The best way to appreciate your beautiful, freshly laundered bedding? Pair it with your birthday suit.
Choosing to go sans pajamas might sound risqué, especially if you make nighttime bathroom trips to pee, but don’t let that deter you. Not only is this the easiest sleep “hack” to try tonight, but there are also many benefits to sleeping naked. From physical health to relationship sparks, there are several ways opting away from clothing can help you get better sleep at night.
Not convinced about going commando? Here are seven compelling reasons to ditch your clothes tonight — maybe forever (and definitely on hot nights).
Going to Bed Naked Helps You Fall Asleep Faster
Feeling ready for shut-eye is part-bedtime routine and part-circadian rhythm (your body’s internal clock, which dictates your sleep-wake cycles). While your body’s internal temperature naturally shifts lower to get ready for bed — ideally below 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit — there are times when your signals might be more delayed than you like. Getting naked can help with that.
As your body cools down thanks to a breeze or the effect of your room temperature on your skin, your brain will get the signal to make melatonin, which shifts you towards a state of sleep. Researchers found this sleep improvement from cooler temperatures also leads to greater calmness, less difficulty in falling asleep, better sleep satisfaction, and more sleep adequateness.
Going to Bed Without Clothes Enhances Sleep Quality
If you find yourself kicking off sheets at night, sleeping naked may improve your sleep quality. One 2012 study found that bedding and clothes increased risk of waking and decreased both slow wave and REM sleep.
Being more selective about what you wear (or what you don’t) can give you some further control on body temperature during sleep, says Dr. Chris Winter, Sleep.com advisor and author of “The Sleep Solution.”
“As body temperature changes throughout the night, it’s harder to strip out of a pajama onesie with footies than it is to shift some blankets around,” Winter says. “In the case of sleep, less clothing could mean better sleep quality, giving you the opportunity to better control your own body temperature.”
Pajamas Can Disrupt Your Circadian Rhythm
The right, light, breathable pajamas are ok, but not all nightwear is created equally.
Avoiding items of clothing that could inhibit natural movement or compress the body at any point during sleep is ideal, says Duffy McMahon, Ph.D., a behavioral sleep specialist at Valley Sleep Center, in Arizona. “Even a nightie or something sheer can get bunched up at points,” she says. Research also shows that binding clothing can inhibit melatonin production, which plays an important role in managing the body’s circadian rhythm.
If you find yourself waking up tangled in your teddy, it might be time to ditch the duds.
Less Sweat = Happier Skin
Without clothing, your skin also has more opportunity to breathe, says McMahon, so you’re also less likely to perspire. Excessive sweating, which can be caused by overly heavy pajama materials, can not only cause itchy discomfort that can wake you up, but also increase the likelihood of rashes, breakouts, and other skin inflammation later on, not to mention damp sheets that could promote mildew or bacteria growth in your bedding and mattress.
Sleeping Naked Can Promote Vaginal Health or Increase Sperm Count
Speaking of less sweat, the combination of tight underwear, moisture, and air can be a sneaky culprit for bacterial growth. McMahon cites that there is less of a chance for yeast or other bacteria to get trapped when you are in the nude. Tight, unbreathable or synthetic materials (like nylon) could increase a person’s risk for vaginal infections and urinary tract infections.
For people who produce sperm, one study looked at 656 male partners of couples and saw that men who wore tight-fitting underwear had lower sperm count than people who wore boxers.
Giving your pelvic area “room to breathe” at night, also alleviates the potential for itchiness or irritation.
Naked Bodies Can Boost Intimacy With Your Partner
For many, stripping down may be an act that is reserved for intimate contact. But getting naked for sleep can bring you closer to your partner in a whole new way, says McMahon.
“We live in a very prudish society, where sleeping naked may not be something that’s necessarily promoted,” she says. “But, if you can overcome that discomfort, it can certainly help us learn how to be more open with each other. It’s freeing when you stop trying to hide your body from your partner.”
In addition, the skin-to-skin contact that can happen with two individuals in bed — intimate in nature or otherwise — can also result in the production of oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone,” which can be beneficial for those struggling with anxiety.
Sleeping Nude Can Boost Your Self Confidence
If you don’t have a partner, there’s still one relationship that can benefit from you getting naked in bed. Yourself.
There’s no denying that without clothes, things feel a bit freer. And that can do wonders for your self-confidence. One 2017 study found that spending more time in the nude can lead to improving your self-esteem and having a better body image. By becoming more comfortable with one’s own body, researchers discovered that individuals had a greater sense of life satisfaction.
Why not get used to being comfortable in your own skin in the most comfortable place in the world: your bed!
Do You Have to Get Naked at Night?
There’s no magic single-solution way to get perfect health, so claims that sleeping naked can help with weight loss or lowering risk of disease are perhaps overblown. But there is a real and tangible health benefit that comes with getting enough sleep. So, if sleeping naked helps solve your sleep problems, then you might also experience a boost in other areas of wellness.
But if you’re grossed out by the idea of your bare butt between the sheets, there are other ways to achieve the same benefits listed above:
- Have a good bedtime routine to switch from active to relax mode.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing made of soft materials to keep cool.
- Invest in bedding that has moisture-wicking capabilities or a mattress with cooling technology.
- Keep the window open at night for fresh air and to help lower temperature, if you don’t have a thermostat.
- Exfoliate two to three times a week in the shower before bed to get rid of dead skin and lingering sweat.
Tips for Sleeping Naked
However, if hygiene is the only barrier to sleeping naked, keep these tips in mind:
- Take a shower before you go to bed. Goodbye, daytime sweat and dirt from outside.
- Splurge on high-quality bedding, sheets, and pillowcases. If you’re not going to wear jammies, why not make your bed feel softer than silk? Stick with soft, light fabrics like cotton or bamboo.
- Transition slowly by sleeping in an airy t-shirt (but sans undies) for a while before going fully nude. There’s no reason to go from 0 to 100 when it’s just you and the bed.
- Keep a blanket nearby. If you like the benefits of sleeping naked and want to continue during colder weather, a blanket will solve your chilly problems.
Sleeping naked may take time to get used to from a comfort perspective, but, on the other hand, it’s also certainly more convenient for when you want a quick(er) way of winding down. Since many of us don’t often have time to laze around nude during the daytime, doing so in the evening in the comfort of your own home is a great way to experience being completely free.
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