Q&A with J: “Is It Okay to Sleep Naked?”

Today’s question is straightforward, but I thought it was a good one. Here’s what the wife asks:

I’ve been worried about this weird question I have. Kind of embarrassed and dumb for having to ask it, but here it goes. Is it ok for a Christian woman to sleep naked? I just can’t fall asleep or sleep as deeply when I am tangled up in a nightgown or pj/s. I tend to toss and turn a bit. And I just don’t see anything in the bible that I know of to answer this. I am married and faithful to him. We don’t have kids, so its just us in the house.

with woman tangled up in sheets

Please don’t feel embarrassed or dumb. It’s a reasonable question. Because if you’ve grown up your whole life wearing jammies and having modesty, modesty, modesty plugged away in your head, it can feel a bit weird to sleep naked. Or even think about sleeping naked.

First of all, let me assure you that there is no biblical command to be modest with your husband. Modesty is always framed in public contexts, where it is indeed important. But with your spouse, it’s clear that you are to share your bodies.

Proverbs 5:19 tells husbands to find satisfaction or delight in their wives’ breasts — which is somewhat difficult if she keeps them under lock and key, or layers of fabric. And in Song of Songs, the lovers take great care to describe one another’s bodies in detail (see 4:1-7, 5:10-16, 7:1-9) — including parts that would only be exposed when unclothed.

However, you give a practical reason for wanting to slip under the covers buck naked: “I just can’t fall asleep or sleep as deeply when I am tangled up in a nightgown or pj/s. I tend to toss and turn a bit.” And you know what? Science backs you up.

There are health advantages to sleeping nude. Most importantly, your body temperature stays cooler, which helps you remain in deep sleep longer and get a better night of rest. And some suggest that those cooler temperatures facilitate the release of hormones that help fight body fat and provide anti-aging benefits.

Also, some gynecologists advise ditching your panties for the night. Why? Because if things are hot and moist down there, the environment is more conducive to bacteria. Others say it’s the temperature of your whole body that matters more than fabric covering your lady parts and that infections originate inside, not in the alleged “breeding ground” you create by wearing underwear. Personally, I tend to lean toward the first point of view, based merely on my own thought process and anecdotal evidence. But even if vaginal health is not strongly impacted, some women do feel they’re “airing things out” when they get rid of the undies for the night — which you’re obviously doing if you’re completely naked.

One thing, however, that all the experts seem to agree on is that sleeping naked increases the likelihood of sexual intimacy.

Long stretches of skin-to-skin contact have been shown to release our hormone Oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone.” It helps us feel more bonded to the person we’re touching. And with your feelings of connection heightened, and no clothing obstacles, you can get right into the bow-chicka-wow-wow whenever you two want. I daresay with your erogenous zones within easy sight and touch, the idea of sex is likely to move up on your mate’s list of to-dos.

As you can see, I think it’s a lovely idea to sleep nude. But are there any drawbacks? Just a few considerations, perhaps.

Emergencies. I have had this thought: What if in the middle of the night, a fire starts in my home, and then I have to run out into the street as quickly as possible, so then the firefighters and the neighbors and the news cameras see me in all my naked glory or wearing the thin, sheer sheet I managed to grab as I scurried out the door? OR I take time to put on pajamas or clothes, which costs me precious seconds, so instead I’m killed by smoke inhalation? Oh yes, it’s fun in my brain sometimes.

But first of all, the chance of an emergency occurring that doesn’t allow you to grab some clothes is 0.0007%, or something like that. And secondly, if you did have an emergency, they make this really cool thing called a robe. You can keep it at the foot of your bed, hanging on the bedpost, or anywhere else within reach. Even if you have to run out in a hurry, you can tie that baby up in no time when you reach those firefighters, neighbors, news cameras.

Kids. You say, “We don’t have kids, so its just us in the house.” But I want to say to others that it’s still fine to sleep naked with kids in your house. You simply have to take the precautions of locking the door and having that robe handy.

You may have seasons when nighttime nudity won’t work, like while nursing an infant or while a kid is sick and likely to interrupt you during the night. But most of the time, they’re asleep, you’re asleep, and they don’t know what you’re wearing. Hopefully, you’ve also trained your children to understand that your bedroom is at times a private place for mommy and daddy, and that can extend to overnight.

