Pajamas - The Word Spark

What’s the Word? Pajamas

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Whether you are like Hugh Hefner and wear silk pajamas as a fashion statement, or you slip into fewer, more comfortable versions of your daytime clothes (or no clothes at all), everyone wears something different for sleeping than they do during the productive, public hours of the day. “Putting on your pjs” is a timeworn tradition that is based on comfort but also has some deeper significance.

As early as the 16th century, folks have been donning nightshirts to slumber. And what we’ve come to know and love as the two-piece pajama set erupted into the sleeping and lounging sartorial scene in the 1880’s and comes from the Persian words for “leg trousers”.

When one considers pajamas or other nighttime garb, one thinks naturally of rituals at bedtime. Washing our faces, brushing our teeth, and perhaps prayers, stories, or a variety of other activities signal the end of the day. These are important parts of our natural rhythm as human beings because sleep is so crucial to our health and productivity.

Lack of sleep can cause accidents, compromised immune systems, emotional instability, and diminished cognitive functioning. So putting on our pajamas is just a symbol of doing something qualitatively crucial to our well-being. Here are a few tips for successfully ushering in the Sandman to ensure a good night’s sleep:

  • Have a bedtime ritual. Doing the same thing each night at about the same time will aid in falling asleep quickly.
  • Dim the lights. Starting a few hours before you go to bed, start dimming room lights as darkness triggers the body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that brings sleep. In fact, don’t wait until right before bed to brush your teeth in those bright bathroom lights.
  • Eliminate food, drink, and stress right before bed. Email will wait until tomorrow, and another glass of water will cause you to get up at 2 am.

Your sleep quality is inextricably linked to your daytime productivity and health, so pull out the footie pajamas and start counting sheep!