Scientists have discovered that 25 percent of all Germans suffer from sleep problems. So it's not surprising that so-called sleep hygiene is being researched more and more closely. This term describes all behaviors that ensure a healthy night's rest. Later on, we will take a closer look at the 8 basic rules. For now, just the most important one: true to the principle of the "weakest link in the chain" ... even the best sleep is only as good as the bedding that surrounds you. We've already covered pillows and toppers in this guide section. This article is intended to raise awareness about buying the right - the best - duvet. There are a few principles that are crucial in turning a night's sleep into a good night's rest.
Not warm, but not cold either
We all want to be comfortable. But please not too warm. Some say. Others get cold quickly and want to be wrapped up like in a polar sleeping bag. These two opposing demands alone prove that the purchase of a duvet must be carefully considered. At The Nest Company, we deal with this issue every day. And yes, thermal options (or limitations) should be discussed right at the beginning. But only after the decision has been made to buy a blanket for summer - or winter. And, of course, there are all-season blankets.
A little blanket glossary
To first explain the terms, here's a little glossary: summer blankets are specially designed for hot months. They have the best possible breathability. The interior is ideally made of silky down. Camel hair or alpaca wool have a similar temperature regulation - but are also more expensive. To make it easier to decide when buying, warmth classes are shown as follows: Class 1 is "extra light" with best thermal performance, Class 2 is described as "airy-light", but warms already a bit more. Let's move on to the winter quilt - classes 3 to 5, i.e. from the normal autumn night (3), through cool winter nights (4) to the bitterly cold permafrost period (5). In principle, the three models differ in material expenditure (note: weight does not stand for warmth). If you choose down, you get a lighter blanket. Feathers or synthetic down a heavier. Warm cuddly throws also differ from their summer sisters in structure and outer cover: they have large so-called "pockets" that divide the interior. And they are covered with 100% cotton fabric. This additionally ensures good moisture wicking. As mentioned above: there is one more warmth class. The "6" refers to so-called combination or all-season blankets (also called duo blanket or all-season bed). Two duvets are brought together by press studs. In simple terms, this is a summer and a winter duvet. This is already convenient - since, depending on the temperature sensation, you can separate from one blanket - or simply button it back up.
The history of the duvet
Now that that's cleared up, let's delve a little deeper. In order to understand why the selection is so large and therefore also wrong purchases can easily result, now a few information about the history of the so-called upper bed - also called plumeau (whereby this term referred in former times only to covers with one chamber, today however is also used comprehensively). In later Europe, for many centuries, only animal skins were known as duvets - or rags for the common people. It was not until the 17th century that the processing of linen began - and with it the use of covers filled with animal hair. However, only wealthy families could afford this sleeping luxury. This, by the way, is how the concept of dowry came about: when a woman married, her social status and wealth were measured by the amount of bedding she brought with her. A ”funny” idea - at least from today's perspective. Mass production had its beginning in the 1830s. The importance of cotton increased; processing on looms meant that even the "common people" could afford blankets in today's sense.
Size makes the feel-good factor
There is no such thing as a "European sleep culture" - let alone a worldwide one. What we perceive as normal here in Germany is a curiosity for Americans, for example. Instead of sleeping under a cozy duvet, they sleep under a simple sheet. Perhaps supported by a woven fabric wrapped in it. That's where the cuddly feeling really falls by the wayside. Also the pair duvet (jumbo dimensions up to 260 x 220cm) has not yet established itself with us as with our EU neighbors. The dimensions are a topic of great importance anyway. Surprisingly, there is no Euro standard. France, Austria or Poland know completely different sizes than we do. In Germany, the following dimension has become accepted: 135 x 200cm. Here there is the maximum choice of covers. Meanwhile, buyers who have grown beyond a height of 180cm prefer to reach for the comfort size 155x220cm.
The standard of luxury hotels
So there is a lot to consider when buying a duvet. Let's move on to a topic on which questions of faith are always ignited. It is about the inner life of the quilt, the filling. If you want to do everything right, you choose a duck down. That’s also the standard in luxury hotels. The down has excellent heat and cold regulation. It is wonderfully cuddly and has a high moisture permeability. "Sleeping under clouds" was an old advertising slogan - and it has not lost its justification even today.
Leading culture: The new down is vegan
By the way, vegans don't have to go without down either. They can opt for a filling made of "vegan down" - a synthetic fiber product with the same properties as the original. When buying, be sure to pay attention to the environmental balance; Aerelle Blue is often recommended here. If you look around a bit more, you'll come across the following fillings: Merino wool, cashmere, silk, microfiber, cotton and Lyocell - the latter is ideal for allergy sufferers. Basically, all fabrics have their justification - but before making a purchase decision, you should research the respective properties. Above all, the topic of heat regulation is crucial. The body temperature of a so-called standard sleeper is between 36.5 °C and 37.5 °C. If you wrap yourself up too thickly, for example, you quickly stimulate sweat production. This is an important regulatory measure of the body, but it has a negative effect on sleep hygiene: The quality of sleep decreases and with it the recovery factor.
Comfortable warmth through bulking power
Before we come to the announced basic rules of good night's rest, one more tip for the purchase of a duvet. Since the word has come up so often now - the filling quantity - here too a brief explanation. In technical jargon one speaks of filling or bulking power. Standard down duvets have a value around 500. That is only almost okay. At least 600 is better. Absolute luxury - but possible - is 900. So if you want to shine with real expertise, you should remember the explanation for the numerical values. The degree of bulking is measured in CUIN (cubic inches). One ounce is 28 grams - and exactly this amount of down must be compressed in a Plexiglas cylinder with a 100g plate for a period of 24 hours. After removing the weight, one measures how high the down "rises" again. The more space the down subsequently fills, the more valuable and therefore warmer it is.
8 rules for restful sleep
That was a lot of information. But you already followed one of the 8 rules for restful night's sleep. Namely, you have bought the right - the best - duvet. Now to the seven other principles:
1) The room temperature is important! 18 degrees is considered perfect. If this is too cold for you, you should adjust your bedding to it.
2) Bright light shortens the duration of sleep. The body then produces serotonin, which in turn cancels out the sleep hormone melatonin.
3) Mobile devices should be banned from the bedroom. The blue light from displays decreases the brain's melatonin production.
4) Silence is important. On the one hand, this means possible street noise (use earplugs). But action movies or computer games shortly before bedtime are also taboo - they drive up blood pressure.
5) Relaxation rituals help. If you want to do your body some good, drink another cup of mild tea or do autogenic training.
6) Heavy food, caffeine or alcohol in the evening are taboo.
7) Exercise in the fresh air - NOT sports - but a walk in the evening help to reduce stress.