Climate. Living in South Texas, I can’t really speak to this fully. But when the winter is frigidly cold, you may be less inclined to strip down to your skivvies, much less your bare skin. Of course, you can deal with this by using a heater or more blankets if you wish to continue sleeping naked. But you might prefer to make seasonal changes for what you wear to bed.

Health issues. Some people do have health issues that require certain garments to be worn. If that’s you, you know it and you should do what you need to do.

So should you sleep naked? I hear a horde of husbands out there saying, “Tell my wife YES!” Hey, I’m in your corner, guys. But even more so, I’m in the corner of this wife who asks if it’s okay. Rest assured, it’s even better than okay — it’s a good idea.

And for those who don’t want to sleep naked, try sleeping in as little as you are comfortable with. Maybe panties and a camisole, or a gown without the undies? You might sleep better, have more cuddle time with your husband, and enjoy increased sexual intimacy.

Sources: PR Newswire – National Sleep Survey Pulls Back The Covers On How We Doze And Dream; Elite Daily – 7 Scientific Reasons Why Sleeping Naked Is Really Good For You; Oxford Academic – “Influence on Human Sleep Patterns of Lowering and Delaying the Minimum Core Body Temperature by Slow Changes in the Thermal Environment”; Daily News – Strip down: Sleeping naked is good for your relationship, survey says; HuffPost Living – Five Reasons to Sleep Naked; Shape – When Going Commando Is a Good Idea; Medical Daily – Underneath Your Clothes: 5 Amazing Reasons Sleeping Naked Is Good For Your Health; MTV.Com News – Is Sleeping Naked Actually Better for Your Health? A Doctor Reveals All

35 thoughts on “Q&A with J: “Is It Okay to Sleep Naked?”

  1. Libl

    Great answer!!

    I try to sleep naked, but to be honest, I just don’t sleep as well or as deeply. Not that I shroud myself in layers, but I prefer pajamas. I have no qualms about sleeping naked. It just doesn’t work for me.

    Reply
  2. James Witter

    I sleep naked all the time, but can’t get the wife to do so… Yes it is nice to not have to worry about wearing something to bed.

    Reply
  3. Prov5v18-19

    But don’t tease/frustrate your husband. We had this discussion during one season of our marriage. I felt disrespected when she would strip down and jump into bed, but not be interested in boom chicka wah-wah (as you do elegantly out it 😎 )

    This was really in our marriage and she didn’t realize the full impact of me seeing her naked. She modified her behavior and things worked out.

    Now, 30 years later, I can enjoy flesh to flesh contact w/o necessarily having the boom chicka wah-wah

    Reply
  4. Tim Key

    My wife and I have slept naked for at least 15 years. I’ve done it much longer than her but after she tried it a few times, she was hooked. Now, if we end up some place that requires clothing for sleep, we both hate it and don’t sleep very well. I tend to feel like I’m all tangled up trying to wear clothing to bed. We choose FREEDOM!!! LOL

    Reply
  5. Monique

    I get sticky when I sleep naked. My husband would love it, but he’s so hot blooded that I start sweating and we stick. Any practical advice about that?

    Reply
    1. Tim Key

      Well, for us, we have a king size bed and there’s no issue in retreating to a cooler spot while sleeping if the temperature gets too hot. We tend to cuddle or whatever and then for sleeping, we don’t tend to stay piled up on each other.

      There are downsides to sleeping naked on occasion. She works nights on the weekends. I am usually snug in bed hours before she comes home. If she’s really cold, she has tried to snuggle in on my warm spot. That has, on very rare occasion, caused me to leap out of the bed in terror from her cold bum meeting my warm nether regions. You can imagine I’m sure… Not a great way to be awakened from a deep sleep. She now knows to wake me first and we can work the cuddling out to warm her up some. Just no surprises to the nether regions {Telling this has me chuckling}

      Reply
    2. Diane

      Lol, Monique, I sleep with a hubby furnace too! You are right, sweaty thighs wake me up. I’m old enough to have experienced hot flashes. Sweaty back, thighs, chest same effect. We try to keep our bedroom temps on the cooler side. That’s not easy during a Florida summer. We use a fan to help keep the air moving around the room. We also like top sheets that are larger than usual (say a queen size top sheet on a full size bed). This allows me to stuff some sheet between us without pulling it off either of us. The sheet helps absorb the moisture.

