Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

So, is sleeping naked really the secret of a happy relationship?

Bed-time story: Gemma Garrett wraps up in winter but is happy to wear less in the warmer months
Bed-time story: Gemma Garrett wraps up in winter but is happy to wear less in the warmer months
Emma Heatherington
Winter woe: Kirstie with fiance Andy
Wears it well: Emma-Louise Johnston
Body beautiful: Tracey with husband Stefan

A new survey claims going to bed in the buff will keep your marriage red hot. Kerry McKittrick asks well-known faces for the naked truth about what they like to wear between the sheets.

What's the naked truth about a happy marriage? Sleeping in the buff, it seems, is the way to maintaining a successful relationship with your partner.

Forget those new-fangled ideas such as communication, honesty and compromise.

The secret to staying in love is throwing off the old PJs or nightie and taking a leaf out of Marilyn Monroe's book – the Hollywood star once declared the only thing she wore in bed was Chanel No 5.

According to a recent survey, up to 57% of us who curl up next to their partner in nothing but our birthday suit are "extremely happy".

Of those who wear a nightie to bed only 43% felt able to make the same claim.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, that figure dipped to 38% when it came to onesie wearers.

The poll, commissioned by Cotton USA, also included other factors that could cause strife in a relationship.

Eating in bed, leaving dirty laundry on the floor and hogging the duvet are all big no-nos.

Shedding light on why going to bed naked might work wonders for your marriage, Stephanie Thiers-Radcliffe, of Cotton USA, suggested that couples sleeping together in the nude had greater feelings of openness and intimacy thanks to the skin-on-skin contact with their partner.

Here, we ask five local celebrities what they wear in bed – and if they think their night-time attire really could have an impact upon their relationship.

'It's liberating and can make you feel sexy'

Gemma Garrett (32) is a former Miss Great Britain and TV presenter. She is separated from her husband and lives in Belfast. She says:

I think what you wear in bed all comes down to what time of year it is. At Christmas I have my onesie on because it's so cold but I also wear it at other times of the year if I've put fake tan on as it saves the sheets from getting stained.

I will admit to sleeping naked in the summer when it's very hot.

It's liberating and makes you feel quite sexy.

If you don't feel well or if it's the time of the month then you'll probably bundle yourself up in night clothes but if you feel sexy and you sleep next to someone it feels much nicer to be skin to skin instead of snuggling up to a pair of pyjamas.

I think there's a little bit of truth to that survey but I don't think anyone will set out to sleep naked simply for the sake of their relationship.

I would say that it's all what feels comfortable for the individual."

'Going to bed in the nude is more intimate'

Emma Heatherington (36) is a novelist and playwright. She lives in Donaghmore, Co Tyrone, with her children Jordyn (18), Jade (13) and Adam (12), from a previous relationship. She is expecting her first child with partner Jim McKee. She says:

I prefer sleeping in the nude with my partner, it is nice and intimate and it's a bonding thing too. When you have children, being in bed is one of the few occasions when you actually get to spend time alone so making it more intimate is more important.

In saying that, when I'm on my own it's jammies all the way. I could live in pyjamas. However, if I do go to bed wearing pyjamas they'll more than likely be off by morning as I get too hot in the night.

I think how you sleep with a partner is something that evolves over the years. You'll probably be nude at the start then over time the socks and PJs will creep in. It's worth making the effort at bedtime though and making sure it's special time."

'If you bare all there's no sense of mystique'

Kirstie McMurray (40) is the co-host of the Downtown Radio Breakfast show. She lives in Bangor with fiance Andy Brisbane and her children Katie (13) and Connor (15). She says:

I do sleep in the nude apart from in the deep winter when it's freezing. I don't know when it started but I do have an extremely hot fiance – in both senses of the word!

He gets very warm in bed so I can't put anything on as it would be so hot I wouldn't be able to sleep. We're in bed for so little time – I have to get up at the crack of dawn for the breakfast show – that we need to actually sleep for all the time we can. It's great in the winter as he's like a radiator but I can't go near him in the summer.

Andy wears pyjama bottoms for modesty's sake – we do have two teenagers in the house who will charge in at any time.

As for whether what you wear in bed makes after difference to your relationship? Actually, I don't think it matters. I'm not saying that taking off a pair of pyjamas is really sexy but at the same time if you're nude then there is no sense of mystique."

'There's more to making a marriage work than going to bed naked'

Emma-Louise Johnston (36) is a presenter and broadcaster. She lives in Maghera with her husband Jonathan Crawford and their children, Emily (3) and JJ (1). She says:

When I was 12 or 13 a friend from school told us about her family being burgled. Her parents had been sleeping in the nip and the burglars had them tied up with nothing on. I remember thinking how horrific that sounded because you're so vulnerable when you're naked.

That story has always stayed with me so I always think if there's a reason that you need to jump up in the middle of the night and you're wearing something then you're already equipped to deal with it.

I just sleep in pants and a vest top – I get very warm so I wouldn't be into pyjamas anyway. Jonathan just wears boxers.

I don't think you need to sleep naked next to your partner for a long period every night. Nor do I think that that doing so is a factor in a good relationship – there are so many other things that go into making a marriage work."

'Even when I'm wearing nothing I need to be wrapped in the duvet'

Tracey Rodgers (47) is director of model agency Style Academy and lives in Belfast with her husband Stefan. She says:

I normally wear nothing during the summer but I'll wear a T-shirt in the winter as I like to cover my shoulders.

I have an imitation granda nightshirt from Marks & Spencer that I really like but Stefan doesn't like it at all.

Even when I'm wearing nothing I have to have the duvet wrapped right round me, no matter if the weather is really hot like it has been recently – I don't understand how guys sleep with their feet sticking out from under the duvet – mine would be freezing.

I don't think you lose any intimacy if you don't sleep in the nude.

I do think you need to be quite body confident to do it though – if you feel the need to wrap yourself up and hide, you're also in some sense hiding yourself from your partner.

Mind you, in saying that we have a super king-size bed which just about fits in the room so you could fit two people in-between us.

Stefan sleeps at one side and I'm at the other as we're not cuddly sleepers at all."

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