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Wakeup! What You Wear to Sleep Matters

Would you flow into Downward Facing Dog in skinny jeans and a turtleneck? Probably not… Because Yoga clothes feel better and make sense for your body’s moves. Considering that you spend roughly a third of your life in dreamland, what you wear to bed is just as important, maybe even more. Each night you turn out the lights and curl up in bed; hopefully, sleep happens naturally. Fast. If you’re very lucky, shortly after closing your eyes, you’ll settle into a deep sense of comfort. Or else… drifting off is a challenge. So you lie awake with spiraling thoughts, unable to let go of the day’s events. 

Wellness and sleep are intertwined. And even subtlest choices can influence your quality of rest. For instance, take your mattress... What’s it made from? Does its surface and structure assist with body alignment? An uncomfortable bed may prevent you from enjoying stillness, and make it challenging to fall asleep. Notice your environment... Is your bedroom calming or cluttered? Likewise, how your body feels in bed plays an integral part in how you experience the next 6-8 hours of slumber. 

Choosing your night clothes is part of present moment awareness. So before you mindlessly toss on an old tee shirt and sweats, hop into bed, and hope for the best, stop. Take some time. Decide: what’s the healthiest way to cover... or uncover your body?


Natural Fibers

Natural Fibres

Sure, natural materials allow air to circulate. So they’re comfier, better for you and the environment. Plus, if you sweat, the fabric will absorb it. Surprisingly though, depending on which natural material you sleep in, you may have a different experience. A study in the Nature of Science and Sleep monitored 17 subjects during sleep, in order to investigate the influence of fabric on sleep, and various temperature levels. The results? Researchers discovered that even though cotton is the most popular choice, it isn't the wisest option. Those who wore wool sleepwear vs cotton, fell asleep faster and experienced greater periods of deep sleep. 



 Imagine your arm sheathed in plastic wrap… Not so much fun, huh? Well, what happens to your skin when you wrap it in material that doesn’t breathe? Some people experience varied levels of textile dermatitis, a condition where fabric causes a rash, itching, and more… Even if you don’t experience irritations from synthetics, lack of air circulation may cause your body to become overheated. So you sweat more. And synthetics are not naturally absorbent. Be mindful of your body temperature in the wee hours… Heat and sweat can become compounded, preventing you from easing into a relaxed state. According to a study on sleep and circadian rhythms, thermal setting is one of the most important factors affecting sleep quality. The study discovered that subjects who were hotter experienced less slow wave sleep and increased wakefulness. Meanwhile, cold, did not have any effect. 


Fashion Plays a Part

Style also makes a difference when it comes to sleepwear. Think in terms of flexibility. Unless you stay in a fixed position all night long, which is rare, bed clothes should conform to the natural curves of your body and allow for nonrestrictive motion. Are you a side-sleeper? Do you sleep flat on your back? Will you flop around, and change positions as you dream? Choose the most comfortable cut and fabric for your body type.


Au Naturale

Even if you’ve grown accustomed to your favorite flannel PJ’s, you may want to mix things up and consider sleeping in the buff. According to a study, 60% of men and 56% women, sleep in the nude; they say it makes them feel more relaxed and comfortable. And 54% believe they experience better slumber without clothing. It makes sense… After wearing fabric all day, removing extra layers gives you a chance to naturally to cool off, and move about freely through the evening hours. 

Another perk: aside from not having to fret about what you wear, sleeping in the raw also helps contribute to body-positive feelings. Research shows that people who spend more time nude have higher levels of self-confidence.  If deeper sleep and enhanced wellbeing aren’t good enough reasons to strip down to your birthday suit, what is? 


The Future

Think your smartphone is pretty darn miraculous? Well, it is… But in the future your PJ’s may be even more clever than your phone. Sounds impossible, right? Not really, considering that science is busy at work, developing “Smart Pajamas.” These brilliant PJ’s contain self-monitors that track your heartbeat, breathing, and sleep posture. The goal? Eventually this one-of-a-kind data will be used to optimize and improve your sleep quality.



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