We're all familiar with the feeling of early morning dread that results from a night of tossing and turning, meticulously counting the hours of rest that could be obtained if you were just able to fall asleep now and the incessant frustration that comes after yet another night of bad sleep.
Most of us, however, will go about our daily routines without much of a second thought, poor sleep has become habit and something we rarely question. The ability to function, however grouchy we may feel, has let a good night's sleep fall further and further down the scale of importance and said feelings of grouchiness and lethargy are something we accept on a daily basis.
There's no questioning how crucial sleep is to wellbeing, you only have to type the word into Google to reveal countless risks ranging from the less serious fatigue, to bloating, weight gain and more serious health issues such as cancer, heart disease and depression associated with poor sleep. To counter, the innumerate benefits of regular, quality sleep are equally easy to find; brighter skin, increased productivity, better cognitive function, reduced risk of said diseases and an overall feeling of greater wellbeing (with the added benefit of not falling asleep at your desk come 4.00pm slump).
It's not all a battle between good and bad, potential ways to improve sleep are just as widely available. From the obvious no caffeine after midday, no technology before bed (and ultimately no fun) to the more quirky curling and uncurling your toes and inhaling only through your left nostril (thanks, Daily Mirror) the possibilities are quite literally endless.
But now, thankfully, it seems like there might actually be a scientifically proven solution to our bedtime woes, and it all lies with our bedding.
Recent research released by Leeds University suggests that the bedding we choose could be the secret to a guaranteed good night's sleep.
It's all down to moisture management. According to research conducted by The Wool Room, the retailer who actually commissioned the University study, over a third of Brits attribute poor sleep to being too hot at night and it is this build-up of heat and subsequent sweating that is the most common reason for waking during the night, particularly during crucial stage 4 regenerative sleep between 2am - 5am.
The university used pioneering technology to mimic the effects of sleeping in a laboratory, testing three of the most popular types of bedding - polyester, down feather and wool.
Wool appeared to sweep the board, allowing more moisture to escape from its fibres than either of the other two (43% more than polyester and 67% more than feather / down to be exact). So in layman's terms, wool is better at wicking away moisture from our sweaty selves during the night, keeping our temperatures at optimum levels and preventing us waking, what could be better?!
One of the best parts about this is that out of the three tested wool is the most natural fibre, meaning you're probably sleeping in less chemicals and something much more organic than synthetic fibres or even feathers. Having checked out The Wool Room's website, they profess that their bedding can be traced back to the farm and even the sheep that it comes from which is another definite plus.
Who knew sheep could be so useful?!
The ins and outs of the research can be found here.