There’s a whole industry around “sleepwear”: Nighties, pajamas, sets, robes, even bras supposedly designed to lift while you sleep, all marketed as the best clothes for your rest. But what actually works is up for debate—and some say nothing at all is the way to go.
Those in the bare-is-better camp have a few things going for them. Your body cools down as part of your sleep cycles (as studied by the The American Academy of Sleep Medicine) to keep you in deep sleep mode (where you get the most rest). Disrupting that natural temperature adjustment can cause insomnia, and wearing excess clothes to bed could prevent that cool down from happening. For both sexes, it’s known to be better for your bottom regions to skip something tight—studies show women need aeration to keep healthy down there, and that constricting underwear for men can lower sperm count. Skipping underwear, or even pajama bottoms, leads to a healthier body. It might even help you lose weight, and prevent heart disease or diabetes. Heavy covers can impede the release of human growth hormone, which helps us burn fat, repair tissue, build muscle, and more.
Not to mention it’s sexier; many who sleep naked feel better about themselves, and it can add closeness (literally) between couples. Skin on skin contact releases oxytocin; essentially a happy-feeling hormone that comes from cuddling and keeps people feeling close to one another. The less clothes you wear to bed, the better your relationship may be.
Yet despite many people feeling more free with less on, there are a lot who aren’t quite into the idea. Which is okay—nothing shows that wearing clothes to bed is bad for you. When it comes down to it, we sleep best when we’re comfortable. If wearing nothing causes you anxiety, you won’t sleep soundly; the opposite of what anyone wants. The general bedclothes advice is to go for loose, light, and not a lot—think a nightgown, or tank top and shorts. Not too baggy, though; getting tangled in your own clothes can be an issue when you naturally toss and turn at night. The goal is to keep your temperature even, your skin feeling free, and your whole self at ease.
So, next time you hop into bed, consider getting undressed in a different way—perhaps all the way. It just might revolutionize your night.
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