Poets who write about sleepless nights use phrases like “sweet elusive sleep.” But in reality, there is nothing “sweet” about being unable to get into a deep sleep, or to sleep through the night so you can awaken feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Prior to getting my Cuddle Ewe™ mattress topper, I slept on a featherbed mattress topper. The problem was, it would constantly shift and bunch up, leaving me sleeping on a lumpy, bumpy surface. By contrast, the first night I slid into bed on my Cuddle Ewe, I felt like I was sleeping on a cloud. It cradled my body and didn't aggravate my fibromyalgia tender points. I also found that it helped control my body temperature – I didn't get too hot or too cold through the night. As Goldilocks would say, my Cuddle Ewe is “just right.”
For me, Goodnighties sleepwear and the Cuddle Ewe mattress topper have been the perfect sleep combo. I can honestly say I no longer have any problems sleeping. I awake each morning feeling rested and refreshed. My only problem now is getting up – between the two, I'm so comfortable I just want to stay in bed.
When it comes to having problems sleeping, I'm not alone. People with fibromyalgia, ME/CFS and different forms of arthritis are among the more than 40 million Americans who suffer from a chronic sleep disorder, which contributes to the pain, fatigue and cognitive functioning problems they face every day. If you are one of those people, a Cuddle Ewe underquilt may help you find the sweet sleep that has been eluding you, as it cradles you in all-natural comfort.
Cuddle Ewe underquilts were initially developed with the sleep needs of fibromyalgia patients in mind. They are designed to conform to the shape of your body and distribute your weight away from painful tender points - or aching, pressure sensitive joints.
However, even people who don't suffer with chronic pain or have difficulty sleeping can appreciate and enjoy the luxurious comfort of nestling into the gentle embrace of a Cuddle Ewe underquilt.
What Is an Underquilt?
An underquilt is similar to a mattress topper or pad that is placed between the mattress and fitted sheet. What sets Cuddle Ewe underquilts apart from typical mattress pads and feather bed toppers is that they are made of multiple layers of 100% pure, all-natural, dust mite-free wool batting, encased in a heavy, all-natural cotton ticking material. The natural wool batting promotes deeper, more restorative sleep by:
• Supporting and distributing body weight more evenly.
• Allowing pressure points and tender points to be relieved.
• Managing body temperature and moisture.
How Cuddle Ewe Underquilts are Constructed
The wool used in Cuddle Ewe underquilts is Cheviot wool, a special type of wool sourced only one place in the world – in the Cheviot Hills which separate Scotland from England. Sheep that are raised in this unique climate and feed on the vegetation found only in this area produce the most resilient and one of the softest varieties of wool ever found.
A Cuddle Ewe underquilt begins as millions of pure, cleaned wool fibers.
• Minimal processing, including washing with a mild soap and water solution and bleaching with hydrogen peroxide, leaves the wool close to its natural state when it was first sheared, preserving its phenomenal weight carrying buoyancy.
• The wool is then run through a garneting machine to make the wool batting that fills each Cuddle Ewe underquilt.
• The batting is layered to nearly 10 inches thick before it is sewn inside a breathable woven cotton cover,
• And ‘thread-tufted’ to a finished thickness of about three to four inches. Tufting of the wool ensures it will not shift inside the cotton cover.
Why Wool Makes a Better Mattress Pad
The chart below demonstrates how wool compares to the materials commonly used in other mattress pads with respect to three key features.
Another wonderful thing about wool is that it helps you maintain your optimal body temperature, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
|Distributing Body Weight
||Smooth fibers that don't offer structure, support or weight distribution.
||Some support but bottoms out under body weight and no distribution of body weight.
||Short-lived support because fibers break and/or matte down.
||Natural crimps in fibers support weight, provide resilience and help distribute weight properly.
||Micro-fibers trap air and are good insulators.
||Micro-fibers trap air and are good insulators.
||Not a very good insulator but does breathe well.
||Insulates as well as micro-fiber or down and breathes well.
||Does not absorb moisture well resulting in perspiration.
||Absorbs some moisture but rapidly becomes wet to the touch.
||Absorbs moisture well but soon becomes wet to the touch.
||Absorbs moisture well but does not feel wet. Moisture is dispersed into the air.
We tend to think of wool in terms of the warmth it provides, but did you know it can also keep you cool when the weather gets hot? The fibers of sheep’s wool are naturally filled with numerous air spaces that act as a buffer to changes in temperature.
Wool also absorbs moisture and lets it evaporate into the air without feeling wet to the skin. As the wool absorbs your water vapor, air circulating through it disperses the moisture by evaporation. So in hot weather, your skin and sheets remain dry, you stay cooler, and are able to sleep more soundly.
Patient advocate and author Mary J. Shomon talks about the superior comfort quality of the Cuddle Ewe wool underquilt in her book Living Well With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
. She says:
“For optimal comfort, however, patients frequently prefer a wool mattress underquilt or topper. One in particular that is very popular with CFS and fibromyalgia patients is the Cuddle Ewe underquilt, which is filled with layers of thick, natural wool batting.
