What’s the Best Thing to Sleep In?
Comfort is knowing what to wear to bed.
What do you wear to bed at night? An old t-shirt? A PJ set? Nada? Whatever you wear, here are a few things to look out for when dressing for sleep.
Keep It Cool
If you’ve ever slept without an air conditioner on a hot summer night, you know how difficult it can be to fall asleep.
Over the course of a 24-hour period, your body temperature varies between 97.6 and 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit (36.4 and 37.6 Celsius). Your temperature rises during periods of activity or stress and decreases when it’s time for bed. If your environment isn’t cool enough, it can prevent your body from cooling and signalling it’s time for bed (source).
Experts recommend a sleeping temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 and 19.4 degrees Celsius) (source). Studies have found that cooler temperatures can improve sleep quality not just for normal sleepers, but even for insomniacs. One study found that cooling caps improved sleep quality of insomniacs so much that they actually fell asleep faster than the control group of normal sleepers, and stayed asleep for just as long (source).
Not everyone wants to wear a sleep cap at night. That’s why there are cooling blankets and pillows, but there’s also new innovation in mattresses themselves.
Many Serta® models offer leading temperature control technologies, combining breathable fabrics with cooling memory foam. The edges are designed to promote airflow throughout the mattress, so body heat doesn’t get trapped underneath the sleeper.
Whatever pajamas you wear, make sure they’re loose and flowy. PJs that are too tight can restrict lymphatic flow and circulation – and that’s not good.
In 1991, Harvard released a study that found that women who go bra-less at night had half the risk of breast cancer as those who wore their bras to bed. A 1997 study reported bra-free sleepers to be 60% less likely to develop breast cancer (source). Experts believe this is linked to restricted lymphatic flow and circulation and recommend looser, more comfortable PJs.
For men, the same rule applies when it comes to underwear. A study in Reproductive Toxicology found that men who wore tight or restrictive underwear to bed over a period of time had decreased sperm performance (quantity, density, motility) than those who wore looser options. Of the men who wore looser fitting boxers, the sperm performance actually increased. (source).
The takeaway? Bedtime is a time to feel comfortable and free. Set your sleep up for success by choosing looser options, or going nude.
There are many benefits to sleeping nude. First, it helps keep you cool, and as we learned, cooler sleep often means deeper sleep. Second, it promotes healthy circulation and lymphatic flow. Third, and perhaps less obvious, are the psychological benefits.
If you and your partner both sleep nude, you’ll get more skin-to-skin contact. This produces the feel-good hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin has been found to help you combat stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s also linked to lower blood pressure and improved gut function.
All the more reason to snuggle up.