February 15, 2022/Sleep

Is It Healthy To Sleep Naked?

Wearing no clothes could lead to cooler skin temperatures that put ZZZs within reach

man sleeping in bed

Many people believe they were born with the only pajamas needed for a good night’s sleep, but here’s the naked truth: No research directly confirms that sleeping in the buff leads to better slumber.

Advertisement

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

There is, however, some validity behind the idea of sleeping naked — namely regarding how a cooler skin temperature improves sleep quality.

So, should you consider stripping down at bedtime before sliding under the sheets? Let’s look at the potential benefits (and risks) with behavioral sleep disorders specialist Michelle Drerup, PsyD, DBSM.

Is sleeping naked better?

There are some possible perks to nude sleeping … so, maybe? Here are a few reasons why you might want to slip off your clothes before slipping off to sleep.

Falling asleep faster

Your body naturally works to lower its thermostat to doze off at night through its circadian rhythm, which regulates your sleep/wake cycle. The faster you cool off, the faster you typically catch some ZZZs, says Dr. Drerup.

That’s also one of the reasons why sleep experts recommended that you keep your bedroom temperature between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 degrees Celsius to 19.44 degrees Celsius) for optimal snoozing.

Improved sleep quality

Ever toss and turn in bed because you’re too hot? Sleeping naked certainly removes any possibility of pajama-induced overheating interfering with a good night’s rest. It’s the absolute final move in shedding layers to stay cool.

“There’s no question that cooler is better than warmer for overall sleeping,” says Dr. Drerup.

And getting enough rest is key to … well, just about everything in day-to-day life. Waking up refreshed can help you manage stress more effectively, improve focus, boost performance and make you a more pleasant person.

For women: reduced risk of yeast infections

Tight-fitting underwear can trap heat and moisture between your legs. What makes a yeast infection thrive? Yep — heat and moisture.

Sleeping naked (or even in loose-fitting cotton bottoms) allows for some air circulation around your vagina. Keeping the area cooler and drier may help reduce your chances of getting a yeast infection, too.

For men: potential fertility boost

Heat isn’t a friend of male fertility. Regular exposure to higher temperatures for your testicles can cause sperm counts to drop. Wearing underwear that keeps things packed tight doesn’t exactly offer a cooling effect.

Studies show that men who wear boxers have a higher sperm count than their buddies in briefs. So if loose-fitting boxes help that much, imagine what 8 hours of no clothing might do.

Advertisement

Reasons to keep your PJs on

Sleepwalkers may want to give the idea some extra thought to going au natural to avoid any potential awkward encounters, notes Dr. Drerup.

And if you’re not a fan of doing laundry, consider this: Your washing schedule for bedding may need to increase with more skin-to-sheet contact. (Gross fact: The skin cells you shed in a day can feed 1 million dust mites. You don’t want to turn your bed into their buffet.)

Can you be cool and clothed?

Going to bed “nearly” naked while wearing lightweight and loose-fitting garments can bring you similar quality sleep results as taking everything off. “Tank tops and boxer-style briefs don’t possess a ton of warming qualities,” says Dr. Drerup.

And while being cool is desirable for sleep, you also don’t want to be cold. There’s even evidence that wearing socks to bed to warm your tootsies can help you drift off to sleep.

So, which is it: off or on?

Ultimately, what you wear to sleep is a personal choice. “There’s no proven benefit or harm to sleeping naked,” says Dr. Drerup. “Just do what feels right and then rest easy with your decision.”

Advertisement

Learn more about our editorial process.

Related Articles

Person in bed experiencing nightmares
May 22, 2024/Sleep
7 Reasons You’re Having Nightmares

Stress, alcohol, sleep apnea and (you guessed it!) scary movies are a few common causes of bad dreams

Child in pjs sleeping in bed moving legs
May 22, 2024/Children's Health
How To Help Children With Restless Legs Syndrome

Regular exercise, an iron-rich diet, adequate sleep and bedtime routines that include a warm bath or massage may help with your kid’s RLS

Person sitting in bed in the evening, reading a book, with cup of tea on bedside table
May 15, 2024/Sleep
Restless? Try These Bedtime Teas for Better Sleep

Chamomile, lavender and valerian root teas may offer a faster route to dreamland

Person asleep in bed, talking in their sleep
May 3, 2024/Sleep
Why Do People Talk in Their Sleep?

Many factors can contribute to sleep talking, like stress or anxiety, lack of or low-quality sleep, or even more serious sleep-related conditions

Young child in bed reading at night
May 2, 2024/Children's Health
Nighty-Night: Tips To Get Your Kid To Stay In Bed

A consistent, structured routine, which may include incentives, can help children learn to stay in bed and get the ZZZs they need

Hand holding packet of birth control pills in front of feet on a scale
April 23, 2024/Women's Health
Birth Control and Weight Gain: What the Science Says

Despite popular opinion, scientific research shows that most birth control methods don’t contribute to weight gain

Person in bed at night without covers, with fan blowing on them
April 17, 2024/Sleep
9 Reasons Why You’re Sweating in Your Sleep — And How To Get Relief

Getting to the root cause of night sweats — like menopause, medication side effects, stress or anxiety — can help you manage them

Person on scale, questioning muscle weight vs. fat weight
April 12, 2024/Exercise & Fitness
The Difference Between Muscle Weight vs. Fat Weight

Both are needed for a healthy body

Trending Topics

Person in yellow tshirt and blue jeans relaxing on green couch in living room reading texts on their phone.
Here’s How Many Calories You Naturally Burn in a Day

Your metabolism may torch 1,300 to 2,000 calories daily with no activity

woman snacking on raisins and nuts
52 Foods High In Iron

Pump up your iron intake with foods like tuna, tofu and turkey

Ad