      Reply
      1. Bethany

        Heh. We each have our own sheets. I use mine for added warmth and he uses his to stuff in cracks to keep his skin from touching against itself. Needless to say, we’re polar opposites when it comes to temperature. 🙂

        Reply
  6. Bethany Page

    I have a breastfeeding baby… Can’t think of any reason it should keep me from sleeping naked. Well, unless you’re a mom who leaks milk. That could get messy, I suppose. But really, it works quite well otherwise.

    Reply
  7. alchemist

    I have my bath robe spread out over my feet. Then I can grab my robe any time, and my feet stay warm. I also keep my PJ’s by my pillow, should I wake up too cold for some reason. I sleep right next to an outer wall in an old student apartment building. It doesn’t stand up too well to teens or below at night. But more often I end up taking my clothes off at night cause I get too hot. Our down duvet is very warm. Funnily enough, my husband sleeps in his PJ’s. Even though he’s more hot blooded than I. He says his shoulders gets cold and then they hurt.

    I keep my undies on most of the time. Specially if I don’t necessarily want the sexy times right then, or if we don’t have time. Complete nudity seems to be taken as an invitation to intimacy.

    Reply
  8. Happily Married

    My hubby gets sticky, too. I’ve found the type of sheets we use makes a HUGE difference. As long as we have our expensive sheets on the bed he’s much less likely to get sweaty (in fact, it rarely happens). 🙂 He’s also taken vitamins as well which seemed to help.

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    We tried it once. I did not like it due to our sex-starved marriage. It made me even more sexually frustrated knowing that she is naked but not sexually available. She did not like sleeping naked because she did not want to send me a false message of being sexually available.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Well, if you just made love and you’re expecting some seepage, you might want to wear some undies to bed. Also, during your time of month. Otherwise, I wouldn’t think it would be much of an issue.

      Reply
    2. Monique

      Truthfully, the vaginal discharge usually dries and no one notices. It also washes right out and doesn’t stain. It’s the lube that I have more problems getting out of the sheets. They’re all stained up. I’ve heard baking soda rubbed in with dawn dish soap and let to soak 1 hour will remove it.

      Reply
  10. Julie Cole

    I have always slept naked. Being tangled in sleep clothes has always been a hindrance to good sleep which has always been difficult for me anyway. I have long hair below my waist and that is enough to keep me awake off and on, tossing from one side to the other, so having PJs to manage under the covers as well is definitely not for me.

    I’ve seen a lot of comments here about people having hot or cold issues. I have had hot and cold issues while under the covers both due to my age and also in having lost quite a bit of weight, I have found a miracle device that I absolutely love! It is called the BedJet and it is placed under our bed with an attached hose that blows either warm or cool air under the sheets. I can start it to pre-warm the bed or use it while in bed. It is the best thing since sliced bread! If you look it up on line, it is easy to find. I am using it on my trial 60 day period and I already know that I am going to keep it. It truly is amazing! Sorry, this is not a plug for the product, but simply a solution to me always freezing under the covers.

    Reply
  11. William

    My dear wife and I have slept together naked for the past 45 years of our wonderful married life together except perhaps for about 10 days out of the about 16,465 days we have been married– and still every time she comes to our bed without a stitch on my heart (and other parts of me) leaps up in my chest (and elsewhere) with beautiful exultation and overwhelming feelings of love for this magnificent woman I am so happily married to. I know what lucky man I am, and I am so grateful to this wonderful wife for giving this important gift to me every night.

    We started this on our honeymoon in Bermuda when we made love on a deserted beach at midnight with a thunderstorm visible way off on the horizon of the ocean. And we have kept it up almost every night since. I KNOW what a lucky man I am to have such a darling, thoughtful, and loving wife that I have. And I will adore and cherish her until the day I die.

    Reply
  12. Terry

    My main issue with sleeping naked is not so much modesty as that it feels, well, sloppy. I don’t like the feeling of letting-it-all-hang-out and prefer the containment and support (camoflauge?) provided by a waistband and fabric. This does still leave the possibility of going topless, but depending on the weather I might either wake up with chilly shoulders or have difficulty getting up in the morning as I typically rise well before dawn, usually before the husband.

    You do make some good points here though, and a lot of the time I don’t really have an “excuse” to wear clothes to bed. I suppose most of the time I just want to go to sleep, and nudity would encourage my man to (ahem) keep me up – or alternately, I’d keep him awake when he really does need to get to sleep. But I admit that we could go naked more often than not – or at least more often than we have in the past. I’ll forward him this article – he’ll like this :).

