The Surprising Benefits of Sleeping Naked

Need better sleep? Consider sleeping in your birthday suit to get health benefits like better sleep, reproductive health, and overall wellness.

09 Sep 2022

According to the 2022 national survey findings in The LocalCircles, an average of 1 in 2 Indians get less than 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Many of us may sleep late because of revenge bedtime procrastination, when we are on our phones late at night as compensation for a busy daytime schedule. Besides, we tend to consume caffeine in large quantities multiple times in a day or have an enormous amount of stress due to work. According to a 2021 report issued in the paper Cureus, 52 per cent of Indians have trouble sleeping irrespective of age, sex, and work status. Interrupted sleep deteriorates mental health, heart conditions and spikes blood pressure.


Sleep is an integral part of our lives which helps in improving mental and physical wellness. Our pre-bedtime activities like being on the phone, scrolling through social media, and binge-watching can lead to interrupted sleep which can result in tossing and turning, feeling restless, and multiple wakeful episodes throughout the night. Sleep is classified into four stages along with rapid eye movement (REM) and non-on rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Each stage has a role to play in contributing to effective sleep as mentioned below:


Stage 1: Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) also known as quiet sleep is the transition between wakefulness and sleep which lasts for 10 minutes.

Stage 2: At this stage (also NREM), body temperature begins to drop, heart rate slows down, and lasts for 20 minutes.

Stage 3: This stage is also under non-rapid eye movement (NREM) where muscles begin to relax and breathe become shallow. This is where deep sleep starts.

Stage 4: At this stage, rapid eye movement (REM) starts where eyes seem to be moving around in sleep. This happens when the brain is at its most active phase, the body becomes immobilised and dreams occur.


With an increase in insomnia and other sleep disorders, people are opting for bedtime dressing rituals where less is more. In other words, getting comfortable in your own skin to get more sleep. Sleeping naked is something that is not unheard of, especially on summer nights. The findings in the 2019 paper Personality and Behaviour says that 28 per cent of French people above 18 years of age prefer to sleep naked as they feel more comfortable and get sound sleep.


To get a good night’s sleep, many try home remedies, install dim lights for room ambience or listen to soothing tunes. Apart from all these, some people believe sleeping naked helps them fall asleep faster and longer.


Related story: Sleep Deprivation: The Real Reason You Are Losing Sleep


Benefits of Sleeping Naked

1. Induces faster sleep

The Center of Disease Control And Prevention says that the average duration of sleep for an adult should be 7 hours in a day. While this is an ideal time to rejuvenate your body, many people around the world sleep less than 6 hours due to work pressure or an unbalanced lifestyle.


Sleeping naked lowers your body temperature, promoting faster and deeper sleep. The sleep cycle sets your body’s biological clock which is regulated by a circadian rhythm that goes through a heating and cooling pattern all day. Biologically, the part of the brain's suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) controls the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. As we begin to feel tired at the end of the day, our melatonin production increases and our core body temperature decreases. This decrease in body temperature continues throughout the night. Thus, sleeping naked allows your body to cool down and cue your brain that it’s time to sleep.


Related story: Leaner, Happier And Healthier—The Perks of Sleeping In A Dark Room


2. Improves sleep quality

In a 2019 study issued in the paper Frontiers in Neuroscience, the ideal temperature for sleep ranges between 15.6 to 19.4 degree Celsius. The thermal environment is one of the most important factors that can increase episodes of wakefulness and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Rapid eye movement is the phase during sleep when the person’s eyes move around fast. These effects of the thermal environment on sleep stages are strongly linked to thermoregulation, which affects the mechanism regulating sleep.


The same study also reveals that small changes in skin temperature of only 0.4°C (in the 31–35 range), can shorten the time it takes for you to transit from awake to deep sleep (sleep latencies) without altering core temperature. Sleeping without clothes keeps your body cool which may encourage deeper sleep by reducing the chances of tossing and turning.


Related story: Best Sleeping Habits From Around The World


3. Lowers risk of vaginal infections

Super tight and sweaty underwear can retain moisture that helps yeast infections thrive in women, according to Cleveland Clinic, 2019. Sleeping naked or wearing loose-fitted bottoms help keep the pubic area dry and cool. Sleeping naked reduces the risk of getting vaginal infections.


Related story: The Lowdown on UTIs—Causes, Treatment And Way To Prevent


4. Promotes male fertility

A 2018 cross-sectional study including 656 male partners of couples seeking infertility treatment at a fertility centre issued in the paper Human Reproduction revealed that tight-fitted undergarments increased follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) which is associated with sperm production and scrotal temperatures. Tight underwear adversely affected testicular functions and lowered sperm count in men


Wearing boxers or sleeping naked provides better air circulation and helps testicles achieve an optimal temperature for increased sperm formation, says Harvard School of Public Health, 2018.


Related story: The Truths About Male Infertility—Debunking Common Myths


5. Boosts self-esteem

According to a cross-sectional study on 849 people in 2017 published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, sleeping naked helped participants experience greater life satisfaction through improvement in body positive image and increased self-esteem.


Related story: 5 Ways to Overcome Self-Defeating Thoughts


6. Improves mental health

Lack of sleep is directly linked to stress, depression, and unbalanced mental health. The Indian Journal of Psychiatry, says that upto 20 per cent of Indians suffer from inadequate sleep quality. Insufficient sleep can influence mood, mental health disorders and their severity, including the risk of suicidal ideas or behaviours, according to Sleep Foundation, 2022.


Since sleeping naked improves sleep quality and ability to induce deep sleep, it is a good way to reduce the risk of stress and anxiety.


Related story: Signs of Chronic Stress And How To Tackle It









Follow Us On Instagram