Health benefits from using Merino wool
Recent studies show that the use of pure merino wool garments can give us numerous positive effects. One of the more important ones is the use of merino wool for patients suffering from chronic skin diseases, such atopic eczema. Research also reveals that night wear and bedlinen in pure and soft merino can improve and extend sleep.
A documented study from Queensland Institute of Dermatology (2012 ) challenges the use of traditional medicines for the treatment of atopic eczema. This pilot study shows us that the use of the finest and purest merino wool does NOT irritate the surface of the skin which has traditionally been the belief, but rather has POSITIVE effects
Pure and fine merino wool of high quality can therefore be used by patients with allergy.
Clinical research studies show that patients with chronic dermatitis such as atopic eczema experienced reduced pain with the use of pure merino next to skin over a 3-week period. No medication of any kind was taken by the patients during this period. The patients experienced a reduction of dryness of the skin, redness of the skin, pruritus of the skin and pain.
In addition to other health promoting qualities, it is documented that merino wool can have a positive effect on sleep quality. Merino wool nightwear regulates the body temperature (both in warm and cold rooms) which increases comfort and again gives an increased relaxation in a much higher degree compared to other materials.
According to this study, wool sleeping apparel and bedding increases total sleep time and improves sleep efficiency.
Research also shows a prolonged time of sleep when using merino nightwear compared to other materials worn, and for early- and new-borns this can be of importance regarding desired weight gain.
In both cold (17 degrees Celsius) and neutral (22 degrees Celsius) conditions, the combination of wool sleepwear and bedding saw participants have a more efficient sleep (see Figure below) compared to when tested using non-wool sleepwear and bedding.
Comparison of Sleep Efficiency between wool and non-wool sleeping apparel and bedding under warm (22°C) and cold (17 °C) conditions. Sleep efficiency is the portion of time spent asleep compared to total time in bed; the higher the proportion the higher the sleep efficiency.
In hot (29 degrees Celsius) conditions, wearing wool sleepwear saw participants sleep significantly longer; reflecting faster sleep onset and waking up less frequently (Total Sleep Time, see figure below)
Comparison of Total Sleep Time between wool and non-wool apparel under hot conditions.
“Wool regulates your body temperature far better, keeping you in what is known as ‘the thermal comfort zone’. You therefore not only fall asleep quicker, sleep longer, but also have deeper, better quality sleep.”
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR CHIN MOI CHOW, THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY (WOOLMARK)