Heavenly slumber


Heavenly slumber on organic indigo-dyed bedding

"Only recently have we come to truly realize the benefits of natural and organic over synthetic, and indigo-dyed organic bed sheets are finally making their way back on the market. Steve Jobs would have known, but then again he was always ahead of his time."

Steve Jobs once said that "for you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic and quality has to be carried all the way through." A lifelong devotee of Oriental medicine and natural craftsmanship, he might very well have been talking about catching his z's on organic, indigo-dyed bed sheets.

Jobs, as was often the case, had a point. Recent studies have shown that quality is more important than quantity, that it's not how long you sleep that matters, but how well you sleep. Getting enough quality sleep helps support a healthy brain function, which protects your mental as well as physical health. But to get quality sleep you need quality bedding.

Cotton has been called the "fabric of life", but synthetic cotton and other artificial materials (prevalent in most bedding today) often include toxic chemicals and traces of fertilizers and pesticides. As you can probably guess, these are harmful to your body and can trigger everything from allergic reactions to acne and even pneumonia. In short, synthetic bedding is a skin disease or health scare waiting to happen.

Organic cotton, however, is a totally different story. GOTS-certified organic cotton bed sheets are made without any synthetic materials, harsh chemicals or GMO products. That helps your skin breathe, paving way for restful sleep. They also regulate body temperature and absorb moisture, keeping you warm in winter and helping you stay cool in summer. Scientists say that 65 degrees F (18 C) is the ultimate temperature for restful sleep, and organic cotton helps you maintain this magic number.

If organic cotton is the fuel that powers your restful sleep engine, indigo dye is what fine-tunes it. Many people tend to ignore the importance of the dye, instead focusing only on the material. But synthetic dyes are just as harmful as synthetic bedding fabrics, and the effects of a good organic fabric is easily nullified by a harmful dye. Enter indigo, the oldest natural dye known to man, revered for its many health benefits — particularly when it comes to skin — and perfect symbiosis with organic cotton.

Known as aizome in Japan, indigo-dyed textiles have been used for centuries for their anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal qualities. Samurai wore them under their armor to help wounds heal faster and protect their skin from rashes caused by the hot and heavy steel. Aizome also had an aesthetic quality that labeled an entire nation. "Japan Blue", as indigo was called abroad, was prevalent all over Japanese society — including in their beds — until cheaper synthetic production knocked natural indigo off its perch.

Only recently have we come to truly realize the benefits of natural and organic over synthetic, and indigo-dyed organic bed sheets are finally making their way back on the market. Steve Jobs would have known, but then again he was always ahead of his time.