Have you ever thought about the reason why we use a “cover” during sleep? Of course when temperatures are low, it’s easy to deduce the motivation; yet the reason why we love to have them always available is not just to protect ourselves from cold!
In fact, sheets are not only used by populations who live in cold climates but also by those who live in the equatorial forest!
Let’s find out why!
A bite of history…
Bed sheets were made of linen for Egyptians, wool for ancient Romans and cotton in medieval Europe. But at that time, these things were only for rich people! Large canvases, in fact, cost too much for the majority.
Only in the modern era, with the advent of industrialization, the production of sheets began to spread and their use was extended to middle-class families.
On the other hand, beds were the most expensive pieces of furniture in a house, the most important for young couples getting married!
Beds and sheets were so important that they were often handed down from generation to generation as a legacy of great value. Still today, a trousseau is an accepted custom, which mainly consists of bed linen which the bride takes to her new home!
Why can’t we help sleeping without sheets?
An interesting research on the use of sheets was carried out in 2002 on many people living in warm weather countries. What was the outcome? Even those who live in Central Africa want sheets on their bed!
According to the director of Unity Sleep Disorder Center in New York, there are two components implicated in the “need” of a night cover.
- The first is physiological: our body has the extraordinary ability to self-regulate its own temperature in order to protect internal organs, but during the REM phase there is a lack of this ability. This is why an external help to maintain body heat remains very useful even if outside temperatures are not so low!
- The other component is psychological and cultural: since childhood, in fact, we are wrapped and covered by our parents when we go to sleep. There are even those who claim that sheets and their sense of protection take us back to the protection and peace of a mother’s womb.