Can You Save Your Relationship By Sleeping Naked?

by Pamela J. Hobart

Do you and your partner sleep naked? If not, you could be missing out on an important bonding experience! As claimed in the DailyMail, people who sleep naked have happier relationships. There's nothing wrong with sleeping naked, of course, but I have my doubts that it's useful relationship advice, though. This is probably just another case of the media confusing correlation with causation.

First, the facts. As discovered by a fairly large survey of Britons cited by the DailyMail, "57 percent of those who sleep in the nude said they were happy in their relationships, compared with 48 percent of those in pajamas, 43 percent of nightie wearers and 38 percent of those in onesies." Those are pretty significant differences. Many fewer Americans than Britons sleep naked (about 10 percent as compared to about 40 percent, respectively), so perhaps this is what's destroying all of our relationships!

As the DailyMail's expert helpfully offers, by way of explanation:

There are many factors which can affect the success of a relationship. But one factor which is often overlooked is the bedroom environment. Bedding can feel extremely soft against the skin, encouraging openness and intimacy between couples and ultimately increasing happiness.

I'm forced to agree, in part. Being really comfortable in bed certainly can't hurt, and it may make already-happy couples want to spend more time there, or enjoy their time in bed more. But the correlation itself just isn't all that informative. After all, nudity symbolizes vulnerability and exposure. Anyone in a stressful or full-of-friction relationship is less likely to want to be naked in front of their partner in the first place.

So the causation is probably the other way around: happy couples choose to sleep naked more, not that sleeping naked per se will do anything to improve your relationship. In fact, just getting naked before you get in bed with your mediocre partner could easily make things worse: he or she might think you want sex when you don't, or you may find yourselves turned off instead of on by the additional skin contact.

Moreover, the survey cited found that older Britons were more likely to sleep naked than their younger counterparts. Perhaps by middle age people are just happier in the relationships that make it that long in the first place, so it's age, not sleep habits,I causing the result. But hey, what do I know? I don't even like sleeping in the same bed as my partner. So you can take my partner sleeping opinions with a grain of salt.