…. “I have a Cuddle Ewe, and I love it. It definitely keeps you warmer in winter and cooler in summer. I feel like it cradles me, and it is easier on the tender points and sore spots. I’ve gotten so accustomed to it that it’s hard to sleep away from my own bed!”(1)
Study Confirms Cuddle Ewe's Effectiveness
I. Jon Russell, MD, well-known fibromyalgia researcher and clinician, conducted a three-month survey study with 643 diagnosed fibromyalgia patients to evaluate the effectiveness of Cuddle Ewe underquilts.(2) The results were quite impressive.
Participants were asked to rate their improvement for each symptom as: None/Some, Moderate, Significant, Substantial, Superlative, or Complete. The following chart indicates the percentage of FM patients who reported “Significant” improvement or better:
What ProHealth Customers Say About Their Cuddle Ewe Underquilts
Cuddle Ewe underquilts
||Significant or Better Improvement
|No Restful and Restorative Sleep
|Not Sleeping Through the Night
|Soft Tissue Muscle Pain
|Tender Point Muscle Pain
get consistently high ratings from ProHealth customers. Here is what a few of our customers have said:
“I've had mine for 2+ years and it is one of the best investments I've ever made. There's a big improvement in my sleep comfort, and it also keeps me from being cold all the time.” – Cindi
“This product is great. I can actually get some restorative sleep. I cannot say enough good things about it. I love it. My mom and sister bought one for me for Christmas...best gift I have ever gotten. I will probably buy another one, just to have around.” – Anonymous
“This is actually my second Cuddle Ewe and I can't imagine sleeping without it. Not only do I have fibromyalgia, but I have sleep apnea as well. I joke with friends and family that as long as I have my CPAP and my Cuddle Ewe, sleeping is wonderful. This underquilt just cradles you in comfort. I'm never too hot or too cold. Give it a try and I don't think you'll be sorry.” – Betty
“I purchased the queen size cuddle ewe underquilt/free pillow, flannelette and another pillow. It took forever each night for me to get to sleep each night (before cuddle ewe) and then I never slept all night and always woke up feeling as if I had just gone to bed. The first night on the underquilt I don't remember even straightening my gown, which has to be wrinkle free because of pain and sensitivity. I slept all night, and have ever since. I highly recommend this product to everyone. My husband also had trouble sleeping. He has slept like a baby on it every night. Thank you so much for a great product that does what it claims.” – Anonymous
“I am a 48 yr. old female LPN, disabled since 1990 with the chronic pain condition Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) & also have fibromyalgia. I suffer with pain all night...I purchased a CUDDLE EWE from your company & recieved it 2 days ago. I LOVE IT! I slept ALL night pain-free! After years of suffering every night I have tried many products (mattress pads, wedgie pillows etc.) & had no relief. I will recommend the Cuddle Ewe & your web site to everyone! Thank You & God Bless” – Donna
The Care and Feeding of a Cuddle Ewe
A Cuddle Ewe requires little care (and no feeding). Because they are filled with wool, Cuddle Ewes cannot be washed or dry cleaned. Doing so will ruin the wool, causing it to clump and get hard. The best way to protect it is to place an all-natural, breathable cotton protective sheet over it before putting on the fitted sheet. Cuddle Ewe makes a cotton flannelette that is ideal for this purpose.
Each time you change your sheets, the manufacturers of Cuddle Ewe recommend turning or flipping your underquilt – alternating side to side and top to bottom. This helps ensure that all areas of your Cuddle Ewe are used equally.
It's a good idea to occasionally vacuum your underquilt using an upholstery attachment. In addition to cleaning your Cuddle Ewe, vacuuming draws air through the wool fibers, helping them to stay loose. Surface stains can be spot cleaned with a damp rag and a mild soap and water solution.
The Cuddle Ewe underquilt also has loops sewn into its sides so you can hang it outside to air out once in a while.
There are two types of wool allergies – contact and respiratory.
Contact Allergies – If wool against your skin causes you to itch and/or develop a rash, you should not have a problem with Cuddle Ewe underquilts because the wool is fully enclosed in a heavy cotton ticking material. You will also have a fitted sheet on top of that so your skin will not come in contact with the wool at all.
Respiratory Allergies – If wool makes you sneeze or you have other respiratory problems, like asthma, the Cuddle Ewe underquilt may not be a good choice for you.
Dust-mite Allergy – Dust mites cannot live in wool, so Cuddle Ewe is an excellent choice for people with allergies to dust mites.
Warranty: Cuddle Ewe underquilts are unconditionally guaranteed against defects in materials and workmanship for 5 years from the time of delivery.
Summary: Cuddle Ewe underquilts support & distribute body weight to avoid pressure on tender areas and aching joint, support comfortable body temperature winter and summer, and wick uncomfortable moisture into the air.
* Karen Lee Richards is Lead Expert specializing in Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS for HealthCentral's chronic pain site (www.HealthCentral.com/Chronic-Pain)
1. Shoman, M. J. (2004). Living Well with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. (1st ed., pp. 217-218). New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc.
2. Russell IJ. “Cuddle Ewe Underquilts in Fibromyalgia Syndrome.” Merlo Company, Inc. 2011.