Science says stripping down is good for more than your sex life.
Photo: Shutterstock / George Rudy
All of us want a good night's sleep. And while there are endless suggestions on how exactly to do that, it turns out there might be one simple solution: Stripping down.
"There are many benefits to sleeping nude," says Chris Brantner, a certified sleep science coach and founder of online sleep resource SleepZoo. "[Sleeping naked] helps regulate your body temperature ... leads to greater relationship happiness ... [and] can result in more healthy genitals."
But those are only a few of the benefits of sleeping naked. Here, experts explain why you should consider donning your birthday suit when it's time to drift off.
1. You'll get a deeper sleep.
"There is substantial evidence that a drop in body temperature helps with getting deeper sleep," says Alex Dimitriu, M.D., a board-certified sleep medicine and psychiatry expert. Case in point: After following 765,000 people between 2002 and 2011, a study published in Science Advances concluded that increases in nighttime temperature led to worse sleep. On top of that, a study in Sleep Medicine Reviews found evidence that elevated temperatures mess with our circadian rhythms, making it tough to fall asleep and stay asleep.
While there have been plenty of technological advancements to help lower your body temp—fancy cooling sheets, specially designed fans, even cooling pillows—sleeping naked is a more cost-effective option to score a better night's sleep. Pair it with a thermostat adjustment—a study from La Presse Medicale says the perfect room temperature for a solid night of sleep is 65 degrees Fahrenheit if you sleep with a blanket; 86 degrees if you snooze on top of the sheets—and you're way more likely to score those deeper Z's. (Related: Can a Specialty Mattress Actually Help You Sleep Better?)
2. You'll lower your risk of stroke and heart attack.
You know that old saying, "I'll sleep when I'm dead?" Well, it turns out not getting enough quality shut-eye can actually speed up your eternal slumber. As silly as it sounds, if sleeping naked helps you rest easy, it could actually be considered preventive medicine.
Here's why: If you're not getting quality sleep, research shows you're at higher risk for health complications. A 2010 study published in Annals of Epidemiology found that people who got less than six hours of sleep a night have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A 2017 study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology also linked insomnia to stroke and heart attack. So yeah, the benefits of sleeping naked don't solely revolve around that blissful feeling of cold sheets against your tush—it could also improve your long-term health.
3. Sleeping naked could, duh, improve your sex life.
It's doubtful that your partner would have many complaints if you decided to drop trou, but in case you need proof, here it is: "Sleeping naked can lead to a greater sense of bonding through more skin-to-skin contact," Brantner says. That's because skin-to-skin contact triggers the release of the oxytocin hormone, which increases feelings of trust and might lead to arousal. "And yes, this can lead to more sex as well," he says. (Related: How to Get More Pleasure Out of Any Sex Position)
4. It may also lower your blood pressure.
If you've ever felt like cuddling up with your partner made you calmer, it's not all in your head: A study published in Biological Psychology suggested that pre-menopausal women whose level of oxytocin was increased by physical contact with their partners had lower resting heart rates and blood pressure. In other words, ditching the clothes allows for full-blown physical contact, resulting in a kind of cuddly wellness program. (Related: The Amazing Health Benefits of Cuddling)
5. Sleeping naked is better for your skin.
"The skin is the largest organ of your body and it needs oxygen," says Octavia Cannon, D.O., president of the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "There's no better way to provide the maximum amount of oxygen to your body than to go commando." Plus, sleeping naked increases airflow to your genitals, which Brantner says can help prevent yeast infections. Win-win, amiright? (If you do happen to get a yeast infection, though, don't sweat it—this is how to test for one, and what to do if that test comes back positive.)