Sleeping au naturale is sexy
Sleeping au naturale is sexy, convenient and especially enticing as the nights start to get warmer. Many people who are in the habit of hitting La La Land in their birthday suits swear that dozing in the nude even carries health benefits, from helping prevent diabetes to keeping your vagina healthy … but is there any merit to these claims?
We sat down with Dr. Pauline Jose, a family practice physician at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, who’s skeptical of previous research on the subject. “Of course, there are many articles about [sleeping naked],” said Dr. Jose. “Whether they are reliable and evidence-based is another story. I have never really thought of sleeping naked as having any many benefits.”
She gave us the skinny on whether baring it all between the sheets is really all it’s cracked up to be.
What about claims that sleeping naked releases important hormones?
You’ll get those when you fall asleep with or without pajamas on, says Dr. Jose. “Many physiological events happen when we fall asleep, period. In the first two hours of sleep, for example, the growth hormone is secreted. The secretion of cortisol and thyroid-stimulating hormones also peaks at the onset of sleep. If sleep is good, there is no problem with things like testosterone secretion, which is messed up by sleep disorders.”
In other words, the important thing is that you consistently get a good night’s sleep, not what you’re wearing (or not) while you do it.
Doesn’t sleeping naked prevent yeast infections?
Not so much, says Dr. Jose: “We don’t prevent vaginal yeast infections when we sleep naked. Yeast infections develop from an imbalance inside.”
Dudes who think sleeping naked is necessary to protect their junk may be similarly misguided. “One benefit I’ve seen online is that lower temperatures are helpful for a man’s genitals,” says Dr. Jose. “Actually, it’s exposure to high temperatures that may not be healthy for the testicles. As long as you’re not falling asleep in a sauna, you should be fine.”
Isn’t sleeping naked supposed to be good for your sex life?
In a word, yes. (Finally, one of these beliefs holds up!)
“The only benefit I agree with is that skin-to-skin contact with our partners promotes sexual activity, which leads to feeling good,” said Dr. Jose. In fact, according to one study from 2014, couples who doze in the nude together reported a 57% happiness rate, as compared to the 38% to 48% reported by couples who doze in various kinds of sleepwear.
So, should I sleep naked or not?
If you like it, sure! Ultimately, Dr. Jose says, whether or not sleeping naked has benefits may just depend on whether you’re more relaxed sans clothing.
“If we are hot and unable to sleep, then we should either turn on the air conditioner or sleep naked,” she told us. “If we feel more comfortable without any clothes on in bed, then go for it. Wearing a loose and cool nightgown may give us some restful sleep as well!”