According to Britain’s leading national authority, The Sleep Council, as a nation we’re simply not getting enough sleep. A third of us get just five to six hours a night, leaving us tired, irritable and unable to function at full capacity. There are many factors that go into getting a good night’s sleep and most of them are well known. We know that we shouldn’t be drinking caffeine too close to bedtime, and that we should be getting plenty of fresh air and exercise as well as a healthy diet. Here’s one that you may not have considered, though – your nightwear!
If you’re wearing the wrong pyjamas, they may be contributing to a poor night’s sleep. This is why.
When your body prepares itself for sleep, your core temperature will drop naturally. Your hands, face and feet will start to get cold as your body goes into ‘sleep mode’, and scientists recommend that we keep bedroom temperatures at just 16 to 18 degrees Celsius so as not to interfere with this process. There’s a big temptation, particularly in the winter, to wrap up with lots of layers but then you risk confusing your body’s natural ability to regulate temperature and overheating.
Pyjamas made from synthetic fibre such as polyester may seem cosy, but as the fabric doesn’t breathe it could keep you much hotter than is comfortable during the night. If you’re too hot, studies show that you’re more likely to wake up frequently and are less likely to get your quota of restorative REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. The ideal choice is crisp, 100% cotton pyjamas. The natural material will help your body temperature stay constant, meaning a much more restful night. Choosing a smart style that you love will lift your spirits and help you look forward to bedtime and you should ideally pick a fit that’s loose without being baggy so that nothing feels restrictive.
If you’ve only ever had synthetic pyjamas before, you’ll be surprised at the difference pure, natural materials can make as the first step in getting a restful night’s sleep.