Athletes Need Seasonal Sheets

You’ll sleep better if you dress your bed for the weather changes.

Having an evening regimen, the right pillow, and even an adult bedtime story help athletes sleep soundly, which can translate to improved performance in the gym. But if you’ve already tried these tips and still toss and turn, the solution might be something you haven’t: seasonal bedding.

In order to achieve ideal and deep sleep, setting the stage for your circadian rhythm—your body’s internal clock that’s controlled by temperature, light, and darkness—to work its sleep-inducing magic is key, says Courtney Bancroft, Psy.D., a clinical health psychologist and insomnia specialist in New York City. “One way to do this is by adjusting your sheet fabric.”

Individual sets for summer and winter and a third set for fall/spring should set you up for comfortable sleep year-round. Below, a breakdown of top fabrics and brands, plus how to care for your new (bed) threads.

To keep your new sheets in peak condition, give them a pre-wash which removes extra starches and finishes that build up during the production process. And once you’re enjoying them, remember that your sheets need frequent washing, too: “Laundering sheets weekly is important to eliminate dust mites, body oils, pet hair, and other things that accumulate,” says Patrice George, associate professor of textile development and marketing at the Fashion Institute for Technology (FIT).