The importance of a good night's sleep is well documented, with sleep deprivation effects wide-ranging and scary. If you've invested in the best mattress, duvet and pillow you can afford, and basically done everything you can think of to turn your room into a calm and comfortable haven, what else can you do to improve your chances of getting an excellent bit of shut-eye?
New research suggests the PJs you wear could have a big impact on how well you're sleeping. It makes sense that something that's soft against your skin will help you sleep better at night, however, new research commissioned by nightwear brand Our Girl (opens in new tab) goes even deeper by exploring the specific fabrics and nightwear styles that deliver an improvement in sleep quality. And the fabric to wear for the best night's sleep is apparently ... velvet.
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To gather the data, 150 volunteers were sent a range of nightwear and asked to wear a sleep tracker to bed. The 'sleep score' is based on sleep duration, restoration, heart rate data, blood oxygen and time spent awake, and compared to a previous average from the week preceding the experiment. All other factors – bedtime, location, room temperature, sounds etc – were kept the same.
Velvet nightwear delivered in the highest scores in tests, with the velvet sleeveless nightdress showing the biggest sleep improvement (14%) followed by short velvet pajamas (13%).
The nightwear to avoid is the onesie. All the onesies in the trial saw a decrease in sleep quality compared to the testers' average, with the silk onesie resulting in an average decrease in sleep score of -9%.