Sleep pro Jochen May explains in an interview why the right bedding can ensure better sleep and more relaxation. Reduced night sweats can prolong deep sleep phases and sustainable Lyocell can increase well-being at night. NASA technology can also optimize the sleep of us earthlings.
NASA technology for sophisticated bedding
Mr. May, you develop bedding and sleeping accessories. What is important?
May: Well yes, there is actually a lot more know-how in a simple duvet than is generally assumed. A duvet can make the difference between lying awake at night and tossing and turning, or sleeping soundly and waking up refreshed the next morning.
Unravel the mystery, Mr. May! What makes a duvet a good duvet?
May: In fact, sleep temperature and sleep quality are closely related. It's just not that easy to find out where my personal ideal sleeping temperature is. It is very different from person to person, woman to man. In addition, the room temperature often changes over the course of the night and one's own physical activity also changes at night. The body comes to rest and needs more warmth than at the beginning of the night.
That sounds complicated!
May: It is. It is difficult to find the best blanket for your own needs for warmth and cooling. In a way, it is always a compromise that is often unsatisfactory. That's why we work closely with Outlast, a company in southern Germany that sells temperature-regulating fabrics. These materials are able to absorb excess body heat and release it again when needed.
So some kind of buffer?
May: Yes, exactly, you could say that. The materials usually store the excess body heat in the textile at the beginning of the night and then give it back to me over the course of the night, for example when the room temperature drops and my physical activity is reduced. The whole thing is based on natural wax, which is worked into the materials and melts under the effect of body heat and solidifies again as soon as the body threatens to cool down. This phase change of the natural wax allows it to store and release heat.
Lyocell combines great properties
That's a lot of science!
May: Yes, that's right! This technology was originally developed to protect astronauts from extreme temperature fluctuations of up to 300 degrees in space. In our bedding, this technology balances the microclimate of the sleeper and ensures greater comfort. But it's not just a matter of comfort, sweat production can be demonstrably reduced.
Are there any studies and any evidence on this?
May: Sleep labs have found that nighttime moisture production can be reduced by almost half, which in turn reduces the risk of catching a cold. However, the basic requirement is that the sleeping person creates a whole sleeping cave made of functional materials in order to generate the maximum possible contact surface. Say pillows, mattress protectors and duvets. So that the whole thing doesn't become too expensive, we also offer covers so that the function can be easily and easily added to your favorite pillow.
Ok, the technology behind the bedding is now clear to me. I'm interested in how sustainable bedding has to be these days. The responsible consumer is increasingly demanding an ecological standard. And rightly so, I think.
May: Yes, we have always tried to make a contribution here and keep raising our standards. Since the heart of the Outlast technology is natural wax, i.e. renewable resources, we are increasingly using Lyocell as a base and filling material. Lyocell consists of wood fibers, i.e. cellulose, and is therefore also a renewable material. At the same time, the production of lyocell requires 35 times less water than, for example, cotton. This is also positive in terms of sustainability.
Wood in bedding doesn't sound very cozy at first.
May: The cuddly factor of Lyocell is actually very high. It feels very comfortable on the skin and has a soft feel and good moisture transport. Also, lyocell has some great properties. In contrast to wool items such as merino wool and other natural materials, it is ideal for allergy sufferers. There are also no chemical residues with Lyocell, which are often the case in silk production. And of course we don't have to use silkworms either, which is also discussed ethically.
Mr. May, thank you for this insightful interview!