Temperatures are supposed to rise this week and that means only one thing: hot, sticky nights. There’s nothing worse then of waking up drenched in your own sweat to take the edge off a nice sunny day. But there is one thing you could do to improve the quality of your sleep – regardless of the temperature.
That would be not wearing PJ’s. Worried that sleeping naked may make you a bit odd? Sleeping naked can have massive benefits for your mental and physical help, as well as the soundness of your shut-eye.
Don’t – one in five British people don’t wear anything in bed, with those in Cardiff, Brighton and Southampton being most likely to sleep nkaed. Neil Robinson, Chief Sleep Officer at Sealy UK says that there are five main benefits to sleeping naked:
1. It helps you lose weight
Your body has to be naturally cooler at night, to help you get a good night’s sleep. A study done by the US National Institutes of Health found that keeping cool while you sleep could help speed up your metabolism, as your body compensates by creating more brown fat to keep you warm.
This brown fat produces the heat needed by burning calories, helping boost your metabolism all day long. The more brown fat you have, the better insulin sensitivity you have (which means you’re less likely to store belly fat)and the slimmer you tend to be.
A study published in the journal Nature Medicine says that in order to increase your brown fat stores significantly, you must spend two hours a day in 18’C, dressed so that you’re cold but not freezing.
Dutch scientists learned that when people spent time in room where the temperature was reduced from 21˚C to 15˚C, they burned an extra 6 per cent. That means that if you usually burn around 2,000 kcals a day, you could burn up to an extra 120 kcals. An easy way to burn those extra calories than sleeping naked?
2. It can help you to stay youthful
But it’s not only weight loss which is a positive side effect of properly regulating your temperature in bed. Keeping your body temperature below 21˚C helps the melatonin in our body to work properly.
Called the sleep hormone sometimes, melatonin helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle, helping you get the best night’s sleep you can. Another benefit of melatonin is its anti-aging properties.
Studies have previously shown that melatonin can help stimulate the growth of fibroblasts – special cells that produce collagen and elastin to keep your skin looking youthful and wrinkle-free.
When we’re asleep, our bodies also give off human growth hormone.
That’s a hormone which is so important for keeping us healthy and free from infection and it also helps with the regeneration of cells.
3. It can make you less stressed
We produce less of the stress hormone cortisol when we’re asleep -espically between 10pm and 2am, when the body is at its deepest period of rest. After-2am, our adrenal glands start producing cortisol to prepare for the day ahead.
That means that if you’re awake during those hours, your cortisol level is likely to be sky-high – leaving you feeling stressed and hungry.
You can reduce the chances of waking up at that time by sleeping naked and keeping cool. By maintaining optimal temperature, you’re more likely to remain in a deeper longer sleep.
4. It’s good for your genital health
Being wrapped up in layers of clothing and bedding is not good for your vagina because it gets all hot and sweaty. Sleeping naked finally gives your privates a chance to breathe after spending all day covered in underwear.
“I’m forever telling my patients to set themselves free and not to wear pants at night,” said Dr Shazia Malik, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Portland Hospital for Women and Children.
“When you’re all warm and cosy under your duvet, any bacteria in your pants can thrive and spread.
“The best underwear is made from pure cotton and you need to be washing it at 80-90’c to kill candida spores.”
Although it’s not just women’s privates that could benefit from a bit of a breather. Researchers at Stanford University and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development studied 500 men over a period of 12 months, looking at the sperm quality of the men and what underwear they were wearing during the day and at night.
It showed that men who wore underwear during the day and slept naked at night had 25 per cent less damage to the genetic material in their sperm than men who wore underwear round the clock.
It’s thought that this damage is less likely when men who don’t wear underwear at night, with researchers saying that men sleep in the nude and wear loose-fitting underwear during the day in order to improve fertility.
5. It can help your relationship
It’s a no-brainer, but sleeping the nude can bring you closer together with your partner. Skin-on-skin contact helps us to produce the “love hormone” oxytocin, which has been proved to reduce stress and anxiety and boost our immune systems.
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