What do you sleep in—underwear, pajamas or your birthday suit? If the latter is your sleepwear of choice, you are the healthiest and most hygienic sleepers. For the rest of us who wear underwear or pajama bottoms, we should maybe reconsider.
A new paper has been published by Dr. Alyssa Dweck on the topic of sleeping in your underwear and it highlights a number of health risks. Firstly, and perhaps most obviously, wearing undies to bed doesn’t allow your crotch area to breathe meaning that sweat and bacteria can easily build up—especially in the warmer summer evenings and for menopausal women suffering from hot flushes during the night. This can lead to infection, irritation and, for men, it can even affect their fertility. This is because wearing boxers to bed heats up the testicles to a temperature that could potentially compromise their sperm quality
If you really dislike the idea of sleeping commando then opt for your biggest, most breathable pants—that Bridget Jones-type pair at the bottom of your drawer. And during the warmer nights, make an effort to keep your entire body cool to limit increased sweat and bacteria production and lower your blood pressure.
If you do wake up feeling less than fresh, gynacologist Dr. Jullien Brady shares his tips on how to keep your lady parts as bacteria-free as possible throughout the day:
1. Only wash the outside–rinse the outside skin and the labia with water and a little soap, if you wish.
2. Use non-fragranced, simple soap–if your skin type does not react badly to soap, and you like using it, then you can use soap to wash your vaginal area in the shower. But be careful with the amount you use – a little goes a long way.
3. Be aware of your skin type–if you have sensitive skin or an allergy, check with your doctor about the best way to approach your vaginal hygiene.