One in three adults sleep in the nude, according to an international study by the U.S. National Sleep Foundation.
Au naturel, in your birthday suit, in the buff, unclothed, disrobed, stripped. Whatever you want to call it, jump on the bandwagon and start shedding the layers because there are some major benefits to sleeping naked, the Daily Mail reports. Spoiler alert: keeping it cold in the bedroom is key to heating things up.
If you and your lady are trying to have a baby, ditch the boxer briefs and don boxers instead during the day—and go nude when you hit the sack at night. Researchers from the National Institute of Child Health and Development and Stanford University tracked 500 men, each of whom dictated their own sleep habits and choice of underwear, for one year. When researchers analyzed each guy's sperm quality, they discovered men who stuck with the boxer-by-day, commando-by-night routine had a 25 percent lower rate of damaged DNA in their sperm than did men who wore tighter underwear 24/7, according to the study, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Baltimore.
“We have known for some time that men who increase the temperature of their testicles, either through the heat exposure at work or by wearing tight underwear, have poorer semen quality compared to men whose testicles are cooler,” said Allan Pacey, a leading fertility expert and researcher at the University of Sheffield in England, told the New York Post.
People who sleep in the buff have happier love lives, according to a survey of 1,000 British adults by a bed sheet company this year. This is not totally surprising, but 57 percent of nude sleepers were happy with their relationship, compared with 48 percent of pajama wearers. It’s not that taking each other’s clothes off isn’t sexy or fun, it’s just that being naked kind of takes the middleman out of the equation. Pardon the expression, unless there truly is a middleman in your bed—in which case, carry on.
In order to fall asleep, your core body temperature needs to drop by about half a degree. And in order to stay asleep, that ideal body temperature needs to be regulated, otherwise your brain will wake itself up to see why you’re so godforsakenly hot.
The advantage of sleeping naked is that it’s easier for your body to cool down quicker, and to maintain that lower body temperature your brain wants to achieve. Disrupted sleep from being too hot doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get less overall sleep, but it does mean you’ll have less deep, restorative sleep, which is key for memory consolidation and cell repair. So, think twice about swaddling yourself in quilts and sweatshirts (it’s called a sweatshirt for a reason), especially if your partner is in bed with you. You have a perfectly good heat source mere inches away; cozy up when you need warmth and then retreat to your side of the bed when you’re arm starts sweating on theirs. It’s a flawless system, really.
Brown fat has gained more notice in recent news, mostly for its ability to produce 300 times more heat than any other organ in your body. While ordinary white body fat (bad fat) piles on when we eat more calories than we burn, brown fat (good fat) generates heat, thusly burning that energy stored in white fat. Though brown fat is common in babies--it’s what keeps them warm--studies have found that we have a small amount in our necks, too.
A U.S. study in the journal Diabetes found that sleeping in a cold bedroom could activate brown fat in adults. In the study, five healthy young men slept in a climate-controlled bedroom for four months. In the first month, the room was kept at 74 degrees Fahrenheit, lowered to 66 degrees Fahrenheit in the second, brought back to 74 degrees Fahrenheit in the third, and raised to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the fourth.
After the second month of sleeping at 66 degrees Fahrenheit, the men had almost doubled their volumes of brown fat. They burned more calories throughout the day—though not enough to lose weight—and their insulin sensitivity improved. Sleeping naked or in cooler temperatures (or both!) can help to activate brown fat, so this is really a no-brainer.
Lying in bed with your partner, naked, is found to generate a boost in oxytocin, a hormone shown to have many health benefits. Skin-to-skin contact sends impulses to the brain, triggering the release of oxytocin, which has a protective effect on the heart, as it lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system and reduces anxiety. As if you needed another reason to get naked with your partner in bed.