There is something undeniably luxurious about slipping into your soft pajamas an hour or two before bed.
Many people, especially those whose work is physically challenging or their uniform is somewhat uncomfortable, like to start their PJ time almost immediately after getting home from work. Whenever you have your evening shower and shed those constricting work clothes, it's all too tempting to jump into your pajamas and spend the rest of the day relaxing at home.
When it's possible, this is an amazingly comfy way to spend your free time and reward yourself for a good day at work. It is one of the primary reasons why there are so many pajama options, and we don't all just default to a big T-shirt softened with age. That wouldn't be precisely decent for lounging around the house.
So instead, we have everything from flannel drawstring jammy pants to semi-formal matching silk pajama sets. There are all sorts of ways to get comfortable at home for some light housework, television, and maybe even a workout in various types of pajamas.
But what most people don't realize is that it's almost always a mistake to wear your relaxation-time pajamas to bed. You might not even want the same design and material for sleep as you do for post-work lounging.
The Social Pajama Trend
Pajamas have always been oddly socially relevant, and pajama trends matter a great deal in some circles of society. What you wear to bed can strongly influence people's perception of your wealth, lifestyle, health, and fashion sense. That, combined with the popularity of sleepovers and pajama parties (even among adults) has created something we can loosely call social pajama trends.
You want to be seen as looking good and being stylish even, and perhaps especially when presenting yourself as disheveled and relaxed.
Your social pajamas are what you would wear to a pajama party or when you are hosting overnight guests and want to relax without looking shabby in your favorite ratty pajama shirt. By far the most popular PJ option for socialization is silk pajama sets and robes. However, what you wear to look good in sleepwear and what is comfortable to sleep in are two very different things.
Silk, for example, is stained by involuntary night sweats and can become discolored and uncomfortable after a while. Other kinds of decorative pajamas may have thicker seams and more buttons or ties than what would be strictly comfortable for sleep.
The next category of pajamas to think about is your lounging pajamas. These can be the same as your best socializing pajamas but aren't always. Your lounging pajamas are what you throw on when you get home from work after you wash off the grime and stress. Lounging pajamas are almost universally made up of long soft pants and a loose shirt, an outfit that doesn't bind or scratch in any way.
For those who are always fashion and style conscious, this could be your silk pajama set, but for most people, it's closer to sweatpants and that T-shirt you've had since college that's nice and soft now. Your lounging pajamas often double as a laundry-day outfit and are perfect for both kicking back to watch your favorite shows or deep cleaning the utility closet because you can wash them without worry.
Why shouldn't you sleep in your lounging pajamas? Surely they're comfy enough, breathable, and as sweat-stain resistant as they're ever going to be. However, your body relies on physical and environmental triggers to know when it's time to sleep. If you spend hours relaxing in the same outfit you go to bed in, this has the same psychological effect as falling asleep in your clothes.
You're more likely to sleep lightly and wake up at the slightest sound because your body assumes that you're just taking a nap in the middle of an active day. A change of clothes into sleepwear is ideal, as is a final shower or hot bath, to give your body the signals it needs to sleep deeply.
The Pajamas You Sleep In
What you want to sleep in often has very little to do with how you want to relax around the house or how you'd like to present yourself during pajama-based social encounters. Rather than worrying about appearances, you need to be thinking about softness, breathability, airflow, and wicking which is how fabric takes moisture away from your body.
You should also change your bedding and PJs based on whether you're trying to stay cool in the summer or warm in the winter. We recommend you stay away from silk in bedding and PJs due to staining, washing, and airflow problems, as popular as silk may be.
Pajamas to Stay Cool
For warm-weather pajamas, or if your room is always warm no matter what the time if the year, natural fibers like cotton or bamboo are generally considered the best fabric for pajamas. They are lightweight, soft, breathable, and safely machine-washable, which means that even if you're prone to night sweats (as most of us are), there's very little chance of staining with regular laundering. You may also want to clothe only one half of your body for better airflow with a lightweight cotton nightshirt or pajama pants.
Pajamas to Stay Warm
For cold-weather pajamas or if you like to keep your bedroom at sub-arctic temperatures for deep cold sleep, you're better off with a soft flannel pajama set or a long nightgown without buttons, ties, or elastic. Look for pajamas that fit loosely but conform to the shape of your body so you won't get twisted in them and consider breathable socks to help your toes stay warm as they are usually the furthest from your heat-generating core.
If you've been having trouble drifting off to sleep at night, there are a lot of possible reasons, but one of the most likely is that you've confused your lounging or social pajamas with the best things to wear to bed. Make sure that the pajamas you sleep in are the best for sleep and comfort between your sheets. It's okay if your sleepwear isn't decent for social gatherings or particularly stylish because you'll be sleeping deeply.For more great tips on designing your bedroom, pajamas, and bedtime for the perfect night's sleep, contact us today.