In this wonderful world we live in, there is a strong minority of people who like to sleep naked. About 17% of Americans prefer to catch their ZZZ’s in the buff. But if this TikTok doc is right, it’s time to start wearing some undies.
Warning: really gross content ahead.
A Good Night’s Sleep Is Crucial
It’s pretty common knowledge that a good night’s sleep is extremely important to your overall health and wellbeing. To get the best night’s sleep possible, you need optimal conditions—a cool room, the elimination of noise and light, and breathable fabrics.
But we’re not just talking about sheets, blankets, and pillowcases. Breathable fabrics should also include underwear or pajama bottoms.
If you are sleeping naked to regulate your body temperature or to avoid waking up in a tangled mess of pajamas, Dr. Anthony Youn says you’ve overlooked one small detail—the bacteria you are spreading on your sheets when you fart.
Super Gross Sleep Intel
Dr. Youn is a board-certified plastic surgeon who recently shared some nasty info about sleeping naked. In his viral video, Dr. Youn explained that the average person passes gas 15 to 25 times per day, and this can happen while you are sleeping.
He also pointed out that when you fart, you spray tiny amounts of fecal matter. So, when you fart while sleeping naked, it’s possible you are transmitting bacteria and germs onto your sheets, your body, and your sleeping partner.
“This is true even if it’s not a real shart,” Dr. Youn says. “That same study showed your tighty-whities will catch all of these particles. So, for the sake of your bed partner, please sleep with your underwear on.”
It’s Not That Harmful, Though
The 2001study that Dr. Youn cited was published in the British peer-reviewed medical journal The BMJ. A physicist and a microbiologist were studying if human farts actually transmit germs that cause illness. Or, if they just smell really bad.
I won’t go into the details of how they studied human farts, but it involved two participants and Petri dishes. When the samples were left to sit out overnight, the one that came from the participant who wasn’t wearing underwear sprouted two types of bacteria.
However, the researchers noted that neither type of bacteria was harmful. Instead, they called it “friendly” bacteria, like what you would find in yogurt.
Dr. Youn admitted to Shape magazine that there’s “little to no risk of these bacteria being harmful to us while we sleep.” He says that the reason he recommends sleeping with underwear or pants is because “it’s kind of gross when you think about it.”