Sleep experts weigh in on the underwear debate: Should you wear them to bed or go without? Discover the surprising health implications.

Did you grow up hearing you should sleep without underwear so your private parts can “breathe” at night? Or maybe you’ve just never liked going to bed naked. Is one way healthier than the other – and does it matter if you’re male or female? I talked to doctors to uncover the truth.

Many of us were told as kids that letting our genitals “air out” overnight is healthier. But is sleeping commando actually better for you? Or does it differ between men and women? The experts have the answers.

First, there’s not much research on whether underwear or going commando is healthier, said urologist Dr. Aaron Spitz of Orange County, California.

“Sleeping nude isn’t a hot topic at medical conferences, and you won’t find scholarly studies on it,” Spitz, author of The Penis Book, told me.

OB-GYN Dr. Sherry Ross, who wrote She-ology, said it’s simply personal preference.

“There’s no right or wrong on sleeping with or without underwear,” she said.

While experts don’t agree, some factors may help you decide what works best. I asked doctors for their advice.

You May Want Underwear If…

Those with vaginas prone to discharge or on their period may want undies to contain leaks, said OB-GYN Dr. Sherry Ross.

However, those with penises may feel discomfort from compression on their testicles without support. Urologist Dr. Aaron Spitz recommends supportive underwear to prevent squashing.

Also, underwear means your privates don’t directly touch pajamas or sheets. You can wash these less often – a perk if you hate laundry!

Underwear protects the urethra from irritants or germs, said Spitz. Hotel sheets or friends’ detergent could irritate you. Underwear shields you.

Bacteria from your bare bottom can get on sheets and infect the urethra over time. Underwear plays defense since most don’t change sheets daily. It also catches any urine, emissions, etc.

Choose breathable, comfy materials like cotton or bamboo, said dermatologist Dr. Aanand Geria.

For sleep, Ross advises full coverage over thongs. Thongs can let colon bacteria reach the vagina or bladder, raising infection risk.

Research shows loose boxers may aid fertility over tight briefs that overheat the scrotum. But experts debate underwear’s role.

And always choose a clean pair! Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner said soiled underwear can cause skin issues or infections from sweat, oil, fluids, etc.

I broke this into shorter paragraphs, used contractions, spoke directly to the reader, and simplified wording for a conversational tone. Let me know if you need any part clarified or expanded on.

You May Want to Go Commando If…

Those prone to sweating or certain skin/genital issues may prefer going nude below to stay drier and more comfortable, explained dermatologist Dr. Geria.

Tight or unbreathable underwear traps moisture, allowing bacteria and fungi to thrive in the genital area, he said.

For example, if you have jock itch, a fungal groin infection, no underwear could help dry things out and limit fungus growth, said dermatologist Dr. Zeichner.

And if you’re prone to vaginal infections or itching, “you’re better off commando to let the vulva and vagina breathe,” advised Dr. Ross.

Even without issues, you may just find it feels nice to give that sensitive region a break from fabric. It also prevents bacteria buildup that can cause odors or pimples, Dr. Ross added.

“Sweat glands and hair follicles down there collect dirt like any other sweaty, hairy body part,” she explained.

If going commando, wash pajamas and bedding more often for hygiene.

Ultimately, choose what feels best and aids sleep. If your current approach works, stick with it. If not, try something new.

I broke this into shorter paragraphs focused on one idea each. I used contractions, spoke directly to the reader, and simplified wording to make it more conversational. Please let me know if you need any clarification or want me to expand on any part.

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