Whether you sleep completely naked or fully clothed, you surely regard sleep as sacred. It can make our days or break our nights. Sweet dreams don’t always happen, but when they do, it’s blissful. Naturally, we turn to all sorts of products — from melatonin to weighted blankets to special teas — in attempt to facilitate more and better Zzzs. If you do happen to be a person who bundles up before bed, though, you may just be doing yourself a disservice. Yes, there’s a simple way to encourage a restful eight hours: Simply sleep in your birthday suit.
Snoozing in the buff comes with all sorts of unexpected positives. It helps to lower your body’s core temperature and regulate its rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and enjoy all the fruitful rewards. Yes, there’s a plethora of fringe benefits to sleeping in the nude — enough to make you toss those PJs and ditch those undergarments for good — well, at least during after hours.
Intrigued yet? Read on for all the surprising things that happen when you start sleeping naked.
You will fall asleep faster if you start sleeping naked
If you tend to stare up at the ceiling patiently (or impatiently!) waiting for the Sandman to sprinkle his magic sleep dust over your eyes every night, you know what we’re going to suggest: Sleep naked!
Felice Gersh, obstetrician-gynecologist, explained to Well + Good that "sleep onset is related to one’s temperature." She continued, saying, "Being naked helps by lowering skin temperature, and that can facilitate sleep." Yes, you can expedite your trip to dream land simply shedding your beloved flannel pajamas. What’s more, Dr. Jodie Horton, physician and chief advisor to health and lifestyle company Love Wellness, told the publication that women going through menopause may find this tip especially helpful, as "hot flashes and night sweats" can keep them up or prematurely wake them up.
And, in case you are wondering, you should try to set your bedroom temperature somewhere in the zone of 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, as advised by Dr. Craig Heller, Stanford biology professor, in WebMD.
Your quality of sleep will improve when you start sleeping naked
If falling asleep when your head hits the pillow is the easy part, rest assured that sleeping naked can also help you achieve a better quality of sleep — and ensure that you stay snoozing for longer.
A 2012 study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that "heat exposure increases wakefulness and decreases slow wave sleep and rapid eye movement sleep." Yes, your sleep and awake time is all part of your circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle that affects the proper functioning of your body — and even "small changes in body temperature can send a powerful signal to the clocks in our bodies," Dr. Takahashi of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute told ScienceDaily.
Furthermore, as noted by Dr. Felice Gersh, obstetrician-gynecologist, "being naked keeps one cooler and avoids … [the] bunching up of sleeping garments," (via Well + Good). If you’ve ever gotten a middle-of-the-night wedgie or found yourself all twisted up in your sleepshirt, you know exactly what Dr. Gersh is talking about.
Sleeping naked could help improve your mental health
Sometimes a good night’s sleep can be the answer to your worries and woes. If sleeping naked can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, it’s fair to say that skinny dipping in your sheets could make you a happier, more balanced, and adjusted person.
In fact, insomnia has been associated with multiple psychiatric disorders. "Some type of sleep difficulty occurs in as many of 90% of MDD [major depressive disorder] patients, a reported published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry revealed. Lack of sleep and depression go hand in hand; one might drive the other or vice versa, according to WebMD.
The health site noted that it’s harder to effectively treat psychological conditions without also addressing sleep issues. One of the first steps to combat anxiety and depression is to establish healthy sleep habits. As deduced by Healthline, sleeping naked could actually help improve your sleep patterns, thus reducing anxiety and stress, and potentially even helping to lift some level of depression.
Sleeping naked may reduce your risk of certain serious diseases
If sleeping naked means more sleep, the law of logic would tell us that sleeping naked would also be able to reduce your risks of certain serious diseases.
As indicated by a study published in Annals of Epidemiology, getting too few hours of sleep at night can increase one’s chances of developing an impaired fasting glucose number. Over time, this can ultimately lead to a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Separate research conducted by the American Heart Association found that a lack of sleep is correlated to an increase in blood pressure, a factor that plays a part in the development of heart disease. Dr. Gina Lundberg, clinical director of Emory Women’s Heart Center, told the association, "The positive effect of sleep is not just on your heart health but also on your stress hormones, your immune system, your breathing, and your mental status."
Indeed, sleep can help to heal your body. As inferred by Healthline, if sleeping naked can help you fall asleep quicker and enhance your quality of slumber, it’s fair to say then that it could also lower your chances of developing these diseases.
You may lose weight when you start sleeping naked
Yes, exercise and diet is key, but another major factor that aids in potential weight loss or weight maintenance is sleep. Sign us up!
Dr. Gina Lundberg of Emory Women’s Heart Center told the American Heart Association, "People who are sleep deprived have slower metabolism and more difficulty losing weight. They also have the effect of not wanting to exercise or participate in other healthy habits." A study confirmed the expert’s point — noting that women who slept just five hours or less each night were more inclined to gain weight (33 pounds or more) or reach obesity versus those who slept at least seven hours each evening (via ScienceDaily).
Additional research published in PLOS Medicine found that people who don’t get a lot of shut-eye tend to have lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin, which increases appetite. Sleeping more may help you control cravings, reduce your appetite, and kickstart your metabolism. And how can you get more sleep? By going to bed naked, of course.
Sleeping naked can reduce your risk for an infection
Sometimes you just have to let those lady parts breathe. As it turns out, sleeping sans PJs and panties is really good for your vaginal health. "Some women may have more physiologic discharge than others, thus creating a moist environment within their underwear," Shweta Pai, obstetrician-gynecologist, told Well+Good. "Excess moisture can lead to bacterial overgrowth, which can lead to a vaginal infection."
