As far as most people are concerned, the sleeping cap is a historical item rather than something that’s relevant to people in need of a few hours’ worth of sleep in the modern era. In some ways, they’re correct. Most people do not need them in today’s world filled with modern conveniences such as central heating and air conditioning. That doesn’t mean, however, that they aren’t at all useful today. Many retailers still sell them today.
The History of the Sleeping Cap
While it’s not exactly known when or, specifically, where the sleeping cap (often referred to as a nightcap, sleep hat, or sleep bonnet) originated, at one time, sleeping caps were worn because fires died down and homes were incredibly cold during the late hours of night or wee hours of morning. Since the thought was a large chunk of a body’s heat escapes through the head, it made perfect sense to keep the head covered in an effort to retain body heat so you can remain warm throughout the night.
While older movies and animated features often show men wearing them, women had their own versions of the sleeping cap to wear as well—though there were distinct differences in style between a man’s sleeping cap and one that was made for women. Today, women also wear a sleeping cap to protect their hairstyle while they sleep.
Do You Need a Sleeping Cap Today?
Historically, sleeping caps played a vital role in the health and well-being of society as a whole. Today, the need for sleeping caps may not be as widely realized, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t quite a few real world benefits to consider about wearing sleeping caps today. These are just a few of the ways sleeping caps can possibly help you and/or your family.
Greener Living for the Planet and Your Wallet -You’ll be able to turn the thermostat way down at night. This helps you save fossil fuels, which in turns allows you to pay far less for keeping your house warm in the winter. If you’re truly interested in greener living this is greener living, it’s a practical way to stay warm in winter without spending a lot of “green” to accomplish the goal and while reducing your impact on the planet. It’s difficult for most people to find something wrong with the plan.
It Becomes Part of a Bedtime Routine or Ritual – Rituals and routines are important for people who struggle with insomnia or restless evenings. There’s something calming and comforting about a routine that signals the brain that it’s time to slow down and prepare for sleep. Putting on a sleeping hat can help you get the message to your mind that it needs to “shut off” to some degree so that you can sleep. It works best when you try to stick to a set course of action, time of day, and sequence of events.
A New Twist on an Old Theory
However, a new study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine revealed that keeping the brain cool may actually help people who suffer from chronic insomnia get the sleep they need. Insomniac study participants were given sleeping caps that circulated water around the head in order to keep their heads cool. The participants were able to fall asleep three minutes faster, on average, and achieve similar amounts of sleep (89 percent of the time they actually spent in bed) to the control participants. The belief is that the cooling power of the sleeping cap actually helps your mind shut down so you can get to sleep.
You don’t have to walk the halls of history to find practical reasons to use sleeping caps today. There are plenty to choose from, so give them a try and see what a difference they can make for you – whether you need help developing a routine, staying warm, protecting your hairdo, or cooling off so you can actually get your brain to “turn off” so you can get the quality sleep your body needs.
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