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Sleepwear with lateralized thermal properties for the treatment of sleep disturbance in women

Paul Glovinsky (Sleep Disorders Center, St Peter’s Health Partners, Albany, New York, USA)
Erik Zavrel (Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA)

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology

ISSN: 0955-6222

Article publication date: 15 February 2018

Issue publication date: 22 March 2018




The authors’ innovation is specially constructed sleepwear – which the authors have dubbed “Janus Sleepwear” – for the treatment of sleep disturbance caused by thermal dysregulation, a problem most often seen in women. The authors have designed and tested a simple and comfortable garment with lateralized thermal properties that promotes either thermal conduction or thermal insulation depending upon body position. This innovation will allow sleepers to auto-regulate proximal skin temperature through subtle movements during brief transient arousals, preserving overall sleep architecture. The paper aims to discuss this issue.


The authors have constructed several prototypes of sleepwear with lateralized thermal properties and conducted small-scale piloting of the garment. Volunteers wore the special sleepwear while awake and performed a series of controlled body position changes. Temperature at several proximal anatomical sites was monitored using temperature sensors known as iButtons.


Janus Sleepwear can facilitate more rapid cooling, compared to control sleepwear, when the conductive side faces the ambient environment and can maintain temperature with less loss of heat when the insulating side faces the ambient environment.


Thermoregulation plays a key role in promoting and maintaining sleep. Thermal dysregulation and sleep disturbance most commonly occur in women. Sensitivity to ambient temperature stressors suggests it may prove beneficial for such women to maintain as narrow a temperature range as possible during sleep. A person wearing Janus Sleepwear will be able to effectively “steer” her body in response to subjective and subconscious perceptions of thermal discomfort to maintain optimal conditions while asleep.



Glovinsky, P. and Zavrel, E. (2018), "Sleepwear with lateralized thermal properties for the treatment of sleep disturbance in women", International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 62-72.



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