If you’ve found yourself tossing and turning all night long this summer – rest assured, you are not alone. Many of us are what experts call ‘hot sleepers’, and there are some obvious (and not so obvious) reasons why so many of us fall into the category:
- Weather conditions – increasing temperatures/humidity due to global warming.
- The increasing popularity of memory foam mattresses. Because it is dense and has higher viscous and elastic properties, memory foam tends to trap heat, rather than dissipate it.
- High thread count sheets. Thread count refers to how many threads a fabric has per square inch. The general rule is that the higher the thread count, the hotter or clammier the sheets will be. The reason for this comes down to simple maths: if a sheet has a thread count of 800 (i.e. it has 800 threads per square inch) the threads are extremely close together which means air in unable to circulate adequately through the fabric. Experts recommend a thread count of between 250 and 400 as being the optimum for healthy sleep.
- Genetic predisposition. Some people are naturally ‘hot sleepers’, with statistics showing that men are hotter sleepers in general than women.
- Dinner/Snacks. According to the experts, what we eat before going to bed can affect how hot we feel at night. If possible avoid foods prior to bedtime that contain capsaicin which is present in foods such as peppers, capsicum & tabasco.
- Bedroom décor. Even the colour of our bedroom can make us feel the heat, according to sleep experts. Apparently our brain determines that if the colours of our bedroom are warm, we will physically feel warmer.
- Consumption of Alcohol. While beverages like beer & wine epitomise summer, and may help us fall asleep, they can also contribute to keeping us awake, because alcohol causes our blood vessels to dilate (or grow larger), making us feel hotter.
The key to a sound, restful sleep
Experts agree that the most crucial factor in getting a good, restful night’s sleep is for our core body temperature to drop by 2-3 degrees.
In normal circumstances, this occurs naturally by virtue of our body clock (also known as Circadian Rhythm) which helps to regulate our heart rate, blood pressure, hormone release, and body temperature. In simple terms, during the day our body clock helps us stay awake, and, at night, it helps us to fall asleep.
However, if we, or our environment, are too hot, our body starts fighting the temperature. It does this by expanding blood vessels to carry more blood to the skin in an effort to help us cool down. However, when the blood vessels expand, our blood pressure drops – leading to less oxygen and, in turn, a build up of carbon dioxide levels. The combination of the low oxygen levels and the build up in carbon dioxide levels leads to restlessness and tiredness during the night and can cause headaches, fatigue and sleeplessness right through the next day.
FAST FACT: Approximately 20-25% of our sleep is spent in the “rapid eye movement” stage and during this part of the sleep cycle, we temporarily lose our ability to sweat and shiver, which leaves our body unable to adjust its inner temperature to the surrounding air temperature.
Tips to Maximise your Sleep
Aside from the more obvious ways for hot sleepers to cool down, such as switching on an air-conditioner or fan, opening a window, and wearing less bedtime clothing, below are some of Bambi’s top tips for getting the sleep you need:
- Try to avoid beverages such as caffeine and alcohol before going to bed;
- Unfortunately for those who love foods such as chilli, bell peppers, jalapenos, cayenne peppers, Tabasco or Salsa, these foods should be avoided by hot sleepers as they contain an ingredient called capsaicin which makes it harder for the body to regulate temperature.
To promote sleep, try one (or all!) of these before bed instead:
* Bananas – rich in magnesium they help to relax muscles. They also contain serotonin and melatonin, which encourage sleep;
* Almonds – these contain tryptophan and magnesium and help to steady your heart rhythm as well as reducing nerve & muscle function;
* Honey – Just one teaspoon of honey is enough to shut off orexin (a neuropeptide which keeps us alert);
* Oats – these encourage insulin production and naturally raise our blood sugar.
- Attempt to get a good amount of regular exercise during the day.
- Make time for relaxing activities prior to going to bed. Try not to do anything that overstimulates the brain.
- Try to make your bedroom a sleep haven: cool, dark, quiet, and clutter free.
- As our brain perceives warm colours such as reds, oranges and bright yellows – as heat (linking them to sunshine, fire etc), and cooler colours such as blues, greens and light purples as cool (linking them to water/sky and even ice or snow), hot sleepers should consider using cooler colours for bedroom décor.
- Try not to have a television or other electrical devices on in the bedroom. Even small appliances give off heat, even when turned off.
- On hot days, use blinds in the bedroom during the daytime to keep out the sunlight.
- Have a lukewarm shower before getting into bed. Best to avoid an ice-cold shower, as your body will compensate afterwards by raising your temperature. Its best to get into a shower that’s set at your normal temperature and then gradually turn it down until it’s tepid or cool.
See also: How to Choose the Best Children’s Pillow
At Bambi, we understand that bedding materials are a very important factor when it comes to hot sleepers, which is why we set about looking for a product which would help sleepers reach their optimum core body temperature. The product needed to not only feel noticeably cool, but it needed to stay that way – through the night, and through the years.
