There are a lot of different techniques to overcome insomnia. Sometimes, changing your sleep environment does the trick. If you’ve tried black-out curtains, white noise machines, ear plugs, and sleep masks but haven’t noticed a difference, there is one more thing you can do. Using the best bed sheets for insomnia can really make a difference.
What sheets are best for insomnia? It depends what’s contributing to your sleeplessness. If you’re a hot sleeper, hate the cold, or have anxiety the ramps up at night, there are bed sheets that might be able to help you sleep better.
I know what you’re thinking: how can a bed sheet help me sleep? Believe it or not, in my research, I found that the material and weave of the fabric makes all the difference. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of sheets and what makes them effective against insomnia.
Sheets for When You’re Hot
Whether you’re uncomfortable in the summer or sweaty all year round, using the right sheets can keep you comfortable throughout the night. The best sheets for hot sleepers are made of lightweight fabrics that are soft, breathable, and wick away moisture. There are a lot of different options to choose from.
Bamboo sheets have been getting more and more popular, in part because they’re so eco-friendly. They’re made from all-natural fibers obtained from bamboo plants. The fibers are spun into yarn and then woven into sheets. The whole process is chemical-free, which is why a lot of parents choose bamboo sheets for their children.
These sheets are extremely soft and breathable, allowing air to flow through and your body heat to escape which helps keep sweating to a minimum. Plus, they’re soft, smooth, and really comfortable.
Bamboo fibers are also naturally hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial. Because they resist moisture, there’s nowhere for bacteria to hide. So, not only are bamboo sheets great for hot sleepers, they’re also a good option for people with sensitive skin or breathing problems.
Linen sheets are another popular choice for hot sleepers. Linen has natural temperature-regulating properties and is actually more effective than cotton at wicking away moisture. The loose weave is very effective at allowing air to flow through which keeps you cool as you sleep, even in hot weather.
Linen is also a natural material made from fibers of the flax plant. It actually becomes stronger when it’s wet so you can wash it over and over again and it will last and last.
Cotton is a great choice for hot sleepers. All cotton sheets are light and breathable but go with Egyptian cotton if you can. While it may be pricey, it’s also exceptionally soft and lasts a really long time if properly cared for. But, like I said, all cotton sheets are light and breathable, don’t feel you have to splurge on Egyptian cotton.
When shopping for cotton sheets, pay attention to thread count. What is thread count? It’s the number of threads in a square inch of material. The higher the number, the stronger and softer the sheets should be. Although you’ll see thread counts of 800 or 1200, there’s usually not much difference between them and sheets with a thread count of 400. Why? The truth is, those large thread counts might not be completely accurate. There’s only so much material that can fit in one square inch.
Tencel is the most common brand name for lyocell fabric which is made using fibers from eucalyptus plants. It’s soft like cotton, smooth like silk, and strong like linen plus it’s cool and breathable. The material naturally wicks away moisture and is great for people with allergies or sensitive skin.
Sheets for When You’re Cold
If you live in a climate where the winter gets frigid, it’s not uncommon to wake up in the middle of the night, freezing and hunting for a warmer blanket. Using the right kind of sheets can help you stay warm throughout the night by trapping your body heat so you don’t wake up shivering. There are two popular materials to choose from.
You might have a favorite fleece jacket that you wear when the weather starts getting cold but you’re not quite ready for a heavy winter coat. Fleece sheets are super soft, velvety, and comfortable plus it retains heat and keeps you warm throughout the night, just like your favorite jacket.
Fleece is made from different fibers. Most fleece is made of a blend of natural and synthetic. Usually, the better the fleece, the more natural fibers it has. Cotton fleece is absorbent, warm, and a little more expensive than acrylic fleece and a poly/cotton blend is a nice middle ground.
Note that some fleece sheets might pill a bit when you wash them. This is usually more common with natural fibers because they’re just not as strong as synthetic fibers. That said, fleece made with natural fibers breaks in quite nicely and should eventually stop pilling.
Everyone knows that flannel is a great choice to keep you warm on cold winter nights. It’s made of loosely woven cotton fiber that’s brushed to create the warm, soft, fuzzy surface. The fuzziness is actually the reason flannel is so warm. It creates small pockets between the sheet and your skin that trap your body heat as you sleep.
Flannel is easy to care for and lasts a long time. Some people think it gets more comfortable and warmer with every wash.
What About Silk?
Silk sheets are really popular so you might be wondering if they’re better for hot or cold sleepers. The truth is, they’re good for both. There are a few reasons for this.
First, silk holds in heat and keeps you warm in the winter but it’s also breathable and doesn’t allow too much heat to build up. It has excellent moisture wicking abilities which helps sweat evaporate and helps your body regulate temperature by retaining the right amount of heat.
Silk sheets are notoriously expensive but when you consider the fact that you can use them all year round, you can see how they’re a good investment.
Sensory Compression Sheets
If you find that your anxiety amps up at night and you have a hard time working through it, there is a sheet that may be able to help.
You’ve probably heard of weighted blankets. Well, sensory compression sheets were designed using the same principle. They’re commonly used for children or adults with autism or sensory processing disorders but a lot of people are comforted by them. If you’re anxious or stressed, sensory compression sheets can make all the difference.
These sheets are made of stretchy material like lycra, nylon, or spandex. They’re shaped like a long tube or sleeping bag and fit over and around the mattress. When you crawl under the sheet, it stays taut and doesn’t move around much. The material is stretchy enough that you’re still able to turn and change position easily while still holding a nice amount of pressure.
A Little Extra Something
I’m not going to tell you that getting the right sheet is going to instantly cure your insomnia. But it can certainly make you feel more comfortable, and that’s saying something.
If you find that you’re waking up in the middle of the night covered in sweat or shivering because the temperature dropped so much over night, the right sheets can help you avoid this interruption.
When trying to figure out a way to work through insomnia, you have to take everything into consideration. Your sleep environment is a huge part of that. If your room is too loud, you use ear plugs or a white noise machine. If it’s too bright, you try a sleep mask or black out curtains.
If you’re too hot? Too cold? Too stressed? Try a new sheet! It might just give you that little extra something you need to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep until your alarm wakes you up in the morning. Wouldn’t that be lovely?