Health

How to sleep: Health reasons why you should sleep naked

Sleeping naked is common among much of the UK population, and if you’re yet to swap your pyjamas for your birthday suit then you might want to reconsider. According to research by Sealy UK, one in five people in Britain sleep naked, with those in Cardiff, Brighton and Southampton most likely to sleep in the nude. Sleeping naked has been scientifically proven to be good for you, and Neil Robinson, chief sleep officer at Sealy UK, explained all its top health benefits.

It can help you lose weight

Your body needs to be naturally cooler at night, ideally around 1C lower than normal, to help you get a good night’s sleep, said Neil.

He explained: “A study conducted by the US National Institutes of Health found that keeping yourself cool while you sleep could help speed up your metabolism, as your body compensates by creating more brown fat to keep you warm.

“This brown fat produces the heat needed by burning calories, helping boost your metabolism all day long. The best way to keep yourself cooler when you sleep? Either invest in a duvet with a lower tog, or sleep naked.”

It can help you stay youthful

It’s not just weight loss which is a positive side effect of properly regulating your temperature in bed.

Neil said: “Keeping your body temperature below 21C helps the melatonin in our body to function properly.

“Sometimes called the sleep hormone, melatonin helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle, helping you get the best night’s sleep possible. Another benefit of melatonin is its anti-ageing properties.

“Studies have shown that melatonin can help stimulate the growth of fibroblasts – special cells that product collagen and elastin to keep your skin looking youthful and wrinkle free.”

It can make you less stressed

Production of cortisol, the hormone associated with stress, dips during sleep, especially between the hours of 10pm and 2am when the body is at its deepest period of rest.

However, post-2am your adrenal glands start producing cortisol in preparation for the day ahead, meaning if you wake up during these hours you’ll experience very high levels of this hormone, said Neil.

“Not only can this make you feel stressed, it can also trigger your appetite meaning you’ll be more likely to want to snack on comfort food,” he advised.

“Make it less likely that you’ll wake up during these hours by ensuring you sleep naked – this will help you get a deeper sleep and keep your temperature within the optimal range for a good night’s sleep.”

It’s good for your genital health

Researchers at Stanford University and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NCIHD) studied 500 men over a period of 12 months, looking at the sperm quality of the men and what underwear they were wearing during the day and at night.

It found that men who wore boxers during the day and slept naked at night had 25 per cent less damage to the genetic material in their sperm than men who wore underwear round the clock.

Neil said: “It’s thought that this damage, or DNA fragmentation to the sperm, is less likely when men are not confined by underwear at night, with researchers suggesting that men sleep in the nude at night and wear loose-fitting underwear during the day in order to improve fertility.

“Meanwhile, sleeping naked can also improve women’s vaginal health. Common vaginal issues thrive in warm, moist parts of the body, and wearing underwear, especially at night when we tend to be warmer and more wrapped up, could contribute to conditions such as thrush and vaginitis.

“Avoiding tight fitting underwear during the day and not wearing it at night could prevent these problems from developing.”

It can help your relationship

If you have a partner, sleeping naked can actually bring you closer together, with the skin on skin contact helping to release the hormone oxytocin, according to Neil.

He explained: “Sometimes labelled the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin has been shown to lower anxiety and stress, and it can even give your immune system a boost, meaning there’s never been a better reason to sleep in the nude.”

If sleeping naked doesn’t help you get to sleep it could be down to these four reasons. 

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