    Reply
  13. Eric

    Great article. My wife and I have slept naked for about 20 years of our 53 years of marriage, and for most of the reasons you mentioned, J. I suspect that many of the hangups about sleeping naked stem from two reasons: 1. False shame learned from prudish parents when one was a child. Example–the toddler who comes naked from her bath to announce, “See how clean I am,” only be told to “Go get some clothes on before someone sees you!” Or the child who is never permitted to watch a mother, older sister or aunt breastfeed; Or the child who’s not permitted to play in the tub or backyard wading pool naked with other kids (both sexes is no problem when small).
    2. Unresolved issues in a couple’s marriage, that make have taken on animosity with physical manifestations. This seems to be behind our First Parents hiding behind fig leaves right after they’d sinned against each other (some argue that they were hiding from God, but in context they hid from God later in the day, in the bushes).
    There are certainly reasons why partial covering is necessary–older women do often have trouble with dripping, for instance. Or cold shoulders in winter from a cool bedroom. Several commenters have written with resolutions to some of these common physical problems.

    As you’ve rightly mentioned, the issue is basically a spiritual one, based in unhealthy fear and shame from sin or sinful notions learned when young. A mother once told me that she taught her kids modesty when toddlers so they’d know how to behave when teens. Since I’d seen her ideas in action (a heavy, wet diaper on a toddler in a wading pool), I suspect that this dear lady was trying to deal with her own unresolved hang-ups.

    Eric (who grew up on a farm and went skinny dipping in the stream with other boys).

    Reply
  14. Content Wife

    My husband and I love sleeping naked. We have from the beginning of our marriage of 6 years. And yes while it does lead to more sex it also leads to much greater intimacy. It’s our statement to each other that we freely give all of ourselves to each other and withhold nothing. My advice to all newlyweds is to sleep naked.

    Reply
  15. B

    @William, your comment is beautiful! You and your wife are so blessed.

    I wish I could sleep naked, but my husband is against it. He’s always worried there’s going to be a fire or something, or that one of the kids will come in. He has only recently loosened up a bit in the area of nudity. For the first half of our marriage, he would only peek at me. His reluctance to look, coupled with his aversion to me sleeping naked, made me assume he was totally repulsed by my body. He says that is not true, and was never true. I don’t know. I’m not perfect, but I’m in pretty good shape. I’ve had a couple kids, but I’ve tried to take good care of myself. I don’t know what his hang ups with nudity are, and when I ask him, he just gives me the standard, “I don’t know.”

    Our kids are older now, and would never just wander into our room. But any time I get in bed naked, he will say, “maybe you should get dressed…” or “don’t fall asleep like that…” or “why don’t you put some pJ’s on…”. Sure makes it hard to believe him when he says he loves my body, when he is so opposed to me being naked, except during the rare times we make love.

    But we are working through a lot. A lot of baggage from both of us. I am going to try to think positively this time, and maybe he’s not completely repulsed by my body, and maybe one day he will be okay with it if I sleep naked once in a while.

    I’d be lying if I said I weren’t envious of the wives who have husbands that find them attractive and enjoy it when they sleep naked. I think that’s awesome, and you should totally give him that gift if he finds it appealing. Maybe someday I’ll be able to do so, too. I’m going to keep hoping!

    Reply
      1. B

        Thanks for sharing, S. I’ve gone and read that post probably a dozen times. I’ve thought about replying for days, but I really don’t know what to say.
        I’ve got the Inadequacy thing down pat. The sudden realization of “hey I’m not inadequate!” – not so much. Nor do I really get the point of her post. Other than another “hey, everyone is special…” feel-good chat.
        I’m sorry. I’ve written dozens of replies to this both in my head, as well as typing and deleting. Everything I say comes off snarky. I don’t want to be her – the girl who comes off snarky or grumpy. I appreciate the kindness and helpfulness of the community here. I think it’s just really hard for a lot of people to understand.
        But I do appreciate you sharing the post, it was very thoughtful.

        Reply
  16. E

    I started sleeping naked as a teenager – it always felt way more comfortable to me.
    When I got married hubby thought it was a bit weird. Sadly, he doesn’t seem very excited about my bare body and it’s been that way pretty much since our wedding night.
    Honestly, there are times when I start thinking that I should wear PJs because maybe he sees me too much and that’s why he is not excited, or that I should cover up because “if he’s not going to appreciate it, he shouldn’t see it.”
    Despite those thoughts, I always end up going to bed naked if possible, because it still feels better and my husband hasn’t actually requested for me to wear something at night.

