Does your family find it odd that you sleep in the buff? Do they even mock you and ask you what you will do in a fire? Don’t let that stop you. It turns out that there are numerous health benefits from sleeping naked.
Most people have their bedrooms too warm. The best temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 68 degrees F. You are more likely to get your proper rest when it is cooler.
When you sleep naked, your body temperature drops more easily. That makes it easier for you to go to sleep and sleep more soundly. That improves your health in countless ways.
Deep Sleep Improves Your Hormone Balance
You have probably read how your body produces melatonin at night to help you sleep. However, a whole host of hormones are in play when you sleep.
Your body produces less of the stress hormone cortisol while you are in a deep sleep. That is one of the problems with disrupted sleep. Your cortisol levels increase.
You end up more stressed when you wake up, and that can create a perfect storm of disharmony in your life. In addition to helping to create your foul mood, high-stress levels suppress your immune system and can increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, and depression.
Not to sound like a cheap tabloid, but sleep science indicates that some of the hormones that you produce in higher quantities when you sleep naked actually have anti-aging effects!
Once it is dark, and your body starts producing melatonin, it will start producing more human growth hormone when you are cooler at night.
Yes – this is the same hormone that some athletes take illegally to enhance their athletic performance. Who knew that you can increase your levels of it by sleeping naked?
Both melatonin and human growth hormone decrease the rate at which you age. In addition, your skin and hair will look better because your body regenerates better when it is cool.
You can even increase your athletic performance when your body produces more growth hormone during the night.
Lose Weight While You Sleep
One of the many benefits of being cooler when you sleep naked is that your body produces more brown fat to keep you warm. That may sound like a bad thing.
However, brown fat burns calories at 300 times the rate of any of your organs. So you may actually lose more weight by removing your clothing before bed.
An additional benefit of the production of brown fat is that your blood sugar may be better controlled, and your body may be more sensitive to insulin. Both of these factors will help you if you have diabetes.
And all of these health effects can last throughout the day!
The reduction in cortisol from your deep sleep while naked can also help you to lose weight. And when the opposite occurs – your body makes more cortisol – you are way more likely to indulge in comfort foods and overeat.
Banish Those Nasty Diseases!
Women, in particular, can benefit from sleeping naked. Vaginas are moist, and without clothes on, they get to air out at night. This has been shown to keep those nasty fungi at bay and reduce the number of yeast infections.
Even something more mundane like athlete’s foot can improve for the same reason. When your skin is drier, you are less likely to end up with foot infections.
Your Brain Will Thank You for Sleeping Naked
Your brain isn’t aware of it, but a groundbreaking study from early 2019 showed that deep sleep like you get when sleeping naked is the time that your brain’s plumbing sweeps away toxic compounds that build up during the day – compounds that can lead to Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Interrupted sleep has been shown to contribute to these hideous disorders down the road, and scientists are now starting to understand why. These toxic compounds remain in your brain if you don’t get enough sleep. They can even impair your ability to think the next day.
Your Sex Life May Improve
Shockingly, if you sleep naked with your partner, you are likely to have sex more often! That skin-to-skin contact promotes the natural feel-good compound our brains make called oxytocin. This chemical reduces stress and lowers the risk of depression.
In addition to the physical intimacy, you are more likely to feel more emotional intimacy when you sleep naked together.
And if you want to become a father, sleeping naked can also help with that by improving the health of your sperm. Your body produces healthier sperm when it is cooler. It turns out that keeping your testicles confined next to your body in tight underwear day and night can harm the quality of your sperm.
Consider Joining the 8-10% of People Who Sleep Naked
They may be few, but those who sleep naked are likely to be healthier in a number of ways. Who knew there was such a simple way to improve your health?
Give it a try and see if your sleep, weight, and mood improve by sleeping in your birthday suit.
At the least, you will probably get more done by not lounging in your pajamas all day. Of course, there is the exception if you are one of those people who work from home and do your best work in pajamas. At least until you have to videoconference!
And just think – you are less likely than the pajama-wearers to be sweltering on a hot summer night. And you may even save money on air conditioning!
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About the Author
Helga George, Ph.D.
Dr. George obtained three degrees in the plant sciences culminating with a Ph.D. from Cornell University before transitioning to writing full time. Despite her obsession with plants, most of biology interests her. Helga is drawn to sleep science out of a combination of intellectual curiosity and her own sleep problems ranging from sleep apnea to delayed sleep phase (i.e., being a hardcore night owl). She enjoys explaining science to laymen in terms that they can understand and relishes the opportunity to look behind the veil of sleep and relay the benefits provided by quality sleep.