I was talking with a friend yesterday and it got me thinking about how we sleep. Is sleeping nude healthy or is it just another alternative clothing, or lack of clothing, option? I know everyone has their preferred way. My mom drilled into us that as women we should let our girl parts breathe for health reasons. She opted for night gowns versus footie pajamas for us.
I’ve known many people with a variety of opinions from fancy outfits to sleeping nude. Some of my friends actually sleep in super sexy lingerie. Personally, that doesn’t work for me. I usually end up with it wrapped around my neck or turned around backwards by the morning and there is nothing sexy feeling about that! My grandmother slept in grandma nightgowns, the most stereotypical ones you can find and socks! My ex-husband thought sleeping nude was weird, but always slept in his underwear, keeping with the one sleepwear rule I was taught, I slept in a t-shirt. So in this world of fashion for the sake of fashion and nightwear choices having endless possibilities, are there health benefits or disadvantages to sleeping nude?
Sleeping Nude, Underwear or No?
Often people sleep in just their underwear, so they are close to nude. Let’s start looking at this simply, is there a benefit simply to sleeping without underwear? Men and women both have different concerns when it comes to our genital regions, but as a general rule it seems there are benefits to both. Temperature and restriction play a part regardless of gender. Let’s take a closer look at both.
Letting Our Lady Parts Breathe
Is this really a thing, letting our lady parts breathe? As it turns out, it really is a valid statement. Does this mean sleeping nude is healthy? According to an article I read online on LifeScience, for most women there is no issue. However, the recommendation is that they do sleep without panties because the yeast and bacteria that naturally populate our lady parts can proliferate. Sleeping without panties helps let them breathe, reducing the risk of yeast infections and other vaginal problems. It seems my mom was right.
- Fewer yeast infections
- Vaginal bacteria infections
- Reduced Odors
- Less skin irritation / skin infections
Should Men Parts Breathe too?
I didn’t want to make this just a one sided research effort, so I also want to know if the same applies to men. While men don’t have exactly the same concerns as women, it turns out sleeping without underwear also has benefits for men. Among those benefits are:
- Better blood flow to the prostate and testicles
- Happier sperm/ or more prolific sperm (increased fertility)
- Allows the testicles to regulate their temperature better
- Also some articles I read noted that it also reduces the risk of urinary infections
- Less skin irritation / skin infections
What about Bras?
We’ve looked at the bottoms, but is it ok to wear a bra at night? As any woman who comes home from a long day knows, there’s nothing quite so freeing as taking off her bra. As it turns out, not wearing a bra at night offers particular benefits. So lets look at the list of benefits:
- Increased circulation, especially in the area of the breast. This is important because restricting circulation can increase the instances of abnormal cells which increases our chances of breast cancer. However, it doesn’t stop there.
- Decrease in breast sag because our bras don’t allow our breasts to take their natural shape so the muscles and ligaments supporting them become less strong.
- Fewer breathing issues. The bands from our bras constrict across our diaphragm, which can create problems with respiration while we sleep.
- Less skin irritation/skin infections
The Benefits of Sleeping Nude
Everything I found pointed to sleeping without underwear as a health benefit, but what about sleeping completely nude? While the articles I read listed many things, sleeping completely nude (other than the specific underwear situations listed above) really isn’t gender specific. There seem to be tons of benefits from going sans clothes when you hit the pillow at night. However, it is important to note that of these benefits are derived from temperature and blood flow regulation.
- An Overall increase sleeping quality in part due to temperature regulation. An article I read on DrHealthBenefits states that our body temperature is at its peak between 11pm and 4am.
- Decrease in insomnia
- Reduction in temperature helps activate brown fat and influences
- our weight
- reduces cortisol levels
- giving us more energy
- better appetite control
- Sleeping in the buff with a partner
- increases the cuddle hormone Oxytocin the benefits of which I talk about in detail in my recent migraine article
- decreases stress
- self confidence increases
- increases intimacy and bonding
- increased sex drive
- Increased blood circulation, which is good for all body systems
- Decrease in blood pressure (due to proper body temperature regulation)
- Increase in Human Growth Hormone (HGH) which helps
- reduce aging
- burn fat
- repair tissue
- build muscle
Cons to Sleeping Nude
We’ve talked about all the benefits of sleeping nude, but are there any draw backs? Many of the drawbacks seem to be personal, ranging from anxiety and embarrassment of being walked in on to potentially ending up outside nude due to an emergency. Obviously if you feel anxiety about sleeping nude, your sleep won’t be as restful. In addition, just as sleeping nude helps the body regulate temperature more efficiently, in harsher climates being nude is an obvious draw back. However, as a Michigan native, there’s nothing like a chilly bedroom with a nice thick blanket.
Should You Sleep Nude?
Well, it seems that decision is obviously very personal. There are benefits, but if you feel overly anxious about nudity that will reduce them significantly. Experts suggest that if you opt for sleeping in clothing your choices should be:
- loose fitting
The Naked Conclusion
Today, just as an experiment I inquired on my social media account if people I was connected to slept nude or otherwise. Although I didn’t get a TON of responses, many of the ones who did post affirmed they slept naked and loved it. There were some that didn’t and express anxiety over being “busted”, especially in an emergency situation.
How about you?
If you want to read more on this, check out the following links: