Sleeping Naked: Why Sleep is Important and How to Improve it

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH

Woman asleep in bed resting, which is key to why sleep is importantSleep is a daily requirement. Sleeping is the most essential things you do every night. There are many health reasons to why sleep is important, but sleep deficits are a major problem in places around the world. It is all too easy to dismiss sleep as a waste of time, so it’s important to understand why sleep is important. Sleep affects everything from your mood and energy levels to your general well-being and productivity. But not all sleep is created equal. In fact, did you know that sleeping naked is even better?

It Saves You Money

It starts simply with the fact that you don’t need to worry about clothes. Not having to buy pajamas can free up funds for other aspects of your life, not to mention the savings from not having to wash your pajamas. With boiling temperatures in the summertime, sleeping naked may actually help you fall asleep in addition to reducing the need for an air conditioner, thus saving you money on the electricity bill.

It Keeps You Ready

Being naked leaves you in a state of readiness, staying in those pajamas can make you more inclined to become a permanent fixture of furniture in the house and become a homebody. With such a sedentary lifestyle, you may find yourself packing on weight.

It Frees You

Just imagine feeling soft silk directly on your skin, gently caressing you to a blissful sleep, without the hassle or barriers of clothing to imprison you. You can have your freedom just by shedding some clothing when you sleep, free of constrictive underwear or annoying underwire in bras. It’s enough to send you off to dreams of fresh coconuts and palm trees on a beach with blinding white sand and crystal blue waters.

It Can Improve Your Sex Life

Woman sleeping, benefiting from why sleep is importantSleeping naked releases more oxytocin, a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of positivity, comfort, and affection towards your partner, especially when lying together in bed. Through the release of oxytocin you can support a longer-lasting and happier relationship with more intimacy. Without the shackles of clothing putting a physical wall between you and your significant other, there is a greater chance of physical escalation as skin to skin contact arises. This will likely lead to a more active sex life, increased production of oxytocin, and stronger affection for one another. For men, the cooler conditions also allow the testes to produce healthier sperm and maintain a properly functioning reproductive system. For women, the lower temperatures prevent yeast infections, which thrive in warmer and moister environments.

It Helps Your Body Breathe

Sleeping naked provides your body with the time and ability to air out and for your skin to breathe. Sleep is the perfect time to get some air to those parts that don’t see much sunshine (which could otherwise be at risk of developing microbial conditions, such as athlete’s foot).

It Helps Proper Hormone Regulation

Perhaps most importantly, sleeping is a crucial part of the body’s regulation of your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that is primarily responsible for regulating your levels of stress. Stress, Adrenal Fatigue, and sleep are all related, which why sleep is important. It all acts like in a cycle, one aspect affecting the other. It could begin with additional stress you are feeling from work that keeps building up such that the body can no longer function effectively. This can lead to abnormal levels of cortisol, which will result in chronic symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue. Sleeping naked helps the body maintain an optimal temperature range. Proper temperature regulation helps the body produce cortisol and thus cope with stress.
Wearing too many clothes can lead to elevated levels of cortisol that persist throughout the day. This can cause weight gain, cravings for junk food, and feelings of anxiety. Sleep helps with the regulation of not only cortisol but also melatonin and other growth hormones. Melatonin helps the body sleep and counters the effects of aging. When you sleep naked, your body doesn’t overheat, and you allow these hormones to do their work.

Adrenal Fatigue and Why Sleep is Important

Again, stress, sleep quality, and adrenal function are all connected, particularly in the regulation and secretion of cortisol by your adrenal glands. Cortisol circulates throughout your body with a cycle that rises and falls during a normal 24-hour day. Usually, cortisol levels are at their peak in the morning and at their lowest during sleep. High levels of cortisol can affect your quality of sleep and cause interruptions in the sleep cycle, preventing you from experiencing deep REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

When the body or mind experiences stress, it brings about a surge in activity in the adrenal glands, causing increased production of hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. This allows the body to be alert and ready to respond to whatever it perceives to be a threat. This heightened state of awareness and alertness places the body in a position that makes it more difficult to relax and achieve a healthy, deep sleep.

Chronic stress can lead to a chronic lack of sleep, which is why sleep is important. Research on the causes of Adrenal Fatigue finds that lack of sleep is a considerable risk factor. Insufficient sleep can lead to debilitating symptoms such as a lowered immunity that leaves you at more risk infections, lowered cortisol levels in the morning, and cravings for carbohydrates. A lack of sleep also elevates estrogen levels and upsets the hormonal balance within your body, which can cause slower healing and recovery times.

Woman asleep at night keeping healthy biorhythm which is why sleep is importantTo reiterate, why sleep is important is that it balances and rejuvenates the body, maintaining a healthy biological clock that s optimized with anti-aging hormones and well-regulated levels of cortisol.

One word of caution: most sufferers of advanced Adrenal Fatigue have some level of temperature dysregulation. They are usually unable to tolerate large temperature changes. Excessive heat, in particular, is not well tolerated—which is why sleeping naked is often beneficial. However, before you shed your clothing for sleep, make sure that the ambient temperature is comfortable and stable. If your room is too cold during the early morning, it can weaken your immune system, so keep a light blanket close by to compensate as needed.

© Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Woman asleep in bed resting, which is key to why sleep is important