If the idea of sleeping with a wool comforter makes you sweat, think again. For thousands of years, wool has been used to make life more comfortable, especially in the hottest climates! While this may surprise you, there are good reasons why wool bedding (mattress toppers, comforters, and pillows) actually provides the perfect temperature-controlled sleeping environment. Manufacturers have all tried to make a synthetic product with the qualities of wool, but to no avail.
A recent sleep study conducted by The Woolmark Company and the University of Sydney examined a variety of bedding products in a range of temperature and humidity environments, and wool was selected as the “undoubted winner.” This study proved wool breathes better than synthetics, increases periods of deep REM sleep, and also gets the body to a comfortable sleeping temperature quicker and maintains it for a longer period of time.
Wool Regulates Body Temperature Perhaps wool’s most-remarkable quality is its ability to maintain comfortable body temperature, no matter what the season. Wool produces warmth in winter without overheating, and — believe it or not — keeps you cooler on summer nights because of its natural moisture-wicking properties. Wool bedding works like a personal heating-and-cooling system, which makes it perfect for people who experience “night sweats.” A wool mattress topper or wool moisture pad can actually cool you off during the night by dissipating sweat through the wool’s coil-like fibers.
Wool Is Soft!
Forget your association of wool with an itchy, scratchy sweater. Wool batting has a soft, down-like loft or puffiness. Pure-wool batting is sheared from living sheep or alpaca, washed without harsh soaps, and then carded (or combed) into soft, clean wool fill, which is placed inside cotton casings. There is no scratchiness at all.
How Wool Works
Wool fibers create a lining of still air, one of the best insulators found in nature. These little pockets of air create a dry layer of air next to your skin to hold in heat during colder months and cool your body as outdoor temperatures rise. Evaporation of moisture is our body’s natural way of keeping cool. Wool helps this process along by drawing moisture from the body during sleep, absorbing it into cells, and reducing skin temperature. When you’re cooler, you toss and turn less often, and sleep more soundly in a deeper REM state. In summer, outdoor heat is kept away from your skin because of wool’s insulating barrier of air pockets. Sleeping with a lightweight wool comforter acts like an air conditioner.
Where does all that moisture go? The average sleeper gives off nearly a pint of water vapor in an eight-hour sleep period. Wool can absorb up to 30% of its own weight without feeling damp or clammy. The cells of wool fibers are porous, so they quickly and efficiently absorb and evaporate moisture — unlike down, which actually holds moisture and can create mildew.
With chemically untreated wool, you’re assured that you’ll never be too hot or too cold. And, if that weren’t enough, recent studies have shown that the resting heart rate of people who sleep under wool versus those who use synthetics is 20 beats per minute less…
Sources: http://www.ultimategreenblog.com; http://www.catalogs.com/info/clothing/wearing-summer-wool.html