Sleeping in the Buff: What’s That All About?

So this is a tough one, folks, but it needs to be said. Some of us sleep in the buff. So there. Here are a few thoughts on whether you should or shouldn’t, and what to consider if you do.

Sleeping Naked: What’s Up With That?

Some people just enjoy the feel of air on skin at night. Some sleep with a significant other and find sleeping naked to be both comfortable and convenient. Sleeping naked can be psychologically liberating and physically comforting, helping you to sleep more soundly—especially if you “sleep hot” or live in a warm climate. It may even be good for the environment!

Things to Consider

If you sleep naked, there are a few things you should consider:

  • Emergencies. It’s best to keep your pajamas close by even if you sleep naked. If the house catches fire, the place is robbed, or someone drops by unexpectedly, you’ll want to be ready to throw your clothes on and go. Don’t wake up feeling exposed with the unpleasant shock of unexpected company and “nude conditions”.
  • Cleanliness. Though Dr. Lisa says that “airing out” certain body parts can be healthful, it’s a fact of life that if you sleep naked you’ll be getting bodily fluids and even minute amounts of fecal matter on your sheets. Don’t be grossed out, just wash your sheets a little more often. The human body is a beautiful thing, but it needs clean conditions to minimize the chance of infection or disease.
  • Comfort Level. If you’re nervous about being caught naked, you won’t be able to sleep soundly. If sleeping naked doesn’t help you get your best sleep, it’s not a worthwhile sleep habit. By all means, sleep in the buff if you feel secure. If not, find a light set of PJ’s—preferably of a natural material such as cotton—and settle in for a comfy night’s sleep.
  • Body Temperature. If you tend to wake up hot or sweaty, or if your body is adapted to cold climates, sleeping naked may help you sleep soundly. But a Norwegian sleep study of three young men found a surprisingly narrow window of comfortable sleep temperatures with the best temperature around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit). At 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) subjects were prohibitively cold, and at 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), subjects were too hot to sleep comfortably. Don’t sleep in the buff if you’re too cold to get deep sleep.
  • Household Response. If you live with others, how you sleep and what you sleep in may have some bearing on their comfort levels. By all means be comfortable, but don’t make your roommates or family members uncomfortable in the process. If you sleep naked while traveling, you can minimize what you have to pack and carry—but it’s probably only acceptable in certain circumstances, so be sure before you go that sleeping naked is allowable.

At the end of the day, only you can decide if sleeping naked is right for you. If it’s in your comfort zone and makes sense with your sleep situation, go for it. If not, focus on finding the right pajamas instead.

Author Bio: +Michelle Gordon is a sleep expert who researches and writes about sleep and health, and is an online publisher for the latex mattress specialist