Is it bad to wear pants to bed?
When I was 10 years old, I met Louise. She was one of those girls who turned up to non-uniform days wearing something brand spanking new, and all but dripping with coolness. She always had the freshest trainers for PE (while I was in my brother’s old astroturfs) and NATURALLY STRAIGHT HAIR. I didn’t even know that was possible. And this was before the days of straighteners, so there was a serious amount of hair envy.
Louise had an older sister, which meant she grew up quicker than all of us: she was the first to kiss a boy, the first to wear French knickers, the first to try a cigarette. She modelled herself on her older sister, and when I became friends with her, that meant I did too (though I’d never have admitted it at the time). Friday night sleepovers became regular, and a Primark strap top and checkered pyjama bottoms were the order of the day—as was, apparently, wearing knickers to bed.
It’d never even occurred to me to put pants on for bed before, but it’s a habit I took up immediately—and 15 years later, I’m still doing it. I hadn’t even questioned it, until I came home to see my parents recently and told mum I’d ‘forgotten to bring pants for bed’—and she looked at me like I was absolutely mental. “Why on earth would you wear pants to bed?!” She questioned.
A quick survey of my friends returned mixed answers: Zoe was a firm “yes, always!” while Emma replied “not if I’m wearing pyjamas”—whatever that means. Amanda was shocked: “No way, that’s sooo bad for you!” According to YouGov (if you’re the sort of person who thinks asking three of your mates isn’t a legit survey…), about 30 per cent of women regularly wear pants under their pyjamas. It got me thinking: why do I wear pants to bed? And is it a good idea?
For me, it just feels more hygienic to wear them. But without going all TMI, there’s no denying it can get quite sweaty down there, especially at night when it’s claimed we sweat up to one litre of fluid. And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that wearing more clothing equals more sweat—and where there’s moisture, there’s bacteria. While bacteria isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and there’s no definitive proof that wearing knickers to bed causes any issues at all, it can in some instances lead to a yeast infection if your knickers/clothes are particularly tight and therefore not very breathable.
The most common yeast infections are cystitis—a really common type of urinary tract infection, which makes you feel like you constantly need to wee—and thrush, which is when your vagina is itchy and sore making it hurt to go to the loo, and you might also see discoloured discharge.
Though they’re certainly not very nice, they’re also not anything to worry about and both are totally treatable with over the counter products. But if you’re finding you’re getting those sorts of symptoms quite frequently, it’s probably a good idea to give yourself a little bit of a breather—it certainly won’t hurt.
If you don’t like the thought of going commando, wearing cotton or loose-fitting pants will help. If, like me, you’ve been doing it for years and have never had a problem, we’re sure you’ll be okay. We’ve made it this far, right?