The oversized tee and flannel pant getup may be comfortable, but it’s not doing you any favors. Sleeping naked, on the other hand, is linked to weight loss, healthy vitals, and better relationships.
Most of these benefits boil down to two truths. First, sleeping naked helps your skin stay cool, which researchers at the University of Amsterdam say leads to better, deeper sleep. Second, sleeping naked with a partner promotes skin-on-skin contact, which Swedish scientists found triggers your brain’s release of oxytocin. Known as the “love hormone,” oxytocin influences the emotions behind social and psychological behavior.
Still, only 17 percent of Americans are baring it all beneath the sheets. If you’re part of the 83 percent that sleep at least partially clothed, discover what snoozing in the buff could do for you.
Greater Blood Circulation
Your sleep position can put your circulation at risk. We’re looking at you, side sleepers. Underwear, drawstrings, and elastic bands that cling tightly to your skin further constrict your blood vessels. Undressing will remove these impediments and let your blood flow more freely. Increased circulation promotes cell growth, organ function, and relieves some stress for your heart.
Lower Blood Pressure
Oxytocin isn’t all intimacy, emotional connection, and happiness. Since it relaxes your body and reduces stress, oxytocin has also been linked to reduced blood pressure and healthier heart rates. Lower blood pressure will also decrease your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Don’t let body consciousness hold you back from stripping down before bedtime. It could help get your body back on track. A 2014 study conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health reveals that people in a cold room produce double the amount of brown fat, a healthy fat that burns calories. Francesco S. Celi, the study’s author, said that keeping cool by sleeping nude could produce the same effect.
Bacteria grow best in warm, moist areas. Tight pajamas create this environment on your body. By exposing more skin and letting your, ahem, organs breathe, you’ll be less likely to suffer from problems like acne and infections.
If you can’t knock your nighttime attire, do yourself a favor and keep it loose. Avoid elastics and fabrics that make you sweaty. Face it: those flannel pants are more loungewear, anyway.