IS what you wear to bed bad for your health?
Depending on what you choose to pop on, or take off, each evening – it could be having an impact on your body for the worse.
It comes after style guru Susannah Constantine started a debate on her podcast, My Wardrobe Malfunction, when she asked whether you should wear knickers under pyjamas in bed.
The 59-year-old was talking to Woman's Hour presenter Emma Barnett when she said she feels bad she “sometimes” wears knickers under her PJs.
Emma Barnett immediately jumped in, saying she always wears knickers under her PJs, saying: “PJs without knickers is unthinkable.”
But the internet was quick to disagree, with people commenting online that underwear should not be worn underneath nightwear under any circumstance.
The Sun then surveyed celebs to see their preferences – from former Page 3 models to Love Island stars.
Statistics show that nearly 40 per cent of Brits sleep in pyjamas, one in five of us sleep in our underwear and just under a third of us wear nothing at all in bed.
Here to settle the debate about what works is online health and fitnessplatform’s Results Wellness Lifestyle’s in house GP Dr Sarah Garsed.
PANTS OR NO PANTS?
Dr Sarah believes our choice of sleepwear can impact our quality of sleep – with some choices much better for our health than others.
She said: “There has been a lot of talk recently about what we should be wearing in bed – and while whether or not we wear underwear to bed might seem like a fun topic to debate, there is actually some medical evidence that one is better for you than the other.
“And the same goes for your other bed time wardrobe choices.
“We know that everyone sleeps better at 18-24 degrees – so doing what you can to keep both your bedroom and yourself cool is the best way to ensure a good night’s sleep.”
So, what is the best thing to sleep in…
Pants/boxers under PJs:
No matter what your type of underwear, we know that pants of all types are designed to be tight fitting as they are usually worn under our clothes.
This means largely that tight fitting pants should be avoided to sleep in – as it gives pesky fungal infections the perfect environment to flourish.
As we wear underwear all day, there is some truth in the “let your body breathe” statement, because it stops our private areas from being in a constant restricted, warm and moist environment.
For men, testicles hang outside the body for an essential reason – keep them cool.
Tight fitting underwear is thought to increase their temperature by 1C.
Although research isn’t clear on whether or not this affects sperm quality, most doctors will advise keeping the testicles cool and loose if trying for a baby.
We might assume silk is the best material to sleep in, it is cotton that is the most healthy choice to wear to bed.
Cotton makes for an ideal sleep companion because it is a natural fibre that is lightweight, soft and comfortable, meaning you are more likely to settle down and achieve the optimum temperature for sleep.
Cotton also allows your skin to breathe more naturally than other materials, meaning it is much less likely to cause skin irritation or rashes, particularly if the PJs you choose are loose fitting.
This is a classic debate for most women.
There is no medical evidence to suggest that wearing a bra to bed increases your chance of breast cancer, but our breasts are made up of very delicate tissue. So it is important not to restrict them for long periods of time, as it damage the breast tissue and lead to experiences of pain.
Unfortunately, wearing bras to bed can increase your chances of developing fungal infections, as the breast tissue and skin under the breast can become irritated and too hot if it is trapped behind tight fitting underwear.
Some ladies with bigger breasts find they need some support at night, so if you can go for a soft cotton bra without underwire it is much more comfortable and your breasts will thank you in the long run.
And for anyone who thinks wearing a bra to bed will make your breasts stay perky – unfortunately this isn’t the case.
Body temperature is a key part of the circadian rhythm which ultimately controls how quickly we fall asleep and the quality of sleep we get.
So as a rule of thumb, doing what we can to keep ourselves from over heating at night is our best options for optimum sleep.
Cooling down at night night signals to the body that it is s time to sleep, so sleeping naked — and bringing your body temperature down — can actually help you fall asleep faster.
There is a downside to this though. Many studies show that, once we are asleep, if we are naked in bed we can overheat later in the night.
Instead of our body heat being absorbed by PJs, it is absorbed by the bedding, warming the bed and warming us too and causing us to wake up.
Experts have also found our sweat stays on our skin rather than being absorbed by a pair of cotton PJs, which can also send our body temperature out of the optimum range.
Along with physical reasons, some believe that sleeping naked can keep our minds more active during the night because our brain’s are alert to the fact that – should there be a nighttime emergency – we may well be caught short without any clothes on.
Tight fitting PJs:
The list of different pyjama styles to choose from is now so long it's hard to keep up.
But while the pattern on your PJs doesn’t make any difference to your
sleep or health, the fit of what you choose does.
Tight tank tops, a pair of tight shorts or tight full length pyjama bottoms are not as healthy as those that are loose fitting.
In fact, your skin-tight nighties are posing a risk to your overall health.
Firstly, when you wear constricting clothing to bed you are negatively impacting your circulation as well as hampering your ability to breathe as freely as possible throughout the night.
And on the topic of breathing, your skin is your biggest organ and at night it regenerates and replenishes itself.
Wearing taut and tight items each night can prevent this natural cycle from occurring, making skin dry, ageing the skin and even leading to skin irritations and infections.
If that’s not enough to convince you to go loose with your PJs, wearing binding clothing also has been linked to inhibiting the development of melatonin, a key hormone that helps to regulate your sleep cycles and your mood.
A big debate in many households is whether or not wearing socks to bed
is a good idea.
This might come as a shock to many, but bedrocks are actually good for
When you warm up your feet by wearing socks when you get into bed, you
are actually lowering your blood pressure and preparing your body for
Research has shown that warmed up feet can help you fall asleep faster than going completely barefoot.
Wearing socks at night can also help to keep your feet looking and feeling young by aiding in the prevention of cracks and dryness.
Sarah Garsed is a practising GP and in house doctor for
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