Furthermore, the doctor noted that "women can get irritation of [the vulva] that can lead to itching and pain." She continued, saying, "By removing your underwear at night, there is less rubbing to this area of sensitive skin." Less friction means less middle-of-the-night discomfort, which means more rest for you and your privates. Win-win all around.
Of course, if you are out of your comfort zone when you are out of your undies, Pai recommended choosing a comfy set of cotton panties. Nylon, lace, and other sexy materials can be more abrasive on your sensitive skin.
Sleeping naked can improve male fertility
Are you actively trying to start a family? It all begins with getting naked — and for more reason than one. As noted by research published in the journal Human Reproduction, "elevated scrotal temperatures" can "adversely affect testicular function." Thus, some types of restrictive underwear (think tighty whities) can limit a man’s sperm count.
The aforementioned study followed 656 men and found that those who reported wearing easy-breezy boxers with little to no support had higher sperm counts and lower follicle stimulating hormone levels. In layman’s terms, the swimmers in these men were more active and ready to roll. Suffice to say, the same would also be true for men who opt to skip the boxers entirely and go commando at night.
So, yes, if you and your significant other are ready and willing to add little ones to your crew, you might consider letting your boys get some space and air at night. You know, before you skip to the next step of baby-making.
Sleeping naked could mean more sex — and all the benefits that come with it
When you and your partner both get into bed naked, there is a better chance things will get hot and steamy — even with those cooler body temperatures. It is pretty simple logic that snuggling in the buff can lead to other sexy activities between you and your partner. Dr. Michael J. Breus, a clinical psychologist who’s known as The Sleep Doctor, affirmed the somewhat obvious sentiment in an article for Psychology Today: "Being naked and physically close in bed together can also make sex — especially the spontaneous, unplanned kind — more likely and more frequent."
And with sex comes a whole slew of its own health-boosting benefits. Indeed, getting busy can give your immune system a boost, reduce pain, decrease your stress level, and maybe even lower the risk of heart attack and prostate cancer. What’s more, it can count as exercise (via WebMD).
You may experience a surge of this hormone when you and your partner start sleeping naked
Engaging in cozy cuddle time and "skin-to-skin contact" with your significant other in bed "triggers the release of oxytocin," as explained by Michael J. Breus, clinical psychologist, in an article for Psychology Today. This happy, amorous hormone affects the way we feel in our relationship and can foster "feelings of trust, ease, and stability."
As noted by the expert, studies have even shown that a surge in oxytocin can make us more empathetic to our partners, and even help us feel more physically and emotionally attracted to them. Additionally, a Cotton USA poll cited by Medical Daily found that, overall, married couples who slept naked together tended to have happier, stronger relationships.
Sleeping naked does not have to be an automatic green light for sex, of course. But it can be a definitive way to feel closer, become more intimate, and soak up the quiet content of the love hormone‘s effect.
Your skin may improve when you start sleeping naked
Snooze naked and your skin will thank you. Seriously, beauty sleep is not a myth; habitually getting a good night’s rest will likely result in a more youthful complexion.
When you sleep, your body repairs itself and generates new cells. Your skin makes collagen overnight, which in turn gives you more supple skin. New York-based dermatologist Patricia Wexler told WebMD that sleeping for only five hours a night (as opposed to a minimum of seven) can result in double the wrinkles and fine lines. Furthermore, clinical psychologist and sleep expert Michael J. Breus explained to the site, "Sleep deprivation causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin surrounding your face. Skin becomes dull, and you don’t get those rosy cheeks anymore."
So, what’s an exhausted person with a lackluster complexion to do? You’ll want to work on upping your slumber time by at least another hour or two, as advised by Breus. But, hey, sleeping naked could get you to Snoozeville faster, keep you sleeping longer, and help jump-start its anti-aging effects. Plus, sleeping naked may also prevent any skin conditions you may have from getting worse, as clothing "can cause friction or irritation as it rubs against the skin while you are sleeping," dermatologist Sejal Shah told Self.
Your self esteem may improve when you start sleeping naked
Want to feel comfortable in your own skin and confident about your body? Strip down before you lie down. Research published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that "more participation in naturist activities predicted greater life satisfaction — a relationship that was mediated by more positive body image, and higher self-esteem." Yes, simply being naked — whether it is while sleeping or otherwise — can promote feelings of overall positivity.
What’s more, all the aforementioned benefits can add up to just feeling better about your health and lifestyle, in general. If your skin looks more youthful, you will likely feel more confident. If you are less stressed, you can breathe easier to enjoy life’s simpler pleasures. If you are having more sex with your partner, you might have a little extra pep in your step. Certainly, these things are all connected to feeling more empowered.
Are there any downsides to sleeping naked?
It’s pretty clear that sleeping naked comes with its fair share of benefits, but what about the drawbacks? Can there be negative consequences to letting it all hang out when you conk out? The answer is, well, not really.
You are going to want to be more stringent about laundering bedding if you plan to sleep naked. Dermatologist Rachel Nazarian explained to Well+Good that "the downside [of sleeping naked] is that sweat, bacteria, and saliva have a greater opportunity to transfer to other areas from your hair, your mouth, your eyes, your genitals, and so on." Sleep specialist Dr. Shelby Harris revealed that sheets should be cleaned weekly at a minimum, and that it’s best to use natural-fiber bedding.
And what about if you’re sleeping in a hotel? Should you be worried about potential bed bugs when you’re more, ahem, exposed? "Wearing PJs doesn’t make it any more or less likely that you’ll pick up bed bugs," Amy Brightfield, features director of Better Homes and Gardens, in an interview in HuffPost. Nevertheless, she suggested reading hotel reviews and doing a cleanliness check before slipping into that king-size mattress sans protective layer.