When it comes to our bed and being naked, most of us will only slip out of our pajamas and into our birthday suit when we’re turning up the heat in the bedroom. After a bit of getting down under the sheets, followed by canoodling, we grab the closest clothes and cover up, but experts say this is a bad habit. Although several scientific studies stress our sleepwear can negatively affect our quality of sleep, and overall health, only 10 percent of Americans make it a habit to sleep nude. Sleeping naked provides several health benefits for our body, ranging from an improved hormonal balance and mood to better sex.
1. Better and Deeper Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done for most of us who are light sleepers, toss and turn throughout the night, or are simply too busy that we barely sleep. Achieving the optimal amount of sleep is contingent on the room temperature and overall sleeping environment. Optimal temperature for restorative sleep is between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
A 2008 study published in the journal Brain found when the sleeping environment has a temperature that fits this parameter, it helps the body’s core temperature to drop in preparation for sleep. If we’re too hot, this will prevent the body’s core temperature to reach the optimal parameters, which can lead to restlessness, and even insomnia. Sleeping naked will prevent the body from overheating, and will therefore lead to a better night’s sleep.
2. Look Forever Young
The term “beauty rest,” is not just a myth. Maintaining a room temperature that is no higher than 70 degrees while we sleep allows the anti-aging hormones — melatonin and the growth hormone — to function properly. A sleep environment that is too hot will not allow the body to naturally cool itself and disrupts the release of these hormones. Sleeping in complete darkness stimulates the release of melatonin, which cools the body, and then the growth hormone is released. Hormones will work better at lower temperatures and will allow the body to regenerate resulting better hair and skin. A 2012 study published in the journal Sleep found getting deep, restorative sleep can improve athletic performance with the release of the growth hormone.
3. Lose Weight
A good night’s sleep is the best way to fight stress, which causes belly fat. At night, the production of the growth hormone increases while cortisol — the stress hormone — decreases. It is during 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. when our body is resting, which means cortisol should be at its lowest. In the morning, cortisol levels reach their highest point to get us energized by the time we get out of bed. If we don’t get a good night’s rest, we tend to wake up with abnormally high cortisol levels that can trigger our appetite for comfort foods and lead to overeating.
4. Better Sex
Sleeping in the nude with your partner can help stimulate the release of the “love” hormone oxytocin. The skin-to-skin touching will increase a sexual responsiveness and orgasm, while counteracting stress and depression through fighting off the effects of cortisol and blood pressure. "When you and your partner both sleep naked, the skin-to-skin contact will release the feel-good hormone," Dr. Fran Walfish, psychotherapist and author, The Self-Aware Parent, told Medical Daily. "Even further, you may have more sex and we all know orgasms are Mother Nature's best answer to insomnia...better than bottled milk and Ambien!" A recent study conducted by Cotton USA found sleeping naked actually encourages physical and emotional intimacy between couples, leading to happier relationships.
5. Protects Your Vagina
Ladies, when it comes to our lady parts, it’s always best to be safe than sorry. Many women express fear over sleeping naked and its effect on the vagina, deeming it unsanitary. Bacteria thrive in moist, warm environments, especially in women prone to vaginal infections. Nicole Prause, an Associate Research Scientist at the University of California Los Angeles, told Medical Daily, “[S]leeping naked would reduce the ability of those (always-present) bacteria to overwhelm the normal healthy vaginal flora.”
The vagina will get more ventilation, increasing its ability to stay dry and reducing the probability of fungal infection. For men, sleeping naked has been found to increase fertility by keeping the testes at a reasonable temperature. It can also retain the sperm quality, too.
It’s time to slip into your birthday suit and sleep your way to good health.