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Doctor Explains The Unpleasant Reason You Maybe Shouldn't Sleep Naked

James Felton

James Felton

Senior Staff Writer

clockSep 7 2021, 17:30 UTC
Dr Anthony Youn explained in a video on TikTok that it might not be so pleasant for whoever is sleeping in the bed with you.

Don't sleep like this. Image credit: Estrada Anton/

A doctor has explained why he believes you should never sleep whilst naked.

Dr Anthony Youn explained in a video on TikTok that it might not be so pleasant for whoever is sleeping in the bed with you.


“The average person passes gas 15-25 times a day and this can happen while you are sleeping, and a scientific study proved that every time you pass gas you are spraying a tiny amount of fecal material," the Plastic surgeon said.

“This is true even if it’s not a real shart," he continued. "The same study showed that your tighty whities will catch all of these particles."

"So for the sake of your bed partner, please sleep with your underwear on."


So, is this true? Are you really expelling fecal matter, and can your pants stop the spread? Well yes, but there's surprisingly little data in the field of fart science.


First off, scientists once measured the volume of participants' farts and found the volume of the largest one to be 375 milliliters (more than 12.6 fluid ounces), which Forbes points out is roughly the volume of a tall pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, forever ruining Starbucks lattes. That's quite a lot of wind to be unleashing in your partner's direction.

As for studies on what the farts contain and whether pants will stop that, the literature is extremely limited. In 2001, one Australian doctor did conduct such a study – though you'd be hard-pressed to call it rigorous, as it was mainly done as a favor for a nurse who asked him an odd question.

"She wanted to know whether she was contaminating the operating theatre she worked in by quietly farting in the sterile environment during operations, and I realised that I didn't know," Dr Karl Kruszelnicki told listeners to his science phone-in radio show in Brisbane. "But I was determined to find out.”

He asked a microbiologist friend to conduct a very small study with him, which is a polite way of saying that he was about to get a participant to blast out a fart into a petri dish with and without their pants on, and then see what bacteria developed.


The next morning, the petri dish blasted with flatulence from the uncovered anus had sprouted visible lumps of two types of bacteria that are usually found only in the gut and on the skin, as reported in the journal BMJ.

Meanwhile, the flatulence that had to make its way through the clothing before getting to the dish had no bacteria that sprouted. 

"Our deduction is that the enteric zone in the second Petri dish was caused by the flatus itself, and the splatter ring around that was caused by the sheer velocity of the fart, which blew skin bacteria from the cheeks and blasted it onto the dish," Dr Kruszelnicki told the Canberra Times in 2001

He pointed out that though that sounds gross, the bacteria that were splattered onto the dish were not harmful, and were on par with the "friendly" bacteria you find in yogurt.

“Our final conclusion?" Kruszelnicki said. "Don't fart naked near food."

In the same vein, maybe don't keep snacks in your bed near butt level.


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