Perhaps you might be reading this story now and thinking that you really could use more sleep. Or, you might think that sleeping is a dread because the trip to snooze town is fraught with anxiety and stress that can be quite psychologically torturing.
As we celebrate World Sleep Day tomorrow with some surprising statistics as of late about how much we get to do it (27% of Singaporeans have less than seven of it and fewer than a fifth have it uninterrupted according to a study by YouGov), luckily, Gidania Wong of SOVA is making the act more decadent, desirable, and dedicated.
While SOVA has launched a series of silk sleeping products like sleepwear, eye masks, and headbands, Wong’s latest pet project is a travel pillowcase that mimics the sleep-benefiting properties of the brand’s other products which include regulating body temperature, aiding skin regeneration and keeping your hair healthy as it is anti-friction.
Unfortunately, the only positive it is unable to do is to wash itself but we’ll be leaving Wong to talk about it and reintroduce/introduce her brand, the benefits of taking the silk road to better sleep, and her own personal tips for better sleep starting tomorrow.
Hello Gidania, congratulations on launching SOVA! What was a personal experience during the circuit breaker period that made you decide to start it?
Hi Grazia Team! I work in public relations and events and was rendered “jobless” overnight when covid hit and the circuit breaker was imposed. Our sector was termed non-essential and suddenly I couldn’t organise events and work on product launches.
Everything pivoted online and I was spending lots more time at home. At first I started learning to cook, and after that, the entrepreneurial bug in me wanted more.
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With everyone spending more time at home, I felt it would be good to focus on products for the home or to be used at home. I’ve been using mulberry silk for awhile due to my sensitive skin and felt that there was an opportunity to promote it more locally so I started researching more on the fabric and how I could improve it and work on common products with a beauty element to improve sleep and both the skin and hair.
It was a struggle to find a factory and work remotely during covid times when travel was halted so the process took a little longer than I had hoped for but finally we launched SOVA in December 2020.
The brand says that it uses the “most luxurious, skin-improving material available from nature— mulberry silk” but what exactly is so luxurious about it?
Backed with well-researched facts, SOVA uses mulberry silk as it is the highest quality silk available for purchase. Mulberry silk is produced from silkworms of the Bombyx Mori moth that are only fed mulberry leaves, resulting in some of the finest silk in the world, which has a list of benefits that can help to improve the look and feel of your skin and hair, and more importantly, helping you get the rest you deserve.
Some of the many benefits include it being hypoallergenic, chemical-free, allergen-resistant and antibacterial which makes it a good choice for sensitive skin. It also has anti-ageing and anti-wrinkling as it contains amino acids that are easily bonded with the keratin in your skin which aids skin regeneration while you sleep which is what we all want!
The sleek surface of our mulberry silk products reduces friction between your hair and the pillowcase or scrunchie which also helps to prevent breakage and knotting while extending the lifespan of your styled hair, whether you like it straight or wavy. It’s also non-moisture robbing so it doesn’t cause dryness to your hair and skin.
Mulberry silk is also naturally temperature regulating so it does not conduct heat and helps keep your head cool through the night to improve your quality of sleep. Because it is an intensive and time consuming process to make mulberry silk products, it is a true premium product that comes at a higher price to pay and used to be thought of as reserved for only royalty.
Our mulberry silk products are easy to care for. Use a laundry wash bag to separate them, pop them in the washing machine with cool water and gentle laundry detergent and you’re set. It’ll be best if they could be in a delicates-only wash. We sell our handy wash bags at eight dollars too.
Also, it mentions that it is naturally hypoallergenic so what does that mean? Can a customer put off washing it for extended periods of time?
Naturally hypoallergenic means that the mulberry silk is fragrance-free and does not contain ingredients that are considered common allergens, compared to other fabric pillowcases, meaning it is less likely to trigger allergies and breakouts, not that it is void of germs.
You should definitely still wash your pillowcase and bedding frequently because soils, body oil, sweat, makeup and hair products come into contact with these surfaces daily and build up and harbour bacteria.
I recommend washing them weekly or even twice a week if you have troubled and sensitive skin or do not wash your hair daily.
Compared to other silk-produced sleep products like Like Saturdays and Burr, how are the ones from SOVA different from them?
I can only comment on the fabric we use, which is 22 momme, grade 6A mulberry silk and it is imperative for SOVA to work with partners who farm ethically and sustainably—from growing high quality mulberry trees to rearing silk worms as well as spinning and weaving our silk fabric.
Reducing manufacturing waste is one of our top initiatives—reducing and recycling the amount of excess raw materials in stock and redesigning our product packaging to ensure that it uses the minimum amount of materials. We have also invested in R&D to develop new varieties of silk infused with beneficial ingredients that can aid skin conditions while wearing or in contact with the products.
Apart from mulberry silk sleep accessories, we also have a fashion line of mulberry silk sleepwear and sleep-inducing products like our scented candles and pillow mist spray, which I believe, the other brands do not have.
What exactly does good sleep mean to you? More importantly, what are some techniques you can teach to women considering how you yourself live a busy life as a mom, wife, boss, and brand founder?
Prolonged lack of sleep deteriorates your health hence it is vital to make sleep your priority. Good sleep to me would be just uninterrupted eight hours of sleep with no dreams.
When you’re a mum, you are always getting fragmented sleep or you awake to the sound of your kids’ chitter chatter, so a good night of sound sleep sounds like a dream!
You can win the insomnia battle by being consistent with your bedtime or by getting into the mood for sleeping with comfortable sleepwear and bedding, it makes a difference more than you know. Or, use an eye mask as it helps block out ambient light, relaxes your eyes, forces them to shut and thereby aids in putting you to sleep faster.
My other tips include 30 minutes of exercise daily, even if it’s just walking, as it helps promote better sleep but just don’t time it too close to your bedtime. Journaling is also a good way to de-stress and manages any worries you might have so that you can feel more at ease and doze off quicker.
I personally can’t do it but if you can, stay away from your devices at bedtime so as to limit blue light exposure that emits from your screen devices. If you have to be on your phone, use a blue light filter. If you are sleep deprived and find yourself dozing off during the day, you may need to relook your sleeping hours and lifestyle habits and finetune it by maybe even taking short naps on weekends to make up for the accumulated sleep debt.
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The brand has mentioned too that it’s looking to develop new varieties of silks that are infused with skin-benefiting ingredients. Are you able to share what they are?
We have a mulberry silk infused with hyaluronic acid serum pillowcase coming up in the second quarter of the year. Very excited to launch that!
We’re also looking to expand and stock at more retail and concept stores, as well as continue growing our corporate arm that organises sleep wellness workshops and wellness retreats.