As someone with three young kids, a full-time job, and managing a running blog, it goes without saying that I am tired quite often. I still find time to get in some running, but sleep is absolutely imperative in my life. There are so many articles and posts about runners needing solid sleep to perform at optimum levels and feel better all the way around. I mean, we’ve probably all heard advertisements and salespeople mention that “you spend 1/3 of your life in bed, so shouldn’t you invest in something where you spend the most of your time”? My wife and I have upgraded our mattress and we recently had the opportunity to check out Molecule Sheets.
Runner’s World has old articles on sleep and the healing that occurs at night. Active people who are sleep deprived can be affected by:
- Slowed reaction time
- Reduced attention
- Reduced strength
- Increased chance of injury
- Lengthened recovery time
- Lower energy and endurance
- Higher stress levels
None of these “symptoms” are very good for runners. I can tell when I am drained that I just feel “off” and obviously there’s science behind it. I understand it at a basic level, but here’s a little more specifics on the science of sleep:
Stage 1 | Restfulness
- Transitional phase
- Floating in and out of consciousness
Stage 2 | Light Sleep
- Onset of sleep
- Disengagement from surroundings
- Breathing and heart rate slow
- Core body temperature (CBT) decreases
Stage 3 | Slow Wave Sleep
- Deepest stage of sleep and hardest from which to wake
- Brain waves slow to become delta waves
- Blood pressure drops
- Breathing becomes slower, deeper, more rhythmic
- Eyes and body are still
- In this stage, body experiences the most recovery and restoration
Stage 4 | REM Sleep
- First occurs about 90 minutes after falling asleep and recurs about every 90 minutes
- Eyes dart back and forth (Rapid Eye Movement – REM), heart rate and blood pressure increase
- Breathing becomes fast, irregular, and shallow
- Brain is most active and dreams occur
- Important for learning and memory – brain consolidates and processes information from the day before
CELL DIVISION AND REGENERATIONBecause the brain is less active during SWS, more blood is available for muscles. Extra oxygen and nutrients travel through the body facilitating healing and recovery. Also during this sleep stage, the pituitary gland releases growth hormones which stimulate muscle, tissue, and bone growth and repair. Prolactin is released to deliver aid to sore joints.ENDURANCEThe body regulates cortisol (stress hormone) during SWS. Cortisol enables the body to digest glucose. The metabolization of glucose into fuel is essential for endurance – especially for activity > 90 minutes.IMPROVED HEALTH & WELLBEINGA good night’s sleep with ample time in SWS aids in the production of hormones that spur appetite satiety so you feel less hungry the next day. Stroke risk is reduced as is high-blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. SWS rest strengthens immunity and boosts memory, learning, and focus.
That’s a lot of analysis on sleep (and much of it going over my head), but it makes sense at its core level – if you are sleeping well and restful, your body is able to recover appropriately and you are able to live your best life in terms of health and activity. Molecule sheets set out to do that at a more scientific level. These aren’t just your standard 100% cotton sheets – they are constructed from a 52% cotton / 48% TENCEL blend, making it soft and durable, and including more wrinkle-resistant qualities. The TENCEL also allows for the sheets to have more natural moisture-wicking abilities and keeps you from becoming uncomfortable (has twice the air flow) and overheated (has 17% better “water vapor permeability”)- both prime recipes for a bad nights sleep.
We have been testing this out for a few weeks now and feel that we can tell the difference between Molecule and our random sheets that we have had for a bit. We have air conditioning in our house, but our bedroom upstairs always seems to be the last to cool off when the temperatures hit mid-low 90’s. We have had a solid stretch of those days recently, and I could tell that my sleep was more restful than it typically is.
Each sheet set comes with
- Top Sheet
- Fitted Sheet
- 2 Pillowcase
The material feels great to the touch and it has been through a few washes already with no noticeable issues. We are excited to continue to sleep on Molecule through the rest of the year!
Product & Specs:
- Molecule Sheets (Starting at $169 – dependent on bed size)
- 52% cotton / 48% TENCEL branded Lyocell fibers
- Higher abrasion resistance
- Less shrinkage, and superior stability when washed
- 2x the air permeability
- 17% better water vapor permeability
More About Molecule:
Your best sleep starts now! Our sheets start with a super-sturdy cotton/Lyocell blend in a sateen construction, with a four over, one under weave, to ensure a supremely soft sleeping surface. Our sheet artisans blend cotton with TENCEL Lyocell fibers into a sateen weave to provide an added level of durability and natural moisture-wicking properties to create a sheet that’s not only light and cool, but smooth like silk.
Thank you to Molecule for providing a sample set and allowing us to review it. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.