IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Tucked or untucked? Sleep expert weighs in on the great top sheet debate

The bedding debates continue!
/ Source: TODAY

People can be very particular about how they sleep. Some people need a plush pillow and a hard mattress, while others can only fall asleep under a weighted blanket with the thermostat set to a cool 68 degrees.

The preferred method for snoozing even comes down to the type of sheets on the bed. Some people despise top sheets and opt only for a fitted sheet and a comforter or blanket, but then there are people who can't sleep without that extra layer. And if you fall in the latter category, there's another debate to consider: Do you keep your top sheet tucked or untucked?

During the Fourth Hour of TODAY Wednesday morning, guest co-hosts Sheinelle Jones and Ellie Kemper debated this very topic. Jones must be tucked in tightly underneath her top sheet, which is tucked tightly under her mattress. Kemper, on the other hand, cannot stand top sheets and feels incredibly restricted when she is in a bed with one (her worst nightmare is a perfectly made hotel bed).

Bedsheets debate
Sheinelle Jones and Ellie Kemper have opposite opinions when it comes to bedsheets.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

To settle this debate for once and all, TODAY Home spoke with Dr. W. Christopher Winter, a leading sleep expert and author of “The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How To Fix It” to find out why some people like top sheets and others hate them.

Dr. Winter believes that “our bedding plays a huge role in how we feel during our sleep.” Whether that is the material, the moisture-wicking properties or the way the bedding is positioned, it can be the difference between a good night's sleep and a restless one.

“The only thing you can say relatively definitively is that we sleep better in a cool environment,” Winter said. He added that “if two partners are fighting because one likes it hot in the bedroom and one likes it cold, I’m going to have to side with the person who wants it cold.”

Kemper suggested that Jones might enjoy sleeping tightly tucked under her top sheet because it reminds her brain and body of being in the womb; the same way babies feel when they are tightly swaddled. Winter confirmed that her assessment is highly possible.

“I don’t think we ever lose the comfort we get from constriction or being tightly hugged. I do think many people respond positively to feelings of constriction or pressure,” he said.

Winter suggests that people who enjoy the feeling of a weighted vests at the dentist's office or a tightly tucked top sheet try a weighted blanket, as it provides the same feeling but covers more of the body.

In general, his tips for the best night’s sleep possible include sleeping with as little clothing as possible and having different bedding options available — such as a thin blanket or top sheet and a duvet/comforter — to make it easier to adjust to the room's temperature.