Forgive the personal question, but do you sleep naked? According to a survey conducted by Mattress Advisor, 39% of baby boomers sleep in the nude. That number grows with each subsequent generation, with 65% of millennials claiming they love to sleep sans pajamas. But did you know there are actually benefits to sleeping as nature intended? Let’s see what the science has to say.
1. It helps you get deeper sleep
Sleeping in a cooler environment can help improve the quality of a person’s sleep, according to The National Sleep Foundation, and sleeping naked is one way to ensure the body’s internal temperature stays low. In addition to improving the quality of sleep, sleeping naked may also help you fall asleep faster, as body temperature is a key factor in circadian rhythms.
Body temperature gradually decreases throughout the evening and into the night. This temperature decline partly explains why people begin to feel sleepy at night. Sleeping naked can help the skin cool off faster, which may help lower body temperature and allow a person to get to sleep sooner.
2. It’s beneficial for your skin
Getting enough sleep can help the body heal in general, but when it comes to healing your skin, sleep is very important. According to the Journal of Applied Physiology, “Systemic immune function is impaired by sleep restriction.” In the course of their study, they noted that skin wounds healed more slowly when the patient had restricted sleep.
3. It’s good for vaginal health
Sleeping naked is a good way to increase vaginal health and ward off yeast infections. As my own mother used to say, “It’s good to let the air circulate, dear.” She’s no doctor — not that this stops her from offering medical advice to anyone who’ll listen — but there is truth in this old wives’ tale.
In speaking to Glamour magazine, Nancy Herta, M.D., an ob-gyn at Michigan State University, stated, “Between discharge and sweat, your vagina is prone to produce moisture overnight. Underwear can trap that moisture, creating a breeding ground for the bad bacteria that cause those conditions.”
4. It builds confidence
The Journal of Happiness Studies noted that being naked for a portion of the day can increase healthy body image, positive self-esteem and overall life satisfaction. Sure, you could walk around your house naked for the same effect (and maybe you do this — no judgement) but an easier way to achieve this boost in confidence is to simply sleep naked and wake up with confidence.
5. It keeps couples happy
A survey conducted by Cotton USA found that couples who sleep naked are happier than clothed couples. The cotton company quizzed 1,004 people about their sleeping habits and whether or not they felt happy in their relationships. They found 57% of couples who slept in the nude claimed to be happy together, compared with 48% of those in pajamas.
Stephanie Thiers-Ratcliffe of Cotton USA suggested the reason behind the results is that nudity encourages openness and intimacy, and therefore leads to greater happiness between partners. It’s also known that skin on skin contact releases the brain chemical oxytocin, which is responsible for feeling of well being.
6. You’ll save money…
…on sleepwear. OK, this probably isn’t a huge part of your monthly budget. But every little helps, right? Plus, the other benefits you receive from getting more sleep can help with cognitive function, leading to sharper decision making skills, which can relate to financial decisions. A well-rested brain is a good place to start from when making decisions about money.
But you shouldn’t sleep naked if…
You’re a sleepwalker. This could end very badly. About 3% of us are sleepwalkers, so if you fall into this category, keep the PJs on.
You have sensitive skin. If you suffer with dry or sensitive skin it, it might be better to wear pajamas made from cotton to protect your body from friction.
You’re prone to catching colds. If you’re a sniffler, then the coolness of sleeping naked may leave you prone to getting sick. You may want to bundle up.