Menu cart

The Benefits of Sleeping in Wool

Wool and baby sleep - how to help your children sleep better by dressing them in wool clothing

The Benefits of Sleeping in Wool

Wool is at the heart of MamaOwl, especially merino, which as well as being beautifully soft and fine has been shown to help improve sleep. I love the feeling of merino wool against my skin and I sleep in wool throughout the year. I also always dress my boys in merino for bed – it’s especially brilliant for my youngest who always seems to wriggle out from his duvet, but doesn’t wake up if he’s wearing wool.

How Can Wearing Wool Help Improve Sleep?

Merino wool is naturally breathable and temperature regulating, helping to keep your body in its ‘thermal comfort zone’ – which means it keeps you cool when you’re hot and warm when you’re not. It’s also naturally anti-bacterial, moisture-regulating, doesn’t need to be washed often and is beautifully soft against the skin.

Wool Helps You Sleep Better When It’s Hot

A three-year study by the University of Sydney, Australia, funded by The Woolmark Company, found that in warm conditions (29C/84.2F) participants wearing wool slept for longer. They slept for an average of 7 hours and 30 minutes, compared to 7 hours and 15 minutes in cotton and 7 hours and 10 minutes in synthetic fibres. They also experienced a better quality of sleep. Sleeping in warm weather I would suggest wool with a looser fit. 

What About When It’s Cold?

The same study also did the tests in neutral (22C/71.6F) and cold (17C/62.5F) conditions, using a combination of wool sleepwear and wool bedding. It found that the participants reached an average sleep efficiency of 91.25% in neutral conditions and 92% in cold conditions.

Wool Helps You Fall Asleep More Quickly

The study found that wearing wool also helps you to fall asleep more quickly. Group one, made up of participants in their 20s, drifted off after 11 minutes in merino versus 15 in cotton or polyester. Group two, consisting of adults between the ages of 65 and 70, fell asleep in just 12 minutes in merino compared with 22 and 27 minutes for those wearing polyester or cotton. (Participants were put to bed in British-level night-time temperatures of 17C/62.6F.)

Sleep, Baby Sleep

Researchers found that weight gain in underweight newborns was 61% higher when they slept on a wool underlay rather than a cotton sheet. The International Wool Textile Organisation also reported that jaundiced newborns sleeping on wool were more settled and cried less than those sleeping on cotton. And in another Australian study, pre-school children who slept on synthetic bedding were more likely to be reported as having a sleep problem than those who slept in cotton or wool.

Why Does Sleeping in Wool Help?

“Science is now rediscovering the benefits of sleeping in wool,” says Dr Paul Swan from the University of Sydney. “Maybe it is not a coincidence because wool regulates your body temperature far better, keeping you in what is known as ‘the thermal comfort zone’.”

Warm Feet Also Help Promote Sleep

It has also been shown that wearing wool socks to bed can shorten the time it takes to fall asleep by as much as 15 minutes. According to traditional Chinese medicine, wearing socks helps to promote positive energy and blood flow.

Our Favourite Merino Sleepwear for Babies

We’ve got lots of lovely choices of merino and silk and merino pyjamas for babies but some of my favourites are:

Our Favourite Merino Sleepwear for Kids

SISKIN Organic Merino Wool Top and Leggings – I created all the pieces in the SISKIN collection to be fully versatile and the tops and leggings can be worn as pyjamas, thermals or day wear. They are incredibly soft next to the skin and they last and last.

Engel Organic Merino Wool Top and Leggings – Engel’s soft merino separates are also perfect for bed. My favourites are Hazelnut, Deep Ochre and Deep Rust.
Chasing Windmills Top & Bottoms Sets

Our Favourite Merino Sleepwear for Adults

All our Merino Basics for adults can be worn as nightwear. I especially love the Engel Organic Silk & Merino Long Sleeved Tops in Deep Rust and Deep Ochre.

By Anna K