Naked at Night
Exploring sleepwear preferences (or lack thereof) and the reasons you should consider sleeping naked
Dec 13th, 2022 •
Do you don pajamas or a nightgown at night, or do you ditch any clothing altogether when it’s time for bed? There is a multitude of factors that can contribute to a good night’s rest, and people’s clothing choices are just one of them. Some find they sleep better in the nude, while others reach peak slumber while swathed in cozy pajamas.
Everyone has their preferences as far as sleeping goes, so we set out to determine how many people prefer to sleep in the buff. Does sleeping naked impact sleep quality? What about how often people connect with their partners on nights in the nude?
Statistics show that around a quarter of U.S. adults don’t get enough sleep 50 percent of the time. Poor sleep habits not only work against your brain but are also bad for your health. Read on to see our results and understand how sleeping naked might be the key to getting the proper shut-eye we all need.
Sleeping in the Buff
We conducted a survey of 1,015 people about their sleeping preferences. Our results show that more than half of people sleep naked, although more men (nearly 60 percent) than women (almost 56 percent) said they didn’t wear a stitch of clothing while sleeping. Broken down by generation, millennials were quite a bit more likely to sleep in the nude (65 percent) than either Gen Xers (45 percent) or baby boomers (39 percent).
Next, we looked at how relationship status corresponded with sleeping nude. Single people were the least likely (49 percent) to sleep naked, while married people (55 percent) were a little more likely to do so. However, those in relationships were dominant in this category, with over 72 percent saying they slept naked.
54% of nude sleepers said their partner usually sleeps naked as well.
Interestingly, over half of partnered nude sleepers noted their other half also slept naked. It could be that they’re influenced by their partner’s choice, or just find that they sleep better with skin-to-skin contact – or even both.
Why Go Au Naturel?
There are dozens of reasons people choose to sleep unclothed. While there are many articles out there that name health-related reasons for sleeping naked, the most commonly cited reason (noted by 69 percent of respondents) was that it was comfortable sleeping in the nude. Roughly 58 percent said it was relaxing, and more than 54 percent said they slept better naked.
Some people tried to avoid sweating while sleeping (nearly 40 percent), and others wanted their skin to be free and able to breathe (almost 38 percent). Less common reasons included wanting to boost their love life (more than 16 percent), to keep their genitals free and happy (nearly 15 percent), and because they wore clothes all day (28 percent).
We asked the 58 percent of people who slept naked how their sleep quality was when sleeping clothed. The difference was pretty impressive: 77 percent of people who normally slept naked reported they slept worse when wearing clothes to bed, while roughly 18 percent noted no change and about 5 percent felt they slept better with clothes.
Getting Walked In On While Naked
Sleeping naked may be comfortable for those who swear by it, but there are some risks that nude sleepers take when they hop into bed with nary a stitch on. Around 52 percent of men and 43 percent of women reported that someone had walked in on them while they were naked.
It really depends on the circumstances, of course – if you’re bundled up with blankets, nobody will notice, but if you’re stretched out with the covers askew, they may get a glimpse of something you’d rather they not see.
Another common problem with sleeping naked was getting bitten by a bug, which roughly 50 percent of respondents said happened to them. Of course, a fear of bugs and arachnids is pretty common (a 2017 survey showed that around 20 percent of Americans have that fear), but if you’re in the nude, there’s far more square footage of exposed skin for an insect or spider to nibble on.
Other reasons were less common but not any less cringe-worthy. Reported situations also included wetting the bed, being forced to walk out in the nude due to an emergency, sleepwalking in the buff, or having someone take a nude photo.
While nearly 50 percent of people said someone walked in on them while sleeping unclothed, we delved further by asking respondents whom they had walked in on while sleeping naked. The most common situation was walking in on a friend (more than 53 percent) or a roommate (40 percent) sleeping naked. Unfortunately, over 35 percent reported walking in on their parents sleeping naked.
How Do You Like Your Pajamas?
Next, we looked at the 42 percent of respondents who said they did wear something to bed. Nearly 69 percent of respondents said they slept partially clothed, and over 31 percent said they slept fully clothed.
Clothing choices definitely varied, though. The top clothing items included underwear (over 71 percent) and oversized T-shirts (more than 67 percent) for women, while about half of men said they slept in boxers (over 48 percent) or boxer briefs (nearly 45 percent). Women also liked to sleep in tank tops (nearly 37 percent) and shorts (about 35 percent), while men preferred shorts (33 percent) and roomy T-shirts (29 percent).
Always in Jammies
Just like with those who slept naked, we wanted to find out why respondents preferred sleeping clothed. The top choice for men was the desire to avoid the sheets rubbing on their genitals, and women were most interested in staying warm at night. Another common reason was that they wanted the ability to act quickly in case of an emergency.
There were a few differences between the genders, however. More women (almost 39 percent) than men (about 22 percent) said PJs were comfortable, and women were more concerned with their kids walking in and seeing them naked (roughly 26 percent compared to nearly 14 percent for men).
Sleepwear and Your Sex Life
Finally, we looked at respondents’ sex lives and how this related to their bedtime wardrobes. Those who slept naked were twice as likely to have sex with their partner as their clothed counterparts – nude sleepers had sex an average of eight times per month, while those wearing jammies averaged four. It could be that easy access or the closeness of skin-to-skin contact helps release the feel-good hormone oxytocin, which helps reduce stress and improve bonding (or it could be that great mattress for sex that they’re sleeping on).
Those who slept naked also said they had a quality night of rest more often than those who wore clothes to bed. It’s possibly due to a lack of clothing providing a cooler sleeping environment, which helps maintain our sleep cycle and guarantees a solid night of rest.
To Sleep Nude, or Not to Sleep Nude
Our findings show that sleeping nude or clothed is a personal preference. While people who slept naked reported they slept better than their clothed peers, it wasn’t always the case, especially when kids and comfortable pajamas were involved. While creating an ideal resting spot and sleep outfit is important, finding an ideal mattress can have a big impact, too. At Mattress Advisor, we take getting quality sleep very seriously, and we love helping our customers find their perfect bed.
METHODOLOGY AND LIMITATIONS
For this study, we polled 1,015 people via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk about their typical sleepwear or lack thereof. The survey was split into two sections: one focusing on those who slept naked, and one around those who slept clothed. To determine changes in sleep quality, respondents who said they slept naked were asked to rate their quality of sleep when they slept naked and then again when they slept clothed. They were presented with the following scale for both questions: Poor, fair, good, very good, excellent.
Based on this order, we determined if one scenario resulted in better, worse, or the same sleep quality. For instance, if someone said their sleep quality was “excellent” while sleeping naked but “very good” when sleeping clothed, this was considered “worse,” while still a positive sleep quality.
Of the total 1,015 participants, 54 percent identified as male and 46 percent as female. Respondents varied in age from 18 to 76 with an average of 35 years old and a standard deviation of 11.1. The main limitation of this project is that the claims solely rely on anecdotal evidence and have not been tested for statistical significance.
FAIR USE STATEMENT
Are you a never nude, or do you sleep in the buff? Feel free to share the content above, as long as you link back to this page so that its contributors receive proper credit for their findings.
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