Just like we have our morning rituals, we’re also prone to those rituals that see us shake off the day and its concerns, before hitting snooze. For some, it might involve sending yourself to sleep as you attempt to make it through the pages of that book that’s been collecting dust on your nightstand, while for others it’s a very distinct ritual of a hot shower and high thread-count sheets. When you’ve been working hard, few things are as comforting as clean bed sheets. Not surprisingly, the desire to strip down to the birthday suit and slide right in overwhelms all of us - after all, we’re only human.
If sleeping in the nude is your preferred state of snoozing, you might want to read this though. While there have been a number of small studies conducted in the past that suggest sleeping in the nude presents a range of benefits, including the ability to fall asleep faster, stress reduction, healthier skin, and improved overall sleep quality, it turns out that it’s not everything it’s cracked up to be. According to surgeon, podcaster and YouTuber Dr. Anthony Youn, there’s a pretty compelling scientific argument in favour of keeping your clothes on - well, at least your underwear. The reasoning: poop particles.
Yep, that’s right. As Youn explains, “The average person passes gas 15 to 25 times a day, and this can happen while you’re sleeping.” The doctor adds, “And a scientific study proved that every time you pass gas, you are spraying a tiny amount of faecal matter. This is true, even if it’s not a real shart. And that same study showed that your tighty-whities will catch all of these particles. So for the sake of your bed partner, please sleep with your underwear on.”
The doctor also commented that for women, if you’re instructed by a gynaecologist to sleep without underwear, then you should listen to them, but “for guys - put your tight whities on before bed!”
If that advice wasn’t enough to convince you, experts have also revealed that one shouldn’t sleep naked during a heatwave either. According to Julius Patrick, lead sleep physiologist at Bupa’s Cromwell Hospital, “When you sleep naked, sweat actually collects on the body and then remains there.” Patrick explained to Cosmopolitan, “However hot it is when you drift off, remember your body temperature will drop during the night. If you’re wearing light clothes to sleep in, it soaks up any sweat you have, which can cool you down.”
This was followed by advice from Dr Guy Leschznier, a sleep physician and neurologist, who said wearing light clothes during a heat wave is the better option. In an interview with Radio 4, Dr Leschziner explained, “People may be better off sleeping in clothing rather than sleeping naked. If you’re wearing a natural fabric like cotton it acts as a wick for your sweat and it can increase the surface area for the sweat to evaporate, thus may make you feel much cooler.”
So, there you have it. All these times we rejoiced about slipping into sheets in the nude, perhaps it’s time to reconsider and invest in some nice jammies, or at least a good pair of underwear.