Dry naturally or in a tumble dryer.
Linen will improve and soften with age and washing.
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