What are you wearing when you lay on your buckwheat pillow at night? Do you prefer old sweatpants and a t-shirt, a flannel pajama set, or do you choose to go nude? Though the majority of people tend to wear something to bed, those who sleep naked swear by it.
According to a survey of 1000 Americans, about 28.% of the population sleep naked – although not every day. Only 16.3% sleep naked every night, 7% a few days a week, 5.1% once a week, and just 0.2% sleep in the nude once a month. This survey revealed that most people do it simply because they find sleeping naked to be more comfortable than sleeping with clothes on.
Many people, sleep experts included, believe there are several benefits associated with sleeping naked. Although there isn’t a great deal of research on the subject, it is thought that sleeping naked can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep while simultaneously improving your health. Ultimately it improves sleep quality, and the better your sleep is, the better your health will be. Here are a few of the rewards of sleeping naked:
Improved Male Fertility
There aren’t studies that look directly at the impact on sleepwear and male fertility, however there is research on wearing snug undies. One study found that when men wear tight-fitting underwear, it increases their body temperature, specifically the scrotum. This can then decrease sperm vitality and sperm count, reducing male fertility.
Another study found that wearing looser underwear was better for the concentration of sperm, and additional research has found that cooling the scrotal area can boost sperm health. With this research, one may conclude that sleeping naked would provide the coolest and most free scenario and could therefore improve male fertility.
Better Vaginal Health
Males aren’t the only ones who benefit from sleeping naked. Research suggests that wearing either too tight or ill-fitting underwear can reduce vaginal health. More specifically, studies show that underwear can reduce air circulation and increase the risk of a yeast infection. Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of Candida yeast that can inflame the mucous membrane, which can cause itching and pain. Certain materials can also reduce air circulation and trigger this.
When females sleep in the nude, there is better air circulation and a lack of tight, restrictive clothing, reducing the risk of yeast infection and improving vaginal health.
Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease
Sleep deprivation can put you at greater risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. One study found that the less you sleep, the greater your risk is. By sleeping naked, you will sleep longer and can therefore reduce your risk of these diseases.
Sleep Longer and Improve Sleep Quality
Sleep is critical to our health and well-being, yet many Americans aren’t getting enough. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of Americans aren’t getting enough which can have devastating effects on one’s health (read more on why we should at least sleep 8 hours a night here). One of the most profound benefits of sleeping naked is its effect on sleep quality.
Sleep research tells us that our bodies and sleep are regulated by our circadian rhythm. This involves our body’s temperature, which rises and falls at certain times throughout the day. When it is time for sleep, your melatonin production will increase, and your body’s temperature will fall. When you sleep, your temperature will continue to drop. This is why sleep experts recommend sleeping in a cooler room and why breathable bedding like Tencel sheet sets are so popular.
For better sleep, your environment should be between 66 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Not too cold and not too warm. When you sleep in flannel pajamas under a fluffy duvet, you can prevent your temperature from dropping as it should. This will make it harder to fall and stay asleep. Taking off your clothes and crawling into bed naked will help kick start the drop in temperature and cue your body for sleep. This means you’ll fall asleep faster. This is the second most common reason people choose to sleep naked!
Although sleeping nude will lower your temperature, research has revealed some important tips. If you are too cold, you won’t sleep well, and being nude can cause your body temperature to fluctuate if you don’t have adequate bedding. You can have layers on your bed and add more as you need them. The key is finding a comfortable balance. Your sheets will then help regulate your temperature during the night, so you aren’t awakened by fluctuations.
Strengthens Your Relationship
Sleeping naked isn’t just for those who sleep alone. Partners that sleep naked next to each other may experience a greater sense of connection and increased feelings of fulfillment. It’s all about that skin-to-skin contact. Studies have found that the hormone oxytocin is released when people have prolonged skin contact with another person. This hormone makes you feel good and reduces anxiety which is why partners who sleep together naked may feel less stressed and more fulfilled.
The thought of sleeping naked can make some feel nervous. What if a roommate walks in, or the fire alarm goes off in my building? There is no doubt that when we are nude, we feel more vulnerable. If you still want to test it out, you can start slow. The Sleep Foundation recommends starting out wearing nothing but a t-shirt. Gradually cutting down the amount of clothing you wear to bed can help you feel more comfortable. With time, lose the layers.
Healthier Skin and Faster Healing
If you are sleep-deprived, it can show on your skin. You may look tired or older than you are. A small study examined the skin's ability to heal from a minor wound when they don’t get enough sleep. There were those who were sleep-deprived, those who received “adequate” sleep, and those who were sleep-deprived but had extra nutrients. The results found that the individuals who had an adequate sleep healed the fastest, and the excess nutrients didn’t make a difference. When you are sleep-deprived, your skin heals slower.
By sleeping naked, you could prevent weight gain. This isn’t a direct benefit of nudity but instead an effect of better sleep and cooler temperatures. One very small study found that when a group of men were exposed to cooler temperatures, they burned more calories. Several other studies have discovered a connection between sleep and weight gain. For example, you are more likely to gain weight when you are sleep-deprived. Therefore, when you sleep naked and improve sleep quality, you can also prevent weight gain.
Stabilize Your Mood
By improving your quality and quantity of sleep by sleeping naked, you can reduce stress levels and stabilize your mood. Plenty of research has found that there is a close relationship between sleep and stress levels. For example, an American Psychological Association study found that you could also improve your mood by treating insomnia.
Not sure how to start? Follow these tips…
If you are feeling shy about stripping down next to your partner, ask them to join you. Share the benefits listed here and ask if they want to sleep naked too. Making the change together can help give you the extra encouragement you need and strengthen your relationship.
To ensure you are comfortable sleeping naked, make sure you have comfortable bedding that will still keep you warm enough during the night. For example, breathable bedding like a Tencel sheet set and millet pillow will prevent you from overheating while still keeping you comfortable. If you are used to sleeping in warm pajamas, you may want to consider adding a blanket.
And to ease your mind over late-night emergencies, keep a robe nearby. This way, if you have to get out of your bed in a hurry, you can quickly cover up.
If it’s hygiene concerns that are holding you back, you can have a shower right before getting into bed. This will help keep your sheets clean longer and can help you feel more relaxed, easing you into sleep. You may also want to change your sheets more frequently, so ensure you have at least one other set on hand.
Lastly, if you are a sleepwalker or just not comfortable going completed nude, you can still receive these benefits by simply wearing less. Cut back on the layers and heavy fabrics and switch to breathable material. An oversized organic nightshirt with no underwear can give the same feeling as sleeping naked.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much you are wearing so long as you are comfortable. For example, if your partner is a hot sleeper and keeps the room extra cool, you don’t need to shiver through the night. Don’t feel bad about wearing that flannel onesie if that is what you are most comfortable in. The most important thing is your comfort and getting a good night’s rest!