is it bad to sleep in normal clothes?
Questions And Answers

Does Sleeping in Your Clothes Ruin Them?

Last Updated on February 12, 2024 by Louise Carter

After a long day, we can sometimes be so exhausted that we want to crawl into bed and fall asleep. The mere thought of showering and changing clothes can feel like a step too far.

Sleep experts don’t recommend sleeping in day clothes. Regular clothing is often uncomfortable compared to nightwear, and it’s unlikely to keep you cool, which will disturb your sleep.

Sleeping in your clothes can introduce dirt, debris, and foul odors from germs and bacteria to your bed. The friction of clothes rubbing against bedsheets also causes them to discolor and wear out sooner.

Street clothes and nightwear should be kept separate to maintain hygiene, comfort, and aesthetics. Above all, sleeping in regular clothes isn’t a path to deep, restful sleep.

Consequently, it’s advisable to wear comfortable pajamas or sleep without clothes.

Is It Bad To Sleep with Your Clothes On?

A lucrative industry is built around nightwear, from pajamas to nightdresses. With so much emphasis on nocturnal clothing, you may wonder if sleeping in day clothes is good or bad.

Let’s explore some scenarios that could make it tempting to sleep in street clothes:

Saving Time:You have an early start, so you’ve showered in the evening. Why not sleep in your clothes to save a few extra minutes spent dressing in the morning?
Exhaustion:You sleep in a college dormitory or have roommates, meaning somebody could see you while you’re in bed. You may also sleepwalk, so clothing maintains privacy.
Low Temperature:It’s winter, and the boiler has broken, so your home has no heating. Sick of shivering, you get under the bedcovers clad in long pants and a sweater.
Privacy:You sleep in a college dormitory or have roommates, which means somebody could see you while you’re in bed. You may also sleepwalk, so clothing maintains privacy.
Security:You want to be ready to respond to an unexpected event. If you hear an intruder or a fire alarm, you want to know that you’re dressed and ready to respond.

These are all excellent reasons for sleeping in street clothes, but there are arguments against this practice. Sleeping in clothes will negatively impact sleep quality, negating the benefits.

Psychology

Some people don’t feel psychologically ready for sleep when they wear street clothes. Changing into bedclothes is essential to sleep hygiene, which Behavioral Medicine said is vital for quality sleep.

Sleep hygiene revolves around completing set rituals before bed. These could include brushing teeth, reading a book to reduce late-night screen time, and changing into pajamas.

This is similar to people who feel more ready to work when wearing a suit or uniform. Routine is important, so removing street clothes may instruct the brain to start winding down for sleep.

sleeping in clothes you wore all day

Damage to Clothing

A concern about sleeping in clothes is wear and tear or physical damage.

Many of us spend large sums of money on outfits, and ruining them while sleeping is unappealing. Of course, some clothing is less vulnerable than others. For example, denim is hard-wearing.

Clothing can sometimes be damaged by being worn to bed. Examples of additional harm that could be caused to clothing by wearing it in bed can include:

  • Wear and tear due to clothing rubbing continuously against the sheets.
  • Minor rips caused by tossing and turning in bed.
  • Sweat stains that can’t easily be removed.
  • Creases and indents that can’t be ironed out.
  • Faded colors because they need to be washed regularly.

As well as the clothing itself, there’s the risk of tearing or damaging bedding by sleeping in clothes.

Dirt And Bacteria

Clothes worn throughout the day will get dirty and attract harmful bacteria.

Each action we take and everywhere we go attracts germs and bacteria to our clothes. These unwelcome additions cling to our garments, hence why we do laundry.

If you sleep with your clothes on, they’re no longer restricted to your clothing. They’ll be transferred to bedsheets, where they’ll have a new lease of life. Of course, not everyone washes their bedsheets.

If you allow germs and bacteria to spread in your bed, they’ll reach the skin. According to the British Journal of Dermatology, this can result in unwashed dermatosis (acne).

Discomfort

If you assess each pair of pajamas, they’ll usually be loose around the waist and chest. They won’t be ill-fitting but have enough room to prevent discomfort.

Finding regular clothing as soft and accommodating as official nightwear is near-impossible.

Many women consider the moment they can take off their bra and climb into bed the highlight of the day. The feeling of liberation is immense. Now, imagine this sensation all over the body.

All clothing is constraining, from our shirts to our socks. By getting into bed wearing our street clothes, we condemn ourselves to an avoidable restless night.

Circulation

According to the Journal of Experimental Biology, the circulatory system increases blood flow while we sleep, which enables internal organs to recuperate and repair overnight, aiding muscle tissue.

Part of the reason nightclothes fit so loosely and comfortably is better circulation. Blood won’t move around the body as well if you wear jeans or a tight shirt to bed.

You’ll likely struggle to sleep well, and your health will suffer. Elevating your legs could alleviate this concern, but that alone will be insufficient.

is it bad to sleep with your clothes on?

Temperature Regulation

Wearing the right nightclothes plays a vital role in temperature regulation.

We must stay cool while we sleep, especially with sleep apnea. The journal Sleep discusses how an ambient temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit leads to a more restful night than 75 Fahrenheit.

It’s not easy to remain cool in street clothes under bedsheets. Unlike bedclothes, they’re not intended to regulate our temperature. You’ll likely grow hotter and more agitated as the night progresses.

At best, you’ll sweat profusely overnight. If you sleep in clothes hoping to save time getting ready in the morning, you’ll likely need to shower and change clothing anyway.

If you’re too hot, you’re more likely to struggle to sleep and wake up needing more sleep.

Excessive temperatures disrupt the natural rhythm of sleep, preventing us from enjoying the right light-REM-deep sleep cycle. This will have a knock-on effect in the morning.

Can I Nap in My Normal Clothes?

Some people like a brief nap during the day to compensate for lost sleep or to recharge their batteries before tackling another task. You may be disinclined to change your outfit before resting.

Enjoying a short catnap in street clothes is common and rarely problematic.

It could even work in your favor. Resting in day clothes, with the minor discomfort this entails, means you’re less likely to enter a deep sleep when intending to take a short nap.

The usual caveats apply if you get into bed, as bacteria and dirt will be transferred to the bedsheets.

Nap on the top of the covers while wearing your clothes. If necessary, have a spare blanket or comforter ready for warmth. Consider changing or removing clothes if you plan to get into bed.

Nightwear, or an absence thereof, comes down to personal preference.

Some of us can’t imagine sleeping in anything, while others need pajamas, a nightshirt, or a night dress to feel relaxed. These arrangements are okay if you remove your day clothes before bed.