Does what you wear to bed make a difference to your sleep?
Sleeping in silk seems dreamy…but is it good for your shut eye? Sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo gives us the lowdown on sleepwear attire – and what to wear for the soundest sleep possible.
Sleep: it’s free. And we all want more of it, so why is it so hard to get? Specifically – that consistent, restorative, uninterrupted, eight-hours-a-night kinda sleep. Which is why we’ve enlisted Sydney-based sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo to solve our myriad of sleep concerns with our new editorial series Sleep Well Wednesdays. Check back each week and you’ll be off to the land of nod before you know it.
Are your new slinky silk slip and your favourite old school cotton pjs going to sabotage, or support your sleep?
Wonder no more – I’m sharing all the sleep secrets – with respect to your attire – right here, right now. Because that’s how we like it, right?
Like what you see? Sign up to our bodyandsoul.com.au newsletter for more stories like this.
1. Natural fibres are best
Silk, wool, cotton, bamboo: get the sleep expert seal of approval.
And if you’re happy to sleep in wool, that’s the ultimate:
Studies show compared to an acrylic and cotton, wool comes up trumps : the latter reduces humidity in your bed, minimising sweat and heat related tossing and turning.
This comes down to their ability to promote thermoregulation – homeostasis (balance) of your core body temperature (CBT). Too hot? These fibres cool you down. Too cold? They warm you up. That’s the principle of thermoregulation – and exactly why animals such as sheep can still sleep, even in the heat of summer.
Comparatively, synthetic fibres don’t promote thermoregulation. You’re too hot? They trap heat. You sweat – and wake up in a sweaty mess.
On a similar vein, evidence shows sleeping on a woollen underlay correlates with less body movement, higher sleep quality and feeling more refreshed in the morning.
2. Stay cool, sister
Your boyfriends (or Hinge dates) will love me for saying this – when it comes to sleepwear, less is more.
Less clothing equates to more sleep. More rejuvenation. More restoration.
Essentially, melatonin is largely controlled by core body temperature: too hot, and you don’t produce it to the amount that you usually would. And in fact, a drop in your CBT promotes melatonin onset – exactly why I recommend a shower as part of my signature bedtime routine.
With that in mind, layering up in the evening is definitely not advised.
Keep cool and you’ll heighten melatonin synthesis, which for all those who are new to the Sleep Well Wednesdays series, is a key determinant in sleep initiation and maintenance alike.
3. Make it cute
This is more psychology than physiology: by loving the sleepwear you’re in, you’ll look forward to bedtime – it will become a positive experience for you. In turn, you’ll feel less anxious and negative about sleep, and therefore foster a healthier relationship with the practice in itself. Over time, this facilitates higher quality sleep.
So yes – get that embroidered sleepwear, splash out on luxe silk pjs (they are a natural fibre, after all), and love looking forward to bedtime.
It’s all in the name of better sleep – as guided by your personal sleep expert coach – enjoy.