Understanding The Many Benefits of Sleeping Naked
On the surface, trying to persuade someone that there are huge health benefits in taking off your clothes and sleeping naked just sounds like a terrible pickup line. But medical studies show that “going full commando” and “free-buffing” in bed is actually good for the body.
The benefits, according to those who study such things, include better blood circulation, deeper sleep, reduced stress, healthier skin and even a modicum of weight loss. And that doesn’t take into consideration the biochemical benefits of sleeping naked with a partner.
Perhaps the biggest advantage to climbing between the sheets naked is that humans sleep better and deeper — and wake up far less often — when their body temperature is slightly lower. When you wake up, your body temperature climbs, which explains why it’s harder to fall asleep again when you’re hot.
And it stands to reason that the less clothing worn to bed, the less heat buildup to the body. It’s pretty much as simple as that.
Sleeping Naked is Good for You
A drop in temperature as little as 1.1 degree Fahrenheit can decrease disturbances in areas of the brain that control sleep cycles, according to the medical journal Brain. Much like hibernating bears, your temperature drops as you drop off to sleep, which helps you sleep deeper and with fewer interruptions.
In addition to shedding bed clothing, it helps to turn back the thermostat to below 70 degrees. In fact, the best room temp for undisturbed sleep is between 60 and 68 degrees F. Chilling, right!?
Another advantage to staying cool throughout the night is the activation of so-called brown fat — a healthy body fat that helps regulate body temperature by generating heat. This has been shown to increase a sleeper’s metabolism.
And sleeping naked also helps the body regulate its cortisol, increase growth hormone levels and balance melatonin. These natural chemicals are responsible for slowing the aging process and promoting good health.
Again it’s all related to preventing the heat buildup that occurs when wearing pajamas and other constrictive clothing to bed.
Health benefits for guy and gals
Sleeping au natural — especially below the waist — has additional benefits for men and women. For the guys, “going commando” in bed means a drop in temperature that increases sperm count, which is important for those trying to have children. Underwear can crowd the testicles, reducing sperm quality.
For women, freedom from clothing (a.k.a. free-buffing) helps prevent bacteria and yeast infections, which thrive in an environment of warmth and moisture.
What should be obvious to all, of course, is the fact that sleeping naked is just plain sexy. Skin-to-skin contact releases a chemical known as oxytocin, a hormone that promotes feelings of closeness, sparking emotional intimacy. And since sex typically occurs while naked, sleeping in the nude curtails the complexities of removing clothing while under the sheets.
Tips for Getting Started
As outlined above, there appear to be a lot of pluses to falling into bed naked, but statistics show only 8 to 12 percent of Americans do so on a regular basis. That means a whole lot of folks are uncomfortable with the notion. And when you’re uncomfortable in bed, you’re less likely to have a good night’s sleep.
You could ease into sleeping without bedclothes by thinking loose, light and little.
- Maybe start by wearing just a T-shirt to bed for a few nights. You’re still retaining heat and missing out on air circulation, but it’s a step in the right direction. Just keep in mind that getting tangled up in loose bedwear can keep you up at night.
- Keep a robe next to the bed — not only for the additional security it provides — but also for use when you need to visit the bathroom.
- Taking a warm shower or soaking in the tub before going to bed not only relaxes the body for a good night’s sleep, but cuts down on the frequency of washing your sheets.
- Speaking of sheets, invest in a set of breathable organic fabrics — cotton is perfect — in order to allow air to circulate over your body. Avoid polyesters. If you live in colder parts of southern California, add a down comforter to the equation. In the warmer months, a quilt or thin blanket atop a sheet can provide just the right amount of comfort.
If you’re still too shy to comply, don’t worry about it. Just remember that less is best. An extra-long tee can still go a long ways toward a healthy, good night’s slumber.