Disclaimer: The information below is for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional help. Before beginning a new exercise regimen or making any other changes in your lifestyle, always consult with your physician and/or a certified coach.
Not everyone feels comfortable baring their skin, much less for hours. But I find that skipping the PJs is one of the greatest ways to make sure I get a really deep sleep, even above minding the right hacks and eating the right foods.
You see, I’m not alone in this. There are numerous studies that suggest stripping down can help improve the quality of your sleep as well as your overall health. Unfortunately, we women are much shyer than men when it comes to sleeping nude (at least, in the U.S., in Canada, and in this “Going to bed naked” survey).
So I’m here to change that.
Take this 2008 study. Participants were instructed to wear thermosuits that lowered the temperature of their skin by a slight 0.4 degrees C, a difference you can easily replicate by taking off your nightgown. The result? They stopped waking as much during the night and also spent a longer time in the deep stages of sleep. Even better than that, sleeping in the chillier temps, say, anywhere from 18 degrees C and below, has been shown to amp up your metabolism during the day AND prevent you from getting diabetes, according to a New York Times report.
Still not convinced? Read on:
1. Better sleep. Research has shown that those who suffer from chronic insomnia tend to have a warmer core body temperature than normal sleepers before bed, so thick nightwear and heavy blankets can really screw up an otherwise restful sleep. It’s a natural tendency of the body to lower its core temperature progressively through the night, so it’s crucial to stay cool so as to keep your body in that calm, relaxed state.
By keeping cool, being in bed naked also helps prevent you from waking at night (and don’t worry, you won’t be shivering when you’re busy losing consciousness). While the typical advice is to keep the room temp between 15.5 to 20 degrees C, I encourage you to self-experiment with the range until you find what’s most comfortable for you. I’m most comfy at 16, but it’s different for everyone.
2. Better budget. As you get into the habit of sleeping naked, you’ll soon realize you won’t have to buy as many nightwears and do as much laundry as you used to anymore. It’s an unnecessary chore, really, to choose between the frilled babydoll and the satin slip at Victoria’s Secret. I’d rather save my dollars to get this cute kimono wrap I’ve been eyeing instead.
3. Better looks. Stay youthful by sleeping in the nude. I’m serious – being too warm at night prevents the release of melatonin as well as your growth hormone (or simply known as GH), two of your body’s main anti-aging hormones that help keep your skin, hair, and nails looking awesome. Melatonin works far beyond keeping you asleep through the night – it also works as an antioxidant that helps to minimize the oxidative damage we’re faced with in our daily lives (read more on how free radicals lead to aging).
GH, on the other hand, is your all-around best friend. As women age, we lose muscles, we fall out hair, we notice weaker bones, sagging skin, and more body fat. Well, GH changes all that on a cellular level, and the best part of it is that our levels of GH are proven to be its highest while we’re sound asleep. Read more on the basics of GH and how you can change your lifestyle to boost GH levels naturally. If you’re short on time, The Body Well also has a definitive take on how you can take control of your GH levels naturally in 10 simple ways.
4. Better mood. It’s hard to get stressed when your skin has been brushing against silk sheets and soft pillows in the last 8 hours. You’ll wake up feeling energized, and your hormones are more likely to remain balanced throughout the day, unlike those who cocoon up to their flannel PJs the night before.
As mentioned, sleeping naked is a surefire way to stave off sleep disruptions during the wee hours. When your body is truly resting and doing all the necessary recovery from the activities of the previous day, GH level steadily rises and when it peaks, the stress hormone cortisol would be at its lowest. But when you’re restless all night or just don’t sleep enough, you’ll notice you wake up with an elevated body temperature, and you’ll probably remain “hot” for the rest of the day (I personally had those days when I just can’t stop “boiling” and dropping the F-bombs).
Running around with abnormally high cortisol levels is closely associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a weaker immune system as well as a host of issues caused by hormonal imbalances, such as an aggravated PMS, metabolic syndromes, thyroid disease, and even infertility problems. This is why women generally need more sleep than men: We have a lot more to lose when it comes to sleep loss. So make it a habit to stay cool in the nude and allow your body to work its regenerative magic.
Want to wake up even happier? Sleep on your left. It may help you become more positive and productive for the day ahead, according to a Brit study.
5. Better appetite. Everyone has one of those mornings when you don’t get enough sleep and all you want is a big, sugary bagel, with butter, along with lots of coffee. And even after a hefty plate at lunchtime and that you swore to yourself to skip the dessert, you’ll still be grabbing the chocolate chip muffins they have at your office for free. Before you know it, you grew 2 inches of belly fat, gained 5 pounds on the scale, and pretty much fatigue 24/7.
