IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

To T-shirt or not to T-shirt: Is sleeping bare-chested better for your man?

A family video sparks a debate about whether or not guys should wear T shirts to bed or go topless.
/ Source: TODAY

When my family recently threw together a funny home video and shared it with friends, we accidentally uncovered a split with the potential to tear this country apart.

Does your man sleep with or without a T-shirt?

In our video, which stars our daughter as a girl who wakes up in odd places, there’s a quick shot of my husband, Dave, and me in bed.

Dave typically sleeps without a shirt, so viewers could see his bare shoulders peeking out from the covers.

A scene from a silly family video caused a debate among friends about whether or not my husband should sleep topless.TODAY /

Forget our daughter’s brilliant acting or my silk sleep mask — friends couldn’t get over the fact that Dave doffs his top before bed.

“Does he really sleep without a shirt?” one said.

“Put a top on dude!” said another.

RELATED: Why am I so tired all the time?

That people cared so much baffled us. Doesn’t every guy sleep without a shirt? Has my husband been doing it wrong all these years?

I threw the question out to friends on social media. And, boy, did they have opinions.


Once I shook the image of certain friends naked in bed, I got down to the numbers.

Out of forty or so responders, nearly 70 percent said they wear T-shirts to bed, with many complaining about their “hairy old man bodies.”

To make sure it wasn’t an age thing, I had a younger friend ask her pals. The debate was just as heated.

But we found even those who’ve yet to sprout back hair keep it modest, with over 80 percent saying they wear T-shirts to sleep.

And as it turns out, bare-chested snoozers are in the minority.

According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, only 12 percent of Americans sleep naked — though there’s not much out there on the T- shirt/no T-shirt debate.

So which is better?

Dr. Raj Dasgupta, a pulmonary and sleep specialist at USC medical school, falls into the T-shirt camp, but only because he’s too busy to make it to the gym.

He says it’s not about clothing as much as body temperature. Being too hot disrupts key hormone production that helps anti-aging and repair.

Tom Selleck (above, in an episode of "Friends") doesn't need a T-shirt in bed. But then again, he's Tom Selleck. NBC / NBC via Getty Images

“Shedding those bedtime clothes can help the bedroom feel more comfortable to prevent needless awakens and get you into REM sleep,” Dasgupta said.

And couples who sleep naked reportedly have more sex (so there’s that).

But for those in the covering up camp, there are benefits to wearing some clothes too. Cold feet are tied to sleeplessness, though admittedly that research is just about socks.

In the end, you can rest assured experts say there’s no right or wrong, so don’t lose sleep over it. And sweet dreams.


  • Keep your room between 60-67 degrees
  • If you prefer pajamas pick ones that don’t constrict
  • Choose breathable fabrics
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
  • Make sure your mattress and pillow are comfortable