Sleeping naked isn’t as popular as it should be. Less than a third of people sleep in the nude, even though it offers several significant health benefits.
Keep reading to discover why sleeping naked is good for you. If you don’t already sleep naked, expect to be convinced that it’s a good idea by the end of this article.
Why is sleeping naked good for you?
The main reason sleeping naked is good for you boils down to this: it prevents clothes from getting in the way of your body’s natural thermoregulation process.
What’s thermoregulation? Because humans are endotherms, our body regulates our temperature both internally as well as in response to external stimuli. Throughout the day, your brain regulates your body temperature to keep it roughly around 98.6 degrees, with some variation.
One of those variations is tied to your sleep-wake cycle. Your temperature drops in the evening as melatonin releases, preparing you for sleep. It continues to drop during your slumber until it reaches its low point around 6am. Then, to energetically prepare you to face the day, your brain kicks off cortisol production and begins raising your temperature before you wake up.
Keeping your body cool is key to enjoying a night of uninterrupted sleep. When you bring pajamas into the mix, your body has more external factors to deal with that can affect your temperature. This is especially the case if your pajamas keep you too warm, causing uncomfortable night sweats that interfere with your sleep and wake you up.
Benefits of sleeping naked
Besides helping you sleep better, going to bed naked offers many other benefits.
Improved genital health
Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to sleep naked is its benefits for your nether reasons. Airing out your private areas while you sleep is especially important for both men and women. Wearing underwear traps in moisture, allowing bacteria to thrive and possibly cause a vaginal infection in women or jock strap itch for men.
Besides staving off infection, going commando can spell better fertility for men. According to one recent study of 500 couples, men who slept naked and wore boxers during the day had higher quality sperm and 25% less genetic damage than men who wore briefs every day.
Speaking of genital health, sleeping naked is good for intimacy as well. It makes couples literally closer to each other, and the skin-to-skin contact releases oxytocin. Oxytocin itself has been shown to lower blood pressure and anxiety, while boosting your immune system.
Anecdotally, people who sleep naked report having happier relationships than those who sleep in pajamas or some other type of clothing.
It turns out, beauty sleep is a real thing, and sleeping naked may have something to do with it.
Research shows that having too much fabric or weight on your body can prevent HGH from getting released, the human growth hormone involved in repairing tissue, building muscle, and burning fat while you sleep. Some of that restorative repair includes features like your skin and hair. Your HGH already naturally decreases as part of the aging process; don’t feel the need to help it along the way.
Sleeping naked can even help you lose weight. As we explained earlier, your cortisol levels operate inversely to your melatonin levels, rising in the morning as your melatonin trails off. However, if your sleep is interrupted, your cortisol levels can be higher than usual in the morning, so you’re likelier to overeat and indulge in overly sugary or fatty foods.
People who are sleep deprived see increased ghrelin levels and appetite. Meanwhile, deeper stages of sleep release the leptin hormone which regulates your appetite. It’s important to enjoy uninterrupted sleep in order to ensure sufficient leptin is released.
A good night’s sleep is an uninterrupted one. If you wake up during the night from getting too hot, it can interrupt your deep and REM sleep. These restorative stages of sleep are essential for cognitive functioning, mood regulation, and memory processing during your waking hours.
The less clothes you wear, the cooler you’ll be, allowing your body to go to sleep faster – and stay asleep.
More pep in your step
Incidentally, sleeping naked may also keep you more active. If you wear PJs, you may be likelier to lounge around the house. Whereas if you wake up naked, you’ll need to get up and go to get dressed.
Finally, sleeping naked is good for your wallet. Sleeping without clothes keeps you cooler, preventing the need to pump the A/C during the summer months. You also won’t have to spend any money on sleepwear.
What should you wear if you don’t want to sleep naked?
If you absolutely don’t want to sleep naked, don’t. It’s more important that you’re comfortable enough to sleep, than following an arbitrary rule (even if it does bring many benefits).
However, you should take care with what you do wear to bed. Choose pajamas made of fabrics that are breathable, lightweight, and natural. Some good moisture-wicking options include silk, flannel, and bamboo. Bamboo is also hypoallergenic and antibacterial, making it a nice option for allergy sufferers. Avoid wool and fleece, which prevent circulation, as well as cotton. Even though it’s lightweight, cotton is terrible at wicking away moisture that occurs during night sweats.
Make sure your clothes are loose and thin, but not too baggy so as to tangle you up during the night. Oh, and make sure you wear socks.