What's your preferred nighttime attire: a full set of pyjamas? Your battered freshers' week t-shirt and your comfiest pants? A silky nightgown that makes you feel like an old Hollywood movie star? Alas, it might be time to dispose of them all, as another new study has added to the growing understanding that sleeping naked is good for your health. A new study by retailer Furniture Choice found that 23 percent of Brits already sleep naked — and since the act reportedly benefits everything from skin to fertility, it might be time to join them.
According to the Furniture Choice study, 40 percent of Brits also said they typically don't get a good night's sleep. GP Dr Sarah Brewer, commenting on the study, said this could be down to their sleepwear. She explained, "Sleeping naked means that your body remains cooler during the night, which is important as overheating is a common cause of disturbed sleep."
Brewer continued, "Being over-hot in bed by 3-4 degrees changes brain-wave patterns, reduces the amount of time you spend in REM sleep, increases the chances of waking up and reduces deep sleep." And poor sleep's fundamentally detrimental to your health: as the NHS explains, it can weaken your immune system and increase your susceptibility to issues like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
The quality of your sleep isn't the only thing your fluffy onesie could be compromising. According to the Guardian, people who are particularly prone to genital infections — those with vulvitis, for example — should consider going underwear-free. "Wearing underwear in a warm bed can encourage opportunistic infections such as yeast that thrive in dark, sweaty crevices," the newspaper reports. The Telegraph reports that tight boxers can be equally problematic. "They increase the temperature of the testicles, which can cause the quality of a man's sperm to decrease," the paper says.
While weight loss isn't inherently a health benefit, those who've been advised to lose weight by a medical professional might also try sleeping naked. "If sleep is disrupted from being too warm, your body produces more cortisol than usual, leading to an increased appetite," Brewer said. The Telegraph expands, "If your body is too hot while you sleep, it won't release much human growth hormone, which is the trigger it uses to repair cells. Instead, your cortisol (stress hormone) level will stay high, causing a night-time spike in insulin." The paper continues, "Effectively, your body remains in 'panic' mode rather than 'healing' mode, and chooses to store fat rather than burn it."
And then there's the potential benefit for those sharing a bed with their significant others. "Sleeping naked gives a sense of freedom and may help couples feel more loving. Humans are highly-tuned to the sight of bare skin, which acts as a signal for sexual arousal," Brewer said. Trying to reignite something in the bedroom? Waking up in a nightly cold sweat? Exhausted your pharmacy's supply of Canesten Duo? It might be time to ditch the pyjamas.