Tomorrow sees us celebrating the Festival of Sleep (true story) — created for people desperate for some shut eye after the hedonism and excess of the holidays.

Christmas aside, most of us, at some point or another will suffer from sleep deprivation as a result of personal, work or financial stress.

As an anxiety veteran I have earned my stripes and am a master of the 3am duvet tussle. Running a textile business I am also naturally interested in fabric not only in how it feels to the touch, but also how it actually makes us feel.

When thinking about sleep, how to get more and better quality what we actually sleep we can tend to focus on environment, diet and exercise and I think it’s fair to say that fabric, beyond style and pattern can be overlooked.

So, in a bid to rectify that and to go beyond the obvious stimulants, screens and smells here are my top textile tips for improving your nightly slumber.

  1. Wear nothing but a smile

Yes, Marilyn Monroe was onto something. Sleeping ‘au naturale’ provides a wealth of health benefits. Staying cooler in bed helps to promote longer and deeper sleep meaning you are less likely to wake in the middle of the night.

Not only that it helps to sustain your metabolism as well as melatonin and growth hormones that your body needs to repair itself and help fight the ageing process!

If, for whatever reason you can’t go commando then choose natural breathable fibres such as cotton or bamboo that naturally wick moisture away from the skin.

2. Don’t be fooled by thread count

It would be quite natural to assume that the higher the thread count of your linen the better the quality. Sadly this is not true. The ‘Sleep Doctor’ Michael J Breus explains — ‘Once you exceed 500 thread count you are looking at 2 textiles that have been woven together’.

This manipulation of fabric usually involves the use of synthetic fibres so save your pennies and stick to 400 max.

3. ‘Easy-Care’ is a nightmare

As Ariel Kaye — founder of Parachute Bedding informs us. ‘Wrinkle free and easy care bedding is often treated with formaldehyde resin that doesn’t wash out’.

I don’t know about you but formaldehyde doesn’t feel like a comfortable bed fellow!

4. Don’t let the bed bugs bite

I’m a softy so our black labrador can often be found at the end of our bed, which in itself is beneficial for me and my pal anxiety. What is not so beneficial is those little critters that like to party in our percale, so make sure to make your bed every day — in doing so you help to minimise the surface area where dust can collect — and where there is dust there is mites!

Note: Along with warm drinks and baths, bed making and turning down can also form part of night time rituals that train the brain that it is time for sleep.

5. Treat your sheets like you treat your knickers

I don’t mean to be glib here but it’s important. Be mindful of the detergents that you use they may unknowingly be causing unnecessary irritation between the sheets. If in doubt plump for non-bio and/or eco-friendly washing powders that are kinder on fabrics and skin. If your so inclined you can even make your own.

It goes without saying that bedding needs to be washed regularly and changed completely every 2 years — less frequent that knickers (I hope)!

And there it is — I hope that this helps. We spend over 1/3 of our lives in bed so let’s try and make it as comfortable as possible.

Sweet (uninterrupted) Dreams.

Originally published at