Here’s Why You Should Have Adult Sleepovers with Your Friends

published Apr 14, 2023
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh

In my twenties, I’m learning that it can be complicated to make plans in advance with friends, especially if you or your loved ones have a busy schedule. And often, complex plans can either be an inconvenient expense or lead to sacrificing a long-awaited night-in following a draining weekend. Choosing to hang out with your friends in a relaxed environment, such as a sleepover, is an excuse to wear your pajamas while enjoying time with your besties.

According to writer Chelsea Fagan, platonic sleepovers are criminally underrated and an excuse to have a “staycation in your city without paying for a hotel.” In a TikTok, Fagan mentioned that she invited a group of her friends over while her husband was out of town for a fun-filled sleepover with a thoughtful breakfast the next morning.

During college, it’s easier to gather people together for a night-in, since campuses provide accessibility to live closer to your friends in dorms or student housing complexes. But after graduating, people often pursue career opportunities in other cities, move in with family or a romantic partner, or don’t necessarily prioritize living near friends. In an article by Adrienne Matei for The Atlantic, the author imagines the utopian experience of having your friends as neighbors or in a relatively close walking distance.

“Sometime during the pandemic lockdowns, I began to nurture a fantasy: What if I were neighbors with all of my friends?” Matei writes in her essay. “Every day, as I took long walks through North Vancouver that were still nowhere near long enough to land me at a single pal’s doorstep, I would reflect on the potential joys of a physically closer network. Wouldn’t it be great to have someone who could join me on a stroll at a moment’s notice? Or to be able to drop by to cook dinner for a friend and her baby? How good would it be to have more spontaneous hangs instead of ones that had to be planned, scheduled, and most likely rescheduled weeks in advance?”

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh

As Matei continues to describe an ideal community, she references the “nonbiological chosen families” that queer communities have developed and even hints to the aforementioned benefit of staying on a college campus during your undergraduate studies. Research has shown that living closer to your friends positively impacts your mental health and well-being. Although the solution to Matei’s question isn’t as effortless as it sounds — primarily because moving is an expensive and mentally draining feat — it’s possible to still enjoy your friends’ companionship by hosting low-effort plans, like a sleepover.

Start with sending a virtual invite on Partiful and get to scheming your night. No guest rooms? No problem — blowing up an air mattress will do or extending your pull-out couch can suffice for the night. To ease the stress of planning a party, there’s no need to have a specific theme or elaborate menu, but you should get a loose idea of what activities you’ll be doing that night. 

To figure out what you and your friends will do during your pajama party, reflect on what you did at sleepovers as a kid. Smelling the recently-delivered cheesy pizza, giggling over classic teen comedies like “Aquamarine” or “Bratz,” and filming music videos to 2000s hits was just a glimpse of a memorable night at a friend’s house. All of these moments can be recreated in your adulthood, plus you’re allowed to watch movies that are rated for mature audiences (and have a drink). 

Perhaps there’s a movie or TV show that’s caught your attention, which means it’s the perfect opportunity to binge-watch it. If you and your friends are too indecisive to choose something to watch, maybe a hands-on activity like a video game, board game, or card game will be an entertaining alternative. For those who are too competitive for a game, arts and crafts, trivia, or completing a puzzle are a handful of low-cost activities that will do.

Unlike your childhood, there doesn’t have to be a curfew, so you can spend the entire night doing any of these activities. After all, you’re never too old for a sleepover.