We all have different ways of getting ready for bed. Some may choose to slip into something comfortable like a cozy pajama, others may prefer sleeping in loose sweatpants, or underwear, and some like to sleep in the nude. While everyone has a different style, sleeping in the nude has many health benefits. The many health benefits are irrespective of being coupled up or not. If going commando isn’t your thing, see below for the hidden health benefits of how sleeping in the nude can help put you/partner in a good mood.
Dr. Michael Breus, a well known sleep expert guru advises in his book, Good Night, The Sleep Doctor’s 4 week program to better sleep and better health, that sleeping naked can be good for your relationship, for yourself, your health and the actual quality of your sleep. Sleeping skin to skin can enhance feelings of closeness, and intimacy, both physical and emotional. Because there are no clothes to shield you, or to separate you from your partner, nude sleepers are more likely to sleep close together and snuggle up to keep warm. If it gets too hot, a little distance can also help create a cool environment conducive for sleep. Sleeping naked alongside a partner can also make sex more spontaneous, and as a result more frequent. In a study conducted by Cotton USA on sleep, it was discovered that those couples that got into the habit of sleeping naked were more likely to report being happier in their relationships and less prone to conflict generally compared to couples that were clothed. It’s important to note that these studies were correlational in nature, and based on self report measures.
Since the importance of sleep is to help remove toxic proteins that accumulate throughout the day when you are awake, sleeping naked can help promote optimal sleep whereby that cleaning/clearing out process of the toxins actually takes place. This can help you think clearly the next day, be focused, spark your creativity, productivity, problem solving skills, and decreases your sensitivity to any emotional reactivity in your immediate environment.
Additionally, skin to skin contact triggers the release of oxytocin , sometimes referred to as the love hormone. This neurotransmitter is also responsible for interpersonal connection, engendering feelings of trust, commitment, and emotional stability between partners. Oxytocin helps to reduce cortisol, (a stress hormone that runs high when left unchecked with chronic stress), decrease feelings of anxiety/loneliness, as well as a lowering of one’s blood pressure.
For those who are single, don’t worry because there are other health benefits to sleeping in the nude whether you are with a partner or not. By helping your body to stay cooler overnight, Dr. Breus explains that sleeping naked may help increase its stores of brown fat, the type of fat that actually burns energy in the form of calories, rather than storing it as visceral fat around our abdomens. This can help one avoid all kinds of metabolic diseases in the future, including type 2 diabetes, by keeping ones glucose levels down and improving insulin function, thereby staving off obesity, or diabesity, a deadly combination of the two conditions.
Regulating body temperature downward can help improve sleep, by not overheating during the night, a major sleep disruptor. Body temperature naturally dips at night as your body transitions to sleep. Sleeping naked can help facilitate that process by making it easier to fall asleep, to help you sleep more soundly. Growth hormones and melatonin can then both have a chance to unleash their powerful anti aging benefits when sleep is facilitated more easily and soundly. Still not convinced? Dr. Breus recommends the following 4 suggestions in his book(s):
- Invest in good bedding, and wash it frequently. Use natural fibers such as cotton or silk, and avoid polyester so you don’t encourage unwanted heat/sweat throughout the night.
- Keep your temperature on the cool side. 65 degrees might seem cool, but that is the optimal temperature for wondrous sleep.
- Ensure your hands and feet are warm. The body releases heat through its extremities as part of its sleep related cool down. Having cold hands and feet can interfere with this process. Even a bath or a shower 90 minutes before bed can create that sense of warmth, with a sharp cooling down contrast when you get out. This sharp contrasted drop and dip in temperature is what facilitates a restful and deeper sleep. While you don’t want to be hot, make sure you have sufficient bedding to keep your hands and feet warm throughout the night.
- Wear as little as possible. If sleeping naked isn’t for you, and you are totally closed to the idea, try to wear as little clothing as possible, or very light clothing — fabric wise for a good night’s rest. At the very least, you will avoid overheating, and sleep more soundly as a result.
While sleeping in the nude might not be for you, don’t knock the idea completely until you try it for a few nights. You will be surprised at how natural and comfortable it truly feels, not to mention the surge in confidence/self esteem in can bring! Worst case scenario, it will be confirmed that it isn’t for you, but at least you will have the pleasure of knowing after some solid experimentation on your part.