Is Fabric Softener a Sleep Aid?

Every so often, we come across a news story that seems so off-the-wall that it kind of makes sense.  That was the case recently, as news outlets around the U.S. picked up an Associated Press story (here’s one link) about Procter & Gamble pushing its Downy fabric softener as a sleep aid.  From the AP story:

P&G says it woke up to the possibilities for the 50-year-old brand during marketing last year for new Downy versions that pledged to provide “clean sheet day” freshness for a week. Downy marketers said consumers kept talking about looking forward to sleeping and feeling more comfortable with newly washed sheets.

P&G is partnering with Macy’s Department Store to feature a live display with sleepwalker and comedian Mike Birbiglia.  Details will be announced on the Downy Facebook Page.

So, is fabric softener a sleep aid?  A quality sleep environment is important.  That environment is made up of things like a proper mattress, pillows, sheets, blankets, room temperature, lack of light in the room, and even clean air.  Each of those items is very important, and if one of them is a little “off” it can negatively affect the quality of your sleep.  If a fabric softener helps make your sheets and pillowcases more comfortable, then it’s a small but important part of the equation.

The phrase “sleep hygiene” encompasses many of the items listed in the previous paragraph, in addition to proper habits such as not drinking coffee right before bed.  Learn more about sleep hygiene in this article from our Sleep Solutions page.