This morning, I was talking to my boss and somehow we got onto the discussion about what it’s like to share a bed after sleeping alone for a while, and what it’s like to sleep alone after sharing a bed for a while. That got me thinking about, of all things, sleepwear. Actually, it got me thinking about that because I thought longingly about how little sleep I got last night, and how nice it was to snuggle with my partner when I put my book down and decided to go to sleep.
There are basically two ways to sleep: naked and clothed. Here are six of the best reasons to sleep naked:
6. It feels forbidden, at least at first. — I can’t remember the first time I slept naked. I want to say it was in my teens, but my memory is going (more on that in another column some other time). After — let’s say, for the sake of argument — fifteen years of wearing pajamas, it was a very strange sensation to sleep without clothes on. Strange… but also good, as Wesley Crusher might have said. I felt somehow more adult and mature. Of course, I couldn’t really sleep naked all the time until I was 19 and got a private dorm room in college, but I did it when I could. After a while, it became more normal, but at first it felt forbidden and illicit while also feeling somehow powerful.
5. Freedom to move. — Whenever I wear pants to bed, I always wake up with one of the legs up around my thigh and the other at its normal length. Shirts get twisted up under me, or locked into folds of the blanket. I’m sure I’m not alone; most people who wear clothes to bed don’t wake up with them looking as perfect as they do on TV or in movies. Blankets get tangled too sometimes, but they’re not nearly as restrictive (unless you buy yourself a weighted therapy blanket).
4. Less laundry. — Admittedly, pajamas don’t take up a ton of space in the washing machine (when I’m on vacation and sharing a room with someone other than my partner, I usually just wear a pair of shorts), but some pajamas are more delicate than others, or need to be washed on a separate cycle. Maybe you even use a special detergent on them. I really don’t know. But anything that helps me use less water, less detergent, and less energy on washing clothes is all right in my book.
3. Cooler in the summer. — A lot of the US, where I live, has very hot summers. I live in such a place, and I visit even hotter places. I’m loath to wear any more clothing than I absolutely have to for my own comfort and modesty, especially to bed. Plus, I have to have a blanket wrapped around me when I sleep, even if I kick it off in the middle of the night. It’s much cooler to sleep naked in the summertime; less material to keep heat against my body.
2. Easy access. — When you’re sharing the bed with someone you’re romantically or sexually attracted to, it helps to not have clothes in the way if one or both (or more) of you start getting amorous. Just saying.
1. Intimacy. — Even when you’re with someone, you’re not always with someone; or, in other words, there are nights when you and your primary partner don’t have sex but still spend the night together. There’s nothing like skin-to-skin contact for intimacy, especially when you both (or all) have agreed that there won’t be sex tonight. Sharing your partner’s warmth, holding him or her close to you and/or relaxing into his or her touch… it’s one of the most comforting feelings in the world. Clothes get in the way of that.
If you prefer to sleep with clothes on, don’t worry; your time will come next week.
Got an idea for a future “Six of the Best” column? Tweet it to me @listener42.