To Wear Pajamas or Not to Wear Pajamas on Hot Summer Nights?

A sleep expert weighs in.



A few weeks ago, we clued you guys in to a slew of genius tricks to survive ridiculously hot summer nights without air conditioning, and while donning teeny-tiny cotton pajamas made the list, sleeping naked was surprisingly controversial. As Greatist, who compiled that amazing list of sleep hacks, explained, some say ditching clothes at night keeps them cool while others claim sweat sticks to their body and makes them even hotter, causing worse sleep than if they’d just kept their PJs on in the first place.

This nonunanimous ruling on sleeping naked piqued my interest. I would think less — or nothing, in this case — is more when it comes to 95-degree weather, but maybe not? So I decided to ask sleep expert Ritu Grewal, attending physician at the Sleep Disorder Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, to weigh in: Will you get better sleep if you ditch your pajamas on hot summer nights? I asked.

The short answer: Not necessarily.

As Grewal explains, there is no scientific data to back up the claim that sleeping naked will get you a better night’s sleep. It’s entirely a matter of personal preference, she says. She explains, when it comes to sleep quality, “It’s not the clothes you have on, it’s the environment. When you go to bed at night you should be relaxed and comfortable.” This means the room should be dark, the room should be quiet, you shouldn’t fall asleep with your computer on your bed (I am so guilty of this) because it screws with your circadian rhythm and, ideally, the room should be between 65 and 67 degrees.

But as she says, “If you don’t have an air conditioner, you do what you need to do to cool off.” For some, ditching pajamas makes them more physically comfortable which means they’ll sleep better. For others, it doesn’t, which means they could get a more restless night of sleep. Long story short, it all comes down to personal preference. The verdict: Do whatever makes you happy.

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