Introducing CoolTouch Active™
CoolTouch Active™ is the culmination of many years of research and development by Bambi, (who were, incidentally, the first company to introduce cooling technology into top-of-the-bed products in Australia).
Unlike gel-based cooling products, CoolTouch Active™ is different. Made with PCM (phase change material) which is knitted directly into the fabric, it is noticeably cool to the touch and, because of the revolutionary formulation, will stay that way for years and years, regardless of how many times it is used or laundered.
How CoolTouch Active™ works
The technology behind CoolTouch™ is impressive: when the encapsulated PCM microcapsules woven into the fibre are heated to melting point, they absorb heat energy as they change from a solid state to a liquid state, which in turn produces a very noticeable cooling effect. Added to the PCM microcapsules, Bambi have developed a deep-channel fabric which ensures maximum air-flow for extra cooling.
Products available in CoolTouch™
Bambi currently make CoolTouch™ products in Mattress Protectors and Pillow Protectors. Plus, we offer a range of ‘Flip’ Pillows and Pillow Protectors which feature the CoolTouch™ technology on one side and TENCEL® on the other. This allows the sleeper the choice of sleeping on the silky soft TENCEL® side of the pillow during the cooler months, and getting cooling relief from the CoolTouch™ side during the warmer months.
Peace of Mind
Bambi are so confident in the effectiveness and longevity of our Cooltouch™ products that our Pillows offer a 5 year product warranty, and our Mattress Protectors boast a full 10 year product warranty.
Our Cooltouch™ Active Mattress Protectors and Pillow Protectors both have a waterproof membrane so you have peace of mind as well as a cool, restful sleep. The Mattress Protectors come with a deep fitted skirt, meaning they are suitable for just about any mattress.
All CoolTouch™ products are machine washable on a gentle cycle and can be tumble-dried on a low setting.
Mattress Protectors are available in Single, Long Single, King Single, Double, Queen, King and Super King sizes. The waterproof CoolTouch™ Pillow Protectors are available in Standard and King.
In addition to using CoolTouch™ products, another way to help keep your bed cool is with our TENCEL® range of sheets, separates, quilt covers, quilts and pillows.
What is TENCEL®?
TENCEL® is an award-winning ‘new-age’ fibre which is 100% botanic. Made from plantation-grown, natural wood cellulose, it originates from the aromatic pulp of sustainably-harvested eucalyptus trees. Because of the hydrophilic quality of Tencel, along with controllable fibrillation, it is much more efficient than other linens at keeping the body cooler while sleeping. TENCEL® is also a remarkable environmental achievement: it is derived from a renewable and sustainable raw material, it is manufactured sustainably and it is fully biodegradable, making it a ‘full-cycle’ fibre.
What are the benefits of TENCEL®?
Moisture-Wicking: Nanofibrils are one of the keys to the performance of TENCEL®. These nanofibrils are hydrophilic, meaning they have a strong attraction to absorb water (in fact TENCEL wicks 50% more moisture than cotton) plus they have excellent cooling properties. The importance of this is that, each and every night the human body releases up to a litre of water vapour while we sleep. TENCEL® very quickly absorbs this moisture and then wicks it away from the body, leaving the bedding cool, dry and comfortable.
Anti-Bacterial: Because of the tremendous capacity of TENCEL® to absorb moisture, bacteria, which love a moist environment, find it virtually impossible to grow. As displayed below, the growth of bacteria on cotton is approximately 200 times more than on TENCEL®. On synthetic fibres, the increase in bacteria is up to 2,000 times more. Due to the anti-bacterial properties of TENCEL® it is ideal for anyone with sensitive skin, allergies or asthma. With its cool-feel, incredible softness, and durability TENCEL® is also the perfect bedding fabric for babies, toddlers and children.
Silky Smooth: Because TENCEL® has controllable fibrillation (very fine hairs found on the outer fibres) the fabric has an incredibly silky-smooth finish and gives a natural cooling sensation to the skin.
The above illustrates the differences between TENCEL®, cotton and wool fibres. While cotton has an irregular, rough surface, TENCEL® is smooth and supple, meaning that the material will drape like silk… and feel like heaven.
Easy Care: Because it is 100% natural, TENCEL® is soft, supple, durable and flexible. Bambi’s TENCEL® bedding products are odourless, pre-shrunk, and easy care (simply machine wash and tumble dry on low heat). When washing, there’s no need for fabric softener or whitening agents.
- Gives a natural, cool sensation
- Provides excellent moisture absorption
- Naturally anti-allergy
- Prevents the formation of bacteria
- Is gentle to the skin
- Lightweight & breathable
- Luxurious to the touch
- Eco-friendly & Biodegradable
- Can be grown on marginal land
- Has sensuous drape
- No pesticides used in cultivation
- Durable & easy-care
- Dry, cool and smooth
For more information about our CoolTouch™ range, our TENCEL® range or any of our other luxury products, please logon to our website, email us at [email protected] or call us on (02) 4325 7656.