As a society, we have a surprising amount of stigma against nakedness. Even in modern times when we really should be past all of that, there’s still an undercurrent that suggests that being naked is something shameful or “inappropriate”.
However, researchers are beginning to relearn what our ancestors knew for a long time: spending time with your body is actually really healthy, both for its physical benefits and for its mental ones. Being naked can even contribute a slew of benefits while you’re asleep. Let’s look at some of those benefits as well as some concerns, and how to get the most out of your stripped-down sleep routine.
You may have heard some concerns circulating the internet on why sleeping naked is actually bad news, and it’s not without some truth. It can bring up some hygiene issues as the entirety of your skin is in direct contact with your bedding, and if your sheets and blankets are of low quality they can even cause some irritation to your skin. It can also leave you exposed to more irritants in the air.
If you do decide to give it a try, you’ll want to take some precautions to make sure you get the most benefits out of your new nighttime routine. We’ll look at those a little farther down below.
Now that we’ve touched on some of the drawbacks to sleeping naked, let’s look at the benefits that might make trying it out worth your while.
For many people, sleeping naked brings a surprisingly huge leap in the quality of their sleep. Sleeping without your pajamas might help you get to sleep faster as well as sleep deeper and more peacefully once you fall asleep.
This comes from a quicker decrease in body temperature, which is linked to regulating our circadian rhythm, or our body’s natural sleep cycle. It’s often more comfortable because you get to snuggle up right against your sleep blankets, which helps you relax and get to sleep faster.
In the long run, consistently better sleep helps our bodies function better in a lot of different ways. Better quality sleep helps with our cognitive function as well as staving off deeper problems like chronic depression, obesity, and heart diseases.
Many of the problems women experience in their more intimate areas come from a mix of poor air circulation and trapped moisture (a slight biological flaw in the way our bodies are built). Sleeping naked allows airflow and evaporation of stagnant moisture, which helps keep away negative bacteria and infections. Allowing that part of your body to “air out” regularly helps keep it, and you, healthier in the long run.
A better sleep has long been linked to healthier weight levels in the body; in general, people who sleep five hours or less per night are more likely to encounter problems with obesity throughout their life.
In addition to the benefits of a more restful sleep, the cooler temperatures your body relaxes into when you sleep naked helps boost calorie-burning activities and help your body create more healthy fats, which boost your metabolism and burn blood sugar to keep you warm. These healthy fats have been linked to reduced risks of obesity and diabetes.
Sleeping naked can be a very indulgent experience, whether you’re alone or with a partner. The feeling of burrowing into cozy bedding and shutting down for the night is a sure-fire recipe for dialing down your stress levels. Plus, getting a good sleep has long been associated with a reduction in depression and anxiety, making sure your mind is functioning at its very best.
For men, better air circulation, as well as decreased temperatures, help keep the reproductive system healthy. Some studies have even shown that tight-fitting clothes can have a huge negative effect on a man’s sperm count and fertility. Sleeping naked or wearing very loose-fitting clothes at night will help maintain a healthy body, healthy reproductive functions, and sustained fertility for longer.
It’s surprising how little time most of us actually spend with our naked bodies. Shocking, right? By normalizing your relationship with your body on a day-to-day basis — especially during a relaxing, positive experience such as shedding the day’s worries and getting ready for sleep — you’ll naturally find yourself happier and more accepting of your body.
We could all use a little body-positive push in our lives, and feeling more accepting of ourselves translates into lower stress levels and higher happiness levels in other aspects of our lives too.
While many people can benefit from sleeping naked, there are some considerations to keep in mind when deciding if it is the right choice for you.
If you have very sensitive skin or wake easily from cold temperatures, you may want to consider sleeping in light, breathable cotton or linen clothing instead of nothing at all. Likewise if you live with housemates nearby or are prone to sleepwalking, sleeping naked might not be the most practical choice.
If you have a lot of negative associations with your body, you might find that sleeping naked is too uncomfortable and distracting to be useful. If that’s the case, however, see if you can gradually work up to it at night; become in more comfortable with your body will offer a lot of benefits to your everyday life, and not just in your quality of sleep.
As we’ve seen, sleeping naked can be very beneficial to your physical and mental health in a lot of ways. However, there are a few health concerns as we looked at above, particularly in regards to hygiene and cleanliness. Here are some things to keep in mind to make sure you’re getting your best, safest sleep.
We cannot stress this enough. Keeping your bedding fresh and clean should always be a priority, but most especially when you’re in full frontal contact on a regular basis. If you can afford it and if you have the storage space, it’s a good idea to have a few different sets so that you can swap them out regularly. Try not to use the same set of bedsheets without washing for more than one week in a row. You don’t want your bedding trapping moisture, dust, and other gunk that’s going to be up against your body during the night.
Particularly for people with sensitive skin, it’s also a good idea to check out some fragrance-free, naturally-based options for washing materials. The harsh chemicals and perfumes in many laundry products can be irritating when exposed to bare skin.
Having your bedding right up against your body can be a little difficult for people with very sensitive skin or allergies. Consider investing in some high-quality hypoallergenic materials in soft, smooth, breathable materials that feel luxurious and keep you safe. Not only will they help keep your skin happy, but they’ll also feel better as you settle in and will help you get to sleep faster.
Make sure you’re also taking care of your bedding with natural, fragrance-free laundry detergent.
If you usually shower first thing in the morning, consider swapping to pre-bedtime showering. Going to bed freshly cleaned will help preserve the shelf life on your bedding and stop you from bringing in the dirt and grime that’s accumulated during the day. Plus, getting all warm and steamy before bed will make settling into bed even cozier and help you sleep even better.
Now that you’re sleeping without your extra layer of fabric protection, it’s extra important that you take care of the temperature of your sleeping space. The ideal sleep environment is on the cooler side — one of the chart-topping reasons why sleeping naked contributes to a better quality of sleep — but having a space that’s too cold can be just as damaging. Keep your room a little warmer than you think you’ll need and consider a few layered blankets rather than one heavy one; this way you can adjust throughout the night as you’re falling asleep.
Sleeping naked can feel like a big step for some people, and completely natural for others. As well as being a great way to get a better night’s sleep, it’s also great for reproductive health, reducing stress and anxiety, and even promoting a healthier self-image and a positive relationship with your body. As long as you’re taking care of yourself and making sure you and your sleeping space are fresh and clean, it can be a healthy life choice for just about anybody.