Should You Be Sleeping Naked?

Mattress Advisor weighs in on the sleeping naked debate with research from the experts

Sleeping naked

Do you want to sleep better? Would you also like key body parts to be healthier? How about more sex? Maybe you’d just like to lose a little weight and look younger?

Well, get naked. Not, like, right now though. Do it before bed, preferably in private or with a willing bystander.

Despite the fact that only about eight percent of Americans sleep naked, the science has shown that stripping off your skivvies before bedtime can positively affect your health in a number of ways.

It’s gettin’ hot in here…

We’re all animals, whether we like to think so or not. Still slaves to the rule of Darwin, it’s important we keep in mind our evolution when it comes to how we live our lives.

We, in an era before industry and society, did not have Champion hoodies and Nike sweats to cozy up in before jumping into bed. Being a bit chilly under your blanket was the norm, and it turns out the human body has adapted to perform best under these conditions.

…so take off all your clothes. (Seriously.) 

Turns our Nelly was right. One of the most important effects of going to the cot commando is reduced body temperature during the night. The benefits are myriad, including but not limited to:

Only about eight percent of Americans sleep naked.

Increased metabolism

Being cooler during sleep helps create and activate something known as brown fat. In order to keep the body at a comfortable temperature during the night, we burn this brown fat as a fuel source. Much as we destroy the environment and level mountains for more coal to heat our furnaces, our body destroys white fat (belly fat) and converts it into brown fat to heat the body during a chilly night.

As an added bonus, activating brown fat has been shown to have positive effects on bone health, insulin levels, and sensitivity, and has a (tenuous) link with living longer through the production of a hormone called adiponectin.

Increased circulation

This is an easy one. With less clothing comes less constriction of the body and blood vessels, and less constriction means blood has an easier time getting around the body. Taking off those pesky pants means your extremities will be awash in fresh, oxygenating, and life-giving blood during the night hours.

Bare legs in bed

Increased alertness and daytime performance

The body’s temperature decreases at night before and during sleep and rises prior to and during waking. This period of decreased body temperature leads to feelings of lethargy and relaxation, helping us fall and stay asleep.

When you’re unnaturally warm at night, i.e. wrapped up in your favorite fleece pajamas, you’ll have both a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep. If you’re falling asleep easily, regularly, and without interruption, you’ll wake up feeling more rested.

Getting the proper amount of restful sleep at night is vital for wakefulness, memory, learning, and a whole host of other positive effects on daytime mental performance.

This period of decreased body temperature leads to feelings of lethargy and relaxation, helping us fall and stay asleep.

Reduced cortisol levels

Cooler sleep means better sleep, and better sleep means less cortisol. Sleep deprivation, or disrupted sleep, has been shown to raise levels of cortisol, a hormone involved in stress response. Cortisol is also known to have a host of deleterious effects.

Improved genital health

Who doesn’t love a nice nether-region? Really. No matter your sex, gender, orientation, creed, color, religion, or any other identifier, we can all appreciate having or looking at (when appropriate) a handsome, healthy, and hygienic lower region.

Sleeping in the nude means no fabric rubbing on your landscaped down-there hair, which carries with it a reduced risk of things like rashes or infected ingrown hairs.

Additionally, experts have voiced their support for sleeping in the nude to help avoid bacterial issues like yeast infections.

Even the guys out there benefit.

The testes exist on a sack outside of the body not because they’re used as a counterweight like a cheetah’s tail, but to keep them at a slightly cooler temperature from the rest of the body. Trapping the testicles in constricting and heat-trapping boxers may be hazardous to your sperm.

Looking for an excuse to get naked with your partner? 

Couple sleeping naked

So we’ve discussed the benefits of getting naked and cooling things off in the bedroom, but what about heating things up?

Besides being one of the few truly good things in life, cuddling is great for your health – and it’s made even better by doing it in your birthday suit.

Oxytocin is a hormone involved in pair bonding among humans – it’s secreted during events like pregnancy and childbirth, sex, and – most importantly for us – cuddling and touching. Skin to skin contact, even without a sexual connotation, gets the love chemical flowing.

The hormone and neurotransmitter is the poisoned tip of cupid’s arrow; couples who let the oxytocin flow freely and often have stronger and longer relationships. It stands to reason that couples who get naked and nuzzle more have stronger relationships.

There are a host of other benefits of oxytocin release. It can also increase trust, generosity, bonding with peers, wound healing, act as a natural antidepressant, and decrease inflammation. It’s an incredible molecule, and it comes at the low cost of a snug.

That’s not enough? Well, sleeping naked may boost your sex life too.

We don’t think a citation is necessary when we state it’s a whole lot easier to get in the mood when you and your partner are already naked.

Couples that sleep together in the nude, therefore, may end up with a healthier sex life than those of their clothed counterparts. A study conducted by Cotton USA showed that those who strip together, stay together; 57 percent of couples who sleep completely nude report being happy in their relationships, compared to only 48 percent for fully-clothed lovers.

If that isn’t a good reason to have a naked nuzzle party with your partner, we don’t know what is.

57 percent of couples who sleep completely nude report being happy in their relationships.

Go show this to your partner

Sometimes getting to sleep and staying asleep can be impossibly difficult – requiring medication, expensive equipment like a CPAP machine, or rearranging your entire nighttime routine. In this case, though, it’s easy as pie.

All it takes is taking it all off.

For more on excuses to get naked, tips on the best mattresses to get your freak on upon, and everything sleep and sleep health, stay tuned to Mattress Advisor.