Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Is Sleeping Naked Better For Your Health?

Is Sleeping Naked Better For Your Health?

The connection between sleep and health is clear—sleep has many science-backed benefits. 

Sleeping naked? Well, there’s no direct evidence that going to bed in the nude will boost your health. 

But if sleeping naked helps you sleep better because it makes you feel cool and comfortable, then the practice may contribute to better health. Turns out, sleeping nude might help regulate your body temperature and, in turn, improve your sleep.

Getting enough shuteye can help you stay at a healthy weight, improve your mood, and lower your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

Top 4 Potential Benefits of Sleeping Naked

The temperature of your room can impact your sleep quality—for better or worse. Here’s why a cool room (and cool body!) can benefit your sleep and overall health. All that rest has other health benefits, as well.

Person sleeping soundly in their bed

1. Could help you fall asleep faster

Temperature is a key factor in helping you fall asleep. This is because sleep cycles are linked to the body’s circadian rhythms, which are the physical, mental, and behavioral changes you experience within a 24-hour period. Hours of light and dark are the main drivers of circadian rhythms, which affect functions like hunger, hormone levels, and sleep patterns. Circadian rhythms also affect body temperature, causing people to be hotter or cooler at different times of day. 

At the end of the day, your circadian rhythm triggers the release of melatonin and lowers your core temperature. That temperature dip promotes sleepiness and makes falling and staying asleep easier. The Cleveland Clinic notes that being too warm can lead to sleep interruptions and wakefulness at night. Studies suggest the optimal room temperature for sleep is between 66 and 69 degrees Fahrenheit. 

One key benefit of sleeping nude is that bare skin contact with the air can cool you off. Staying cool may help you fall asleep more easily. Being nude may also prevent you from getting too warm during the night. 

2. May help boost your metabolism

Ditching clothes overnight may help drop your skin temperature and boost your overall metabolism. Some research suggests that being cool during sleep forces your body to work harder to maintain a 98.6-degree body temperature. A specialized kind of body fat called brown adipose tissue is critical in generating body heat. Brown fat needs energy to work, so it taps into stores of white fat cells to get the job done.  

Studies suggest that quality sleep activates brown fat activity and provides an overall metabolic boost. A cool room and a bare body may improve sleep quality and give that brown fat a chance to work its metabolic magic. 

Sleep quality also affects metabolism and carries over into waking life. Research shows that getting six or more hours of quality sleep each night is associated with weight loss. The reasons for that are complex. For one thing, being sleep-deprived seems to trigger a desire to snack. Chronically sleep-deprived people are more likely to try to offset low energy during the day by reaching for calorie-dense snacks for a pick-me-up. 

Lack of sleep also negatively impacts metabolism. Experts believe that sleep deprivation suppresses appetite control, which in turn affects metabolism in ways that can cause weight gain.  

3. Could reduce stress levels and overall anxiety

Sleep quality can affect mental health and vice versa. Being stressed and anxious can trigger sleep issues like insomnia. At the same time, fatigue from lack of sleep can make feelings of anxiety and depression more pronounced. A 2021 study on sleep and mental health found that lack of adequate sleep or insufficient REM sleep was linked to a higher incidence of mental health concerns. 

Stress can make it harder to fall asleep. How often do you lie in bed with your mind racing instead of winding down to get some rest?  

Is Eating Late at Night Bad For Weight Loss? | MyFitnessPalIs Eating Late at Night Bad For Weight Loss? | MyFitnessPal

4. Could improve your skin health

The idea of beauty sleep has a surprising basis in science. Good sleep does more than reduce the risk of waking up with circles under your eyes. A 2022 study showed that late bedtimes can decrease skin hydration content, firmness, and elasticity. Another study showed that poor-quality sleep was linked to increased oil production, decreased skin elasticity, and moisture retention. 

Hitting the sheets earlier and without clothes may be a helpful element in your nighttime skincare routine. 

The Role of Nutrition in Sleep Quality

Another element that contributes to sleep quality is nutrition. What you eat can influence how well you sleep. 

There’s plenty of anecdotal data about how fried foods, spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine can leave you tossing and turning. On the flip side, scientific evidence shows that a balanced diet can improve sleep quality. Recent studies suggest that the best meal plan for better sleep is a protein-rich diet that includes sleep-friendly amino acids like tryptophan, which is found in lean meats, dairy, and legumes. Eating high-antioxidant fruits like cherries and kiwis and low-glycemic index carbs like whole grains, beans, and nuts is also good for sleep. 

You can see how your diet affects your sleep quality in the MyFitnessPal app. Simply pair your MyFitnessPal account with the health data from apps like Health Connect or Apple Health. MyFitnessPal will show you how your daily food, water, and exercise choices affect your sleep patterns. 

The Bottom Line: Stay Cool, Stay Comfy

Whether you choose to sleep naked or not, being comfortable and cool can contribute to better sleep. Ditch the PJs, crack a window, turn up the A/C—just keep the temperature low for better rest, and therefore, better health. 

Originally posted 8/28/2020 | Updated 6/25/2024

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