For some, sleeping without underwear or “going commando” is normal. But is it healthy? According to modern researchers, the answer is yes. In fact, some studies even show that sleeping without underwear can help women who suffer from chronic infections.
Benefits for Women
Generally, you won’t notice much of a difference between sleeping with or without underwear beyond your own comfort level. Some people prefer to air out their bodies, while others don’t want to be so exposed.
However, women who experience chronic vulvitis or chronic vaginitis may experience real benefits when they go commando.
“These women are prone to vaginal yeast infections, itchiness and irritation, and are likely better off if they sleep without underpants,” Dr. Alyssa Dweck, a New York obstetrician and gynecologist and a clinical assistant professor of OB/GYN at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City told Live Science.
The bacteria responsible for most vaginal infections thrive in moist, dark environments. When a woman wears clothes all day, including tight underwear, it can create the perfect breeding ground for these bacteria. Aerating the area at night could lessen this risk.
“An added benefit of keeping panties off while in bed is that it may enhance intimacy between a woman and her partner,” Dweck said.
Benefits for Men
According to Dr. Michael Eisenberg, a urologist and the director of male reproductive medicine and surgery at Stanford University Medical Center, sleeping without underwear has no benefits for men. A recent study looked at men trying to conceive and determined that the type of underwear they wore (or didn’t wear) had no impact on their ability to conceive with their partners.
Although going commando likely isn’t beneficial for men, there’s no harm to doing it either.
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