It’s way too late at night, and you’re exhausted. You don’t have time to care about anything other than falling into bed. So you toss off your outer clothes and fall asleep. Or maybe it’s been such a lousy day with stressors, work, kids, or feeling ill—you just flop into bed wearing your leggings and oversized shirt. Pajamas? Who has time to wash and fold and then pick and put on a pair of pajamas?
As odd as it sounds, would you believe us when we tell you that pajamas are an essential bedtime ritual? What if we told you that pajamas hold a more influential role in the quality of sleep we get and our mental health and wellbeing? It is true!
There’s evidence that adding pajamas and nightwear to our nightly routine as adults and for our children can help improve sleep and health, and we’re so excited to share with you why pajamas are essential and how they can improve your daily (and nightly) life!
A Surge in Sleep Disorders
Researchers specializing in sleep and sleep disorders have documented a steep increase in sleep issues and conditions as the pandemic began. According to The Lancet Neurology Association, in a report published in January 2021, roughly 2 out of 3 Americans are now sleeping either more or less than desired.
This makes a lot of sense, given that our routines are upended, many of us are spending more time in front of screens for work or leisure, and the stress and worry over health and job concerns can all contribute to sleep problems. Sleep plays a critical role in our physical and mental health, and psychologists recommend addressing concerns as proactively as possible. Even if sleep issues stem from stress, after a stressful experience ends, sleep disturbances can continue—many sleep experts are saying to expect sleep issues to continue in the coming months even as life normalizes.
The good news is, there are things you can try at home to treat some of the sleep concerns before needed professional help.
Just like we’re told to get dressed in the morning to improve our mood, whether we need to go out or not, getting ready for bed and dressing for sleep does make a difference. It affects your sleep quality as well as your overall health.
How Pajamas Can Improve Sleep Quality and Well Being
Leading a healthier lifestyle is more than just eating better, exercising, reducing stressful situations, and exercising. A healthy lifestyle also means taking care of yourself inside and out. While life-changing habits are a good start if you aren’t getting enough good quality sleep, how likely are you to have the energy to keep up with those changes? One of the first steps to improving your sleep and energy levels might be as simple as wearing the fitting pajamas. But how?
1- Part of a Nighttime Routine
Whether adult or young children, having a nighttime routine is essential to help your mind begin to unwind and assist in signaling your body it is time to sleep. Bedtime routines are a consistent, repetitive set of activities that are carried out before bed every night. These routines can give you or a child a sense of security, and for children, can teach them how to fall asleep naturally on their own.
Research findings from the Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have found that the significant number of bedtime activities at age 3 months, such as bath times, reading books, and cuddle time, could affect longer sleep durations at 12 months and that children of 18 months and 24 months had fewer sleep problems. The benefits of setting a bedtime routine early in life for children have been shown to benefit children’s sleep quality years later.
As an adult, creating a bedtime routine can be difficult as we must adjust old habits. But the benefits of better sleep quality and healthier wellbeing remain. Many of us are navigating through our days on mental overdrive. Creating a nighttime routine that includes changing into pajamas can help us slow down and focus on what matters most.
When you put on pajamas, no matter your age, it is like sending a signal to your brain that it is time to slow down, close your eyes, and rest.
2- Temperature Regulation
In winter especially, pajamas have the added benefit of keeping your body warm. Long-sleeved, legging pajamas can protect your arms and legs, and even though we most likely will have blankets, having an extra layer makes us feel much more comfortable. Additionally, in the summer, wearing pajama shorts and short-sleeved pajama tops help keep you cooler, which means less uncomfortable sweating or overheating at night, disrupting sleep.
3- Comfort is Key
When it’s time to select your pajamas or getting a new pair, it is all about the suitable fabric, and they need to focus on what is most comfortable and breathable. Very few people enjoy sleeping on or wearing something scratchy, itchy, or overall uncomfortable.
When it comes to pajama fabric, going the all-natural fabric route is the best choice for comfort. 100% cotton or 100% combed-cotton knit is one of the best material choices. Cotton and lycra blends are also great as lycra helps ensure better shape retention to your pajamas. When it comes to cotton pajamas, it’s an all-natural fiber, is lightweight, and incredibly soft to the touch. Additionally, cotton is very breathable, meaning it allows for air circulation. Cotton also tends to be far less irritating to those with sensitive skin.
Pajamas are essential for better, healthier sleep. Sleep offers our bodies the chance to rest and repair, replenishing energy levels, identifies and enhances relevant recent learning, resets emotional responses, and can help our immune systems—critical in younger children. Our rest is vital, and we hope at LazyOne we can help you have a better impact on your family’s sleep quality and wellbeing.