Sleep. It’s that time of night when people become (or are supposed to become) refreshed. That REM cycle, that recommended sleep amount, those comfy sheets, that slow fan circling overhead to give a nice breeze, as if you’re sleeping under the stars…that’s how it supposed to be. But how is it? That’s a different question.
Americans, chronically, get a lack of sleep. While the recommended amount of hours to sleep is between seven and nine, Americans get less than that; in some cases, far less. The couple with a newborn child, the executive who stays up at night thinking about projects, the single mother struggling at night budgeting her expenses…all these individuals might get less than the needed amount of sleep.
Insomnia, as well, affects millions of Americans. Getting to bed remains a challenge for many but falling asleep is its own problem, with millions of Americans struggling to sleep once they get into bed. Some of this is due to the environment: excessive noise, excessive light, warmer or colder temperatures, can all influence someone to get to sleep.
That’s why studies have been done to research another part of sleep hygiene that influences sleep: nightwear.
Sleepwear is generally broken into different garments that people like to wear when they sleep. A quick list includes:
- The adult onesie
- The babydoll
- The blanket sleeper
- The chemise
- The negligee
- The nightgown
- The nightshirt
- The nightcap
- The peignoir
Some sleepwear is more practical than others. The adult onesie is chosen for its comfortableness and the ability for its material to be breathable. Some, like the negligee or the chemise, are clothing that gives off a sensual vibe, intent on making adult activities arise.
However, several studies have shown a difference between men and women and their choice of sleepwear. Men tend to choose no sleepwear or underwear as their sleeping preference in bed, with shorts and a T-shirt coming in a distant third. Women tend to choose pajamas or a night gown over all else, with shorts and a T-shirt and sleeping nude coming next.
Whether or not a piece of clothing is breathable makes for a significant impact as well. Breathable clothing is made out of a type of material that allows for air to pass in and out–hence the term breathable. There are many types of breathable material but a material that sticks out when it comes to sleepwear is that white fuzzy ball–cotton.
Cotton, as a crop, is a soft, fluffy, staple fiber that grows in a boll or protective case around the seeds of cotton plants. Its fiber is almost pure cellulose. Cotton grew to prominence in Mexico and Australia. Later, the U.S. become the world’s largest cotton exporter, with the South producing “king cotton”, often for the development of the North.
Cotton sleepwear has many benefits, including:
- It is breathable
- It is non-allergenic for most people
- It is cool in the summer
- It is warm in the winter
- It is durable if taken care of
Cotton sleepwear can include:
- Cotton onesies
- Cotton blanket sleepers
- Cotton nightshirts
- Cotton pajamas
Cotton, especially if it’s woven densely, can provide for a great night’s sleep. Percale, for instance, is a cotton woven with a 200 thread count or higher and is more durable than a cotton satin at the same thread count. It is also less likely to pill than cotton satin, because it has a denser weave.
Comfortableness is key and many cotton sleepwear products provide that. Because it is such a breathable material, it provides comfort in both hot and cold temperatures. Thread count matters as well. Thread count is the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric.
Many companies specialize in the white cotton sleepwear, including:
- The white cotton nightgown
- White cotton nighties
- White cotton pajamas
- The white nightie
- The white nightshirt
The white cotton nightgown is particularly interesting as nightgowns offer a form of flexibility that can be designed into cotton products. Like the design for white cotton pajamas and other cotton products, seamstresses and designers can make the material have some give, so that it offers more comfort during sleep.
The white cotton nightgown is illustrative of another concept. Many women prefer to sleep in a nightgown or pajamas (in the previous study they were considered under the same category), so a white cotton nightgown’s popularity seems to make sense.
Cotton makes for great sleepwear. It can help you sleep, just like a fresh scent.