Everyone has a nighttime routine, whether you care to admit it or not. From the beverage you drink before bedtime, to the reading material you might peruse before closing those lids, the things we do prior to sleep are as important for a well-rested night as the sleep itself. Though we pay a lot of attention to the things we do to get us in the mood for sleep (and, let’s be honest, we pretty much exist in a state of sleep-deprivation that makes such things redundant), the clothes we wear - or choose not to - at bedtime get little attention.
For some pyjamas are an investment, and wardrobes are stocked with variations of sets that boast such materials like silk, lace, or the fail-safe flannel option for colder weather. For others though, pyjamas mean going naked and the only thing worth spending a dime on are those crisp sheets you’ll be gliding into. If you haven’t given what you wear to bed much thought in the past, you might want to start now - or at least consider going pants-free.
According to Marsha F. Granese, MD, an ob-gyn with Providence Mission Hospital in California, there are some surprising health benefits of going commando at bed time when it comes to our vaginal health. In some cases, wearing underwear to bed can actually work against you as bacteria and yeast thrive in a moist and warm environment, like the one created by certain types of undergarments.
But if the thought of going pants-free is too much to bear, consider the material of the underwear you choose to sleep in. A cotton pair instead of a synthetic material like polyester is the better choice as cotton is more breathable. Other fabrics hold onto moisture, which goes back to the point above about environments where bacteria thrive.
It also turns out that the style of underwear we choose to wear has an impact on our vaginal health, too. In this case, Dr. Granese suggests ditching the thongs. In an interview with PopSugar, Dr Granese said: “If you’re more prone to vaginal infections, I would avoid wearing thongs altogether. At night, there’s no pros or cons to wearing underwear or not, but I would say avoiding thong underwear would be the most preventative way to prevent infections.”
The reason for this is that thongs have the potential to track rectal bacteria and flora into the vagina. Instead, consider choosing properly fitting or looser-fitting underwear which won’t hold onto as much warmth, compared to tight underwear that could lead to infections. Wow, who would have thought that something as simple as underwear could pose such challenges to our vaginal health when it comes to those restful hours of shut-eye.