words Alexa Wang
For a lot of women, shopping for sleepwear probably does not involve a lot of deep decision-making. It’s attire meant to be worn to bed, after all, and once the lights go out, there’s no one with their eyes open to see it. So for the most part, sleepwear is governed by convenience if not comfort.
It isn’t at all uncommon to see a woman wear any old shirt she happens to have lying around to sleep. The same goes for bottoms, as well. Women can wear anything from pajamas to yoga pants to a pair of gym shorts to bed. Sometimes the choice just comes down to whatever happens to not be in the laundry.
However, there are a few reasons why it could be worth taking more care when it comes to choosing sleepwear. Research shows that women sleep much more poorly than men do, and are more likely to develop sleep disorders such as insomnia by up to 40% compared to males. Hormones, lifestyle factors, certain pre-existing conditions, and many other unavoidable elements have a lot to do with why women don’t sleep as well as they should. This only makes it that much more important to do whatever it takes to ensure that you get that beauty sleep in. Here’s what you need to be looking for when choosing sleepwear:
Comfort is king for any clothes you’re going to be wearing to bed. Not only does cozy sleepwear make it more enjoyable to lay out, comfort is also critical to ensuring uninterrupted sleep. Anything that makes you toss and turn in bed needs to go. The same goes for anything that’s fussy. If the collar is bothersome, or the buttons just come undone by themselves, or if the elastic is too tight or too loose, get rid of it.
When shopping for sleepwear, think of the qualities you like best and feel the most comfortable in. There’s no reason to buy pajama tops that button up if you’re a pullover kind of girl, anyway. It’s also a good idea to make sure that nothing feels too tight anywhere. A loose fit is best, but go too far in this direction and you might be constantly pulling your bottoms up. If elastic feels too restrictive, look for designs that employ drawstrings, which allow you to adjust how they fit around your hips as you want them to.
Sleepwear is made of a wide variety of fabrics, from soft and plush to sleek and luxurious. How you choose which fabric is best depends on your preferences, but it’s also a good idea to take climate, weather, or indoor temperature and humidity into consideration. Some materials tend to be warmer than others, and vice versa. Investing in thick wool pajamas when you live somewhere warm and humid all year only means waking up drenched in sweat.
Cotton is one of the most commonly used fabrics in sleepwear because it’s lightweight, breathable, and soft. However, it does not offer the best insulation, and you may find yourself shivering in it during the colder months. Flannel is yet another popular option, especially among those who live where ambient temperatures tend to be colder. It’s dense but still very breathable, which means that it can keep you adequately warm without making you feel as though you’re overheating. Canadian pajamas, for example, are obviously designed for cold weather, but some sets are made from bamboo to help wick away extra moisture.
You should also consider any skin conditions that you have when picking between different types of sleepwear. For example, wool is known for being one of the warmest and coziest fabrics around, but it can irritate the skin and exacerbate dryness and itchiness.
As mentioned above, a good fit that veers just this side of loose is best when it comes to sleepwear. The last thing you want is to feel restricted, so choose pieces that offer plenty of freedom of movement. If you can’t try your chosen pieces out in the store or are shopping for them online, double-check the measurements before making any purchases.
When buying sets, make sure that both pieces come in the fit you desire. If they don’t, don’t be afraid to size up or down. It’s okay for sleepwear to look and feel a little more relaxed. It doesn’t have to be form-fitting, the important thing is for it to feel good.
Different fabrics require different care instructions to preserve the shape of the garment and maintain their longevity. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t have much time in the day to properly deal with your laundry, you’ll want to stay away from sleepwear made with delicate materials and stick to ones that you can just toss into the wash without a second thought.
Choosing sleepwear can seem like a no-brainer on the surface, but there’s nothing like finding pieces that perfectly suit your needs and preferences. Not only can they help you sleep better, they might even make you feel better when you’re wearing them.