22nd January 2020
Despite having many health benefits, figures show on average only 30% of the population sleep nude. So, we hear you ask, is it better to sleep naked?
Ranging from hormone levels to relationships, and brain power to fat burning, here are the top four benefits of sleeping nude:
A better night’s sleep
Studies show that by sleeping nude, your body temperature is lowered, meaning you’re less likely to be disturbed during your sleep. When you wear clothes while sleeping, your body struggles to re-adjust its temperature to the optimum level, which can cause you to wake up during the night. Sleeping naked increases your chances of getting a solid night’s sleep – and we all want that!
Improved sleep from going nude also positively impacts your brain. The University of Rochester’s study found that when in high quality deep sleep, your brain removes toxic proteins from its neurons that are produced while you’re awake. This cannot take place if you’re spending too much time in the light sleep stages, due to stirring regularly.
If this process doesn’t happen, it negatively affects your ability to think, meaning you’ll be less efficient at processing information, problem solving and tapping into your creativity, and may also feel more emotional and easily stressed.
When your bedroom is above 21 Celsius (the recommended maximum temperature), it can become too hot and uncomfortable to sleep in. If this happens and your sleep is disturbed, this interrupts your body’s melatonin production.
Melatonin also produces anti-aging hormones, which are hugely beneficial to your skin. By sleeping nude, your body is more able to regulate its temperature, therefore making you less likely to be disturbed by being too warm.
Not only can sleeping naked improve the appearance of your skin, it’s also linked to weight loss. The U.S National Institutes of Health discovered that by keeping cool when sleeping, your body creates more brown fat. Brown fat burns calories as an energy source to keep your body warm, so having more of it can help you to lose weight, while also boosting your metabolism when your body stores more of this brown fat vs regular white fat.
Increasing brown fat stores may also improve glucose levels and insulin function. Scientists have recently started researching more about brown fat in adults and finding how it can be used to manage weight and potentially avoid metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Another reason to sleep nude is because sleeping in clothes or under heavy blankets can prevent your body from releasing the growth hormone IHG – this particular hormone has a variety of benefits, including repairing bones, skin and muscles – helping you (and your body!) feel better.
Further benefits include improved blood circulation, normalised hormone levels and increased amounts of growth hormone and melatonin – all just by sleeping in the nude!
You can also expect to see positive changes in terms of relationships. Having skin to skin contact with your partner not only improves intimacy and closeness, but it also releases oxytocin, also referred to as the ‘happiness hormone’.
Known to reduce stress, depression and blood pressure, as well as assisting with gut inflammation, this adds to the long list of reasons why it’s beneficial to sleep naked.
Keep your room temperature cool; around 18 degrees Celsius is recommended. This should mean you’re cool enough to be able to sleep through the night without waking feeling overheated, but also warm enough that you’re comfortable.
Ensure your bedding and sheets are both clean and cosy. Natural fibres such as cotton and silk are best, and remember to change your sheets more frequently when sleeping nude.
Keep your hands and feet warm. When your feet are cold, blood vessels constrict, causing poor circulation. Furthermore, the body releases heat through your hands and feet as part of its cool down process during sleep, so they can get cold more easily than the rest of your body.
The National Sleep Foundation learned that keeping your feet warm before going to bed sends signals to your brain that it’s bedtime, helping you fall asleep easier. To combat cold hands and feet, a warm shower or bath around 90 minutes prior to going to bed is a good idea, and will also help you wind down! Wearing socks to bed is okay too – but choose socks made of natural fibres that fit loosely around your ankles.
If you don’t feel comfortable sleeping nude, that’s okay! Ultimately we sleep best when we’re comfortable, so feel free to experiment with different sleeping clothes to work out what suits you best.
Alternative clothing options include pyjamas made from light and breathable fabrics, such as silk, bamboo and flannel. For allergy sufferers especially, bamboo has hypoallergenic and antibacterial properties which will be beneficial.