Dressed For Rest: Can Bedclothes Affect Our Sleep?
Published in The Huffington Post
Most of us typically think about getting dressed as preparation for our day. We dress to accommodate waking life activities and events. We dress for work or play, for celebrations, chores or to hang out with friends. But because we see sleep as a kind of non-event or inactivity, we typically don’t think in terms of getting dressed for it. We get undressed for sleep.
The limited data we have about bedclothes suggests nearly 40 percent of Americans simply shed their waking attire at bedtime, stripping down to their underwear or birthday suits to sleep. Another 23 percent don shorts and a T-shirt to bed down. In the end, only about one-third of us actually dress up for sleep with pajamas or nightgowns.
Does sleeping nude enable us to feel thoroughly free? Does it allow us to tap into a deep sense of innocence? Whatever it might be, men do so twice as often as women, who wear pajamas or nightgowns four times as often as men. Basic PJs may set the standard for practical, no-nonsense sleep. Does the T-shirt and shorts sleeper view sleep as a stripped down version of waking? Women opt for this slightly more frequently than men do, but less often than choosing lingerie.