Surprising and unpleasant news reported last week in a survey carried out by memory-foam mattress company Ergoflex. A sample of nearly 2,500 British couples aged between 18 and 30 years old were asked about their sleepwear and bedtime hygiene habits. All the couples were in a relationship, but only 61 per cent said they shared a bed with someone on a nightly basis. The most popular choices for sleepwear among women are the traditional two-piece pyjama set (37 per cent), then underwear only (28 per cent), and ‘partners nightwear’ (26 per cent). For men its ‘underwear only’ (38 per cent), ‘pyjama trousers/shorts’ (35 per cent) and ‘two-piece pyjama set’ (19 per cent). And while they might go to bed in pyjamas, 19 per cent of people said they wake up wearing far less clothes. Socks (31 per cent) and tops (14 per cent) were the most common items removed during sleep.
And now for the revolting bit: the average man wears his pyjamas for almost two weeks in a row before washing them, while women wear the same set for 17 days. Women’s top excuse was that they alternate between a few pairs of PJs, so forget how long they’ve been out for, with 54 percent saying this. More than half (51 percent) said they didn’t need to wash pyjamas regularly because “they’re barely worn for more than a few hours per night”. It gets worse; men were quick to blame their partners, with 73 percent saying they don’t do the washing, so just wear what’s to hand. We are not told how often people wash those onesie pyjamas but it’s not enough.
Is this acceptable? Professor Sally Bloomfield, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine thinks not, “Pyjamas are against your skin,” she said. “You shed skin cells at a vast rate all the time. They are full of microorganisms. We all have skin and gut organisms that are usually not harmful on our skin and in our gut. But if they get into the wrong place they can cause problems.” She added, “Quite a lot of us carry staphylococcus bacteria, which can cause infections if they get into cuts and bruises. We all carry E Coli bacteria in our bowel. Again, most strains are not harmful. But if they get into the urinary tract they can cause infection. That would cause cystitis (a urinary tract infection). Some people carry MRSA, which is obviously gets very hard to treat, especially with antibiotic resistance.”
So for fun’s sake wash those onesie pyjamas or better still buy your partner some more cotton Funzees to sleep in.