The Many Health Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Don’t Know About

This article was originally published by our friend Dr. Mercola

Can sleeping naked improve your sleep and health? Evidence suggests that, yes, ditching your sleepwear may in fact have a number of benefits, including better sleep. Interestingly enough, a mere 8 percent of Americans admit to sleeping naked.1

Many of these health benefits result from the fact that sleeping naked helps prevent overheating, which can have a significant impact on your sleep quality. As you fall asleep, your body temperature drops, and this drop in core temperature actually helps you sleep better.

As you wake, your body temperature rises, which is why it’s much more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep when you’re hot.

Many keep their homes too warm to begin with, and wearing pajamas to bed will make you even warmer, which can lead to restless sleep and frequent waking. Ideally, keep the temperature in your bedroom below 70 degrees F. Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is between 60 to 68 degrees.

One study showed a surface skin temperature difference of as little as 0.08 degrees F (or 0.4 degrees C) allowed subjects to sleep more soundly. But the benefits of sleeping in the buff don’t end there.

Surprising Health Benefits of Sleeping Naked

Other health benefits of sleeping naked include:2,3,4,5

Improved metabolism

Lowering your body temperature helps activate brown fat — a type of body fat that helps regulate your body temperature by generating heat.

Research shows that people with higher levels of brown fat have faster resting metabolic rates, better blood sugar control and higher insulin sensitivity. In one study, sleeping in a chilled room doubled the amount of brown fat participants produced.6

Improved blood circulation

Without clothing your blood flow is less restricted, which benefits your entire body, especially your heart and muscles.

Healthier skin and private parts

Bacteria thrive in warm, moist areas, so ditching clothing, including underwear, can be particularly beneficial for women prone to yeast infections. Other areas, including your armpits (and skin in general) also benefit from being able to breathe.

Improved sperm quality

Men can also benefit from sleeping “commando.” A man’s testicles are designed to keep sperm at a temperature just slightly below core body temperature. Underwear that bunch the testicles close to the body may therefore reduce sperm quality and affect a man’s fertility.

Improved sex life

Skin-to-skin contact (as well as orgasm) releases the “bonding” hormone oxytocin, which promotes feelings of attachment and emotional closeness. Since sexual contact typically occurs while naked, sleeping in the nude raises the chances of sex, which can bring a couple closer.

Balancing hormones

By allowing your body to stay cooler at night, sleeping naked helps decrease cortisol, increase growth hormone and balance melatonin, all of which help promote healthy sleep patterns and reduce anxiety, stress and food cravings.

Improving Your Sleep Helps Improve Brain Health

Besides information on sleeping in the nude, the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) recently issued a number of daytime, evening and nighttime recommendations that can help you get more quality sleep, which is important for brain detoxification (which only occurs during deep sleep) and cognitive health. These tips include:7,8

Keep a regular morning and evening routine

Get up at the same time every day, seven days a week, and keep a regular bedtime routine. When you establish a consistent, soothing bedtime routine, you’re more likely to fall asleep easily. Activities such as a warm bath, reading a good book or relaxation exercises can be helpful.

Keeping a regular exercise schedule will also help optimize your sleep cycle. Seek to get to bed before 10 p.m. if possible to optimize your chronobiological cycles.

Avoid stimulants

Restrict fluids and food for at least three hours before bedtime. Avoiding dinner at least three hours before bed will also promote mitochondrial health, as explained in my previous article, “Two Meals a Day Is Ideal.”

Avoid alcohol and nicotine four to six hours before going to bed, and if you’re sensitive to caffeine, avoid drinking coffee and caffeine-containing drinks after lunch. (Extremely sensitive people may even need to abstain from chocolate in the afternoon/evening.)

Remove electronics from your bedroom

This includes TVs, telephones, computers and tablets, as the blue light emitted from electronic screens suppress melatonin production, making sleep elusive.

Limit daytime naps to less than 30 minutes

Avoid evening stress

In the evening, avoid getting into heated arguments and limit “worry time” to 15 minutes in the morning instead of ruminating all night. Also put all your work away at least an hour or two before bed. You need a chance to unwind before falling asleep without being anxious about the next day’s plans or deadlines.

Make your bedroom a pet-free zone

While many enjoy having pets sleep with them, allowing pets in your bed can disrupt your sleep.

Optimize your light exposure, day and night

In the morning and early afternoon, expose yourself to bright daylight to anchor and synchronize your circadian clock and melatonin production. Bright light exposure during the day is particularly important if you have trouble falling asleep at night or suffer from insomnia.

In general it is best to avoid blue light sources, such as LEDs and electronics, as blue light suppresses melatonin production. This is especially important after sunset.

These light sources become less troublesome if you use a good filter on your computer screen. My favorite is Iris, which was developed by a Bulgarian programmer named Daniel Georgiev.

Keep bedroom dark, cool and quiet

In addition to lowering the thermostat, make your bedroom as dark and quiet as possible. Research shows even very dim light exposure during sleep can have adverse effects on your brain function. Ideally, install blackout curtains, or use an eye mask.

Sleep Is Essential for Optimal Health

Sleep affects your health in a myriad of ways. The GCBH naturally places a significant focus on the brain, but sleep is important for your entire body. As for how much sleep you need, research shows most adults need right around eight hours of sleep each night for optimal health and disease prevention. Children and teens need more. Lack of sleep, or poor-quality sleep, has been linked to:

Increased risk of car accidents Increased accidents at work Reduced ability to perform tasks
Reduced ability to learn or remember Reduced productivity at work Reduced creativity at work or in other activities
Reduced athletic performance Increased risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease Increased risk of depression
Increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease Decreased immune function Slowed reaction time
Reduced regulation of emotions and emotional perception Poor grades in school Increased susceptibility to stomach ulcers
Exacerbation of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and cancer Increased expression of genes associated with inflammation, immune excitability, diabetes, cancer risk and stress9 Premature aging by interfering with growth hormone production, normally released by your pituitary gland during deep