That’s cortisol speaking. Just as lower levels of the stress hormone can help to improve your mood, cultivating a healthy sleep pattern keeps your overall energy and hunger levels in check. Running on lower levels of cortisol also helps you to stop dumping the munchies into your mouth when you feel full as well as ward off cravings for comfort foods, and all you have to do is strip down and just chill – literally.
6. Better work (and play). Making sure you get a restorative sleep is a smarter strategy than downing pills and/or taking over-the-counter drugs for developing a better cognition as well as athletic performance. Thanks to the natural rise of GH in the chillier temps, you’ll wake up with better speed, better accuracy, and better reaction times, whether you’re at work or playing tennis.
7. Better flow. Tight-fitting lingerie may woo your partner, but it’s always better to go nude when hitting the sack – you’ll be saving yourself from chest pains, stroke, and other nasty conditions caused by poor blood circulation.
A healthy blood flow is crucial if you want to, well, keep yourself alive, because that’s how you get oxygen and all the nutrients delivered into your cells – be it the tissues of your skin or the cells that make up the vital organs in your body. So ladies, this means your skin, a.k.a. the largest organ of your body, will be able to regenerate faster and better absorb the vitamins and minerals that you get from the foods you eat during the day as well as the active ingredients in your night creams. So lose the tank and the skin-tight pants, and your vessels will be dishing out oxygen and nutrients more efficiently.
I also recommend you trying these easy ways to improve blood circulation throughout the day.
8. Better body image. Let’s face it – as women, we all want to look and feel our best. We often feel we lack in the looks department, even though we’re perfectly fine and healthy, mostly because the media and the larger society has set such near-impossible standards of beauty today that more and more women feel the need to “suffer” in the name of beauty (plucking, waxing, face-slapping, anyone?).
Well, being naked for at least a third of our day increases your self-esteem by a zillion-fold. When it’s just you and your skin, you can easily tune in to the mild sensations of the cool air and the soft sheets, then pretend you’re waiting for Christian Grey to come home for “dessert” or something. But really, make sleeping nude a habit, and that level of comfort will pervade across all areas of your life – it’ll become a natural thing for you to move and talk and act comfortably under your skin, and that comes across as self-confidence for others when they see you, which is uber sexy.
9. Better sexual organs. Okay, so this is where most women get it wrong – sleeping in the nude is healthy and sanitary, as long as you’re doing it when you’re not having your period, of course. For the most part of your day, your bottom is smart enough to clean itself by constantly secreting mucus down there. This discharge traps microorganisms and prevent the overgrowth of them, which, if you let them build up, can lead to yeast infections and many other gynecological problems. Because bacteria thrives in warm and moist environments, you’re essentially collecting germs if you put on the same hip huggers for hours on end. “Sleeping naked would reduce the ability of those [always-present] bacteria to overwhelm the normal healthy vaginal flora,” told Nicole Prause, Ph.D., to Medical Daily. So lose the panties, and give your lady parts the airy space they need to ventilate.
10. Better libido. Study after study shows men have stronger sex drive than that of women, and it doesn’t get any better because we tend to lose it as we age (see how elusive it can seem for men and the many reasons why we lose interest). But that doesn’t mean you have to start eating raw oysters and ginseng soup everyday the moment you hit 50, or at any age, for that matter.
Foster the desire by making it a habit to wear nothing to bed – sans therapy, sans Viagra. Just as a healthy sleeping pattern helps you regulate your mood, energy, and appetite, getting in touch with your body per night boosts your libido naturally. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but later you’ll realize that it’s silly to wall up even when nobody’s around (unless you’re married or you have a live-in partner). All you want to do is stretch and relax yourself as much as you can because you’ve had a rough day, so take your shirt off and hit the sack, or, if you’re living with a partner slash married …
11. Better relationship with your partner. When there’s literally nothing standing in your way between you and your partner, you hardly have anything to hide. The more frequent self-disclosure happens between the two of you, the closer you feel and the better you communicate with each other, as self-disclosure is the foundation to a fully intimate relationship, and that nothing brings more stimulation for your man than your open mind.
In this case, this bond is further strengthened because of both the emotional and physical intimacy that come out of sleeping naked together. Furthermore, you’ll be releasing all the more oxytocin (dubbed as the “love hormone”) upon the nightly skin-on-skin contact. Other than bringing the two of you closer by the day, oxytocin has also been shown to reduce stress, ward off depression, lower blood pressure, increase sexual responsiveness as well as raise the overall sex drive. This not only mean you’ll have sex more often with your partner – you’ll be giving yourself and your husband more chances of achieving the elusive, mystical O.
So for the nocturnals out there who’s still having trouble sleeping, I’ll say this: Chill, open up, and ditch your nighties for good. It’ll take time to get used to, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
via Female Fatal