    Reply
  17. Eric

    Yesterday I mentioned that “Unresolved issues in a couple’s marriage” is a major reason that some couples have trouble sleeping naked, or letting their spouse see them nude. There’s a corollary to that: sin before marriage, more often than not premarital sex, which has left the man or woman with a sense of shame so that we (like Eve and Adam) feel a need to hide from the other. Too often we resist admitting that we did wrong (or we may have been wronged by molestation–another’s sin against us), and we refuse to repent and ask the Lord to forgive us, which is a course of inaction that will haunt us for life unless we deal with it.

    Just today I heard a marriage and youth counselor, host of a popular TV show, tell a girl that the sex she was having at age 15 was not her fault, since she’d then been too young to make rational choices about sex. Whether or not this girl could make rational decisions at 15 is not really the issue. She did what she did willingly, and apparently enjoyed it. She WILL feel guilty until she deals with her own sin of willfully giving a man access to her body (the guy who seduced her is in jail where he belongs), confesses to the Lord, and she repents.

    Of course I’m not supposed to say this–since this was a secular TV show. But the answer this counselor gave is a non-solution. Only Jesus can deal with the needs of this girl’s wounded heart.

    And by the way–it’s great to be able to spoon naked with your spouse for a while each night with no shame, whether or not it ends in a roll in the hay!
    Eric

    Reply
  18. Annie - nonimouse

    Great article, when we initiallyl started married life, wifie went to bed in PJ’s. I was able to convince her as to the error of her ways and 26 years later, we both sleep buck backed together. And she now loves it!
    Spooning daily is really great.
    There are arguments about fires whatever in the night whilst asleep. (Statically a small chance of that happening), and it that’s a worry, keep a set of clothes, that are quick to pull on, on the floor next to the bed. Problem solved

    Reply
  19. Diane

    Doing a personal 30 day challenge on this. It will help me stop saying no out of my own hurts, gives him freedom to enjoy my skin without it being short or just on my terms. I am out of my comfort zone and communicated this and my resolve. He took it with grace and kindness. Night 1 was a beautiful success of intimacy that naturally followed a long time of snuggling. The pressure was off to get it over with since we knew i was preplanned to be naked for the night. 29 or more to go….

    Reply
      1. Eric

        J,

        Diane’s 30-day stint with sleeping naked with hubs sounds like a winner. I remember reading about pastor who challenged married couples to have sex every night for 30 days, and I think one even went a full year. But some of us can’t “do it” every night; or would rather not. But sleeping naked is something we all can do, and for many it could turn into something special, as well as help some with inhibitions stemming from ungodly sources. Why not challenge your readers to do this?
        Eric

        Reply
  20. Eric (the 2nd)

    Once I hit my teens, I typically slept in my underwear only. I guess I found it strange to dress for sleep! Especially after a shower. I rarely went completely nude due to cold Midwestern winters or family around. When I met my (eventual) wife, she told me once that she couldn’t sleep dressed up, she wore only panties. 🙂 I was intrigued and excited thinking she was a wild child. Most girls in my church youth group wore PJ’s from what I could tell, so a woman that slept naked was not the norm in my book.

    Once married, sure enough, panties only. Oft times totally naked. I quickly joined her, especially after reading Christian blogs that made it sound more typical. I don’t think it has increased our intimacy level however because it is/was the norm for her. She wasn’t a ‘wild child’ after all. 🙁 And we can’t sleep touching so that doesn’t add to it either.

    Reply
  21. Eric

    The experience of Eric (the 2nd) is similar to my own. Sadly, a lot of girls have come to believe, often from a combination of home training and exposure to dirty-minded teens at school, that sleeping nude is 1. indecent; 2. is expected to always lead to sex.

    As I see it, a nude wife says surrender and intimacy. A normal man always wants to see his wife naked (though not naked all the time), even though she may feel she’s dumpy and out of shape. But loving husbands (unless they are jaded from pursuing their own pleasure with pornography and illicit sex) adore their naked wives, whether they are 20 and perky, or 80 and saggy, for the simple reason that the wife being unclothed says to the husband, “I’m all yours.” Sex may–or may not–follow.
    Eric (the 1st)

    Reply

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