Home Sleep Wellness Time to get cosy with everything there is to know about pyjamas

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Time to get cosy with everything there is to know about pyjamas

Pyjamas are a big part of most of our nighttime routines, with over half of people in Britain wearing pyjamas. They not only help us sleep, but have become a way for people to express themselves, with many different styles in a variety of price ranges.

It’s Pyjama Day on 22nd July, and what better way to celebrate than with a deep dive into all things pyjamas, looking at where they come from, which pyjamas help you to rest, and how pyjamas can help you to awaken your best.

What is Pyjama Day?

Pyjama day was originally founded by the Australian organisation, The Pyjama Foundation, over ten years ago, and aims to raise money and awareness for children in foster care. The money raised helps to support their lives through learning, developing life skills, and building their confidence. 

Anyone around the world can take part, and The Pyjama Foundation encourages people, or teams, to sign up and wear pyjamas for a day, be that in work, school, or with friends. People are then encouraged to raise money for the cause, or donate to someone else's fundraising efforts.

The importance of pyjamas also lies in their thermo-insulating capacity. This is especially important when sleeping in a cold environment. Temperatures that are too low can cause sleep disturbances and make it easier and more common to fragment sleep. 

Our favourite pyjama facts

To many, Pyjama Day is seen as a day of celebrating pyjamas, and all things comfort. But like everything, there is a history to pyjamas, and there are different variations all around the world. 

Where does the word “pyjama” originate from?

The word pyjama comes from the Hindi word, "pae jama", or "pai jama," which means leg clothing, and its usage dates back to the Ottoman Empire. It’s thought that pyjamas were introduced to the western world in the late 1800s, when British colonials who had previously worn traditional nightshirts for sleeping, adopted pyjamas and continued to wear them on their return.

Pyjamas in Japan

In Japan, a popular trend that emerged in the 1990s was “Kigurumi”, which is the Japanese word for costumed character. Wearing Kigurumi became fashionable in the streetwear crowd, and eventually travelled around the world. 

This trend is still popular today, and is what most people refer to as onesies. Any onesie that resembles an animal or mythical creature, can be traced back to the Japanese streetwear trend in the 1990s. 

People used to wear pyjamas to the beach

In the 1920s, Coco Chanel popularised “beach pyjamas”, loose fitting pyjama style trousers and a sleeveless top, worn to the seaside. The phenomenon was extremely popular, and may even be seeing a resurgence. Repurposing pyjamas for outdoor wear is becoming a trend again, with everyday sleeping attire being worn differently to create new styles for going out, and even once again as beachwear. Those wondering how to wear pyjamas are spoilt for choice with the different options available! 

How pyjamas can help you sleep

On top of pyjamas' interesting history and alternative ways to wear them, there is actually some real science behind how best to wear pyjamas. Read on to discover what the best pyjamas to wear throughout the year are, how often you should change your pyjamas, and why it’s not always right to wear your pyjamas to bed.

Should you wear pyjamas to bed?

Assess the temperature of the evening, and figure out if you should wear pyjamas on a night-by-night basis. Most people believe that we tend to sleep better in slightly colder temperatures, as our body temperature naturally decreases when we sleep, so if it’s going to be an especially warm night, it may be better to not wear your pyjamas. 

Because how hot or cold we are has a big impact on our sleep quality, it is important to make the right decisions in what to wear for bed, so we don’t wake up from being at the wrong temperature. Sleeping through the night will help aid our wellbeing, and lack of sleep can have a variety of physical impacts on our bodies.

What’s the best pyjama material to wear throughout the year?

A person's temperature is one of the most important factors that affects sleep, so it’s important to have the right pyjamas throughout the year that keep us cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. Because pyjamas vary in materials, it is wise to have a number of different sets of pyjamas that can be used for specific seasons.

The best pyjama materials for spring and summer are silk, cotton, linen, or bamboo. All of these materials are breathable and lightweight, meaning that they can offer a cooler sleep than other materials. Being a more flowing material, pyjamas like these will let in more cool air, which should help you maintain your sleep in humid climates.

The ideal pyjama materials for autumn and winter are wool, fleece, or flannel. Wool and fleece are particularly heavy fabrics, and although they will retain heat, there is a chance that you could be too warm sleeping in these with a duvet, so they may be better for winter nights. Flannel is a good all round material for autumn and winter, as it is a heavier fabric, but is also less likely to cause overheating.

How often should you change your pyjamas?

It is thought that you should wash your pyjamas once a week at the absolute minimum. This is because, by wearing any clothes for too long, there becomes a build up of skin cells and microbes, which can cause problems if they get in the wrong places.

Wearing pyjamas can help keep our beds clean though, as they create an added layer between our skin and our bedsheets, preventing many skin particles reaching our beds. If we keep our pyjamas washed, and wear a fresh set every night, our bed should remain cleaner and more hygienic for longer.

Sleep tips from the experts at Emma

Anyone looking for tips on all things sleep should look no further than Sunrise by Emma. We have a wealth of resources on our website, from tips on sleep health to guidance on sleep wellness, all verified by real sleep experts. The Emma Sleep Shop even has some of the best sleep products available, from premium mattresses to a range of bed frames. Why not visit to see how you can elevate your sleep?

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