A new international study by the U.S National Sleep
Foundation has found that one in three adults sleep in the nude,
and it's been shown to have all sorts of benefits.
In the UK sleep experts agree that removing pyjamas
could improve your sleep quality, boost your relationship and may
even help burn calories.
It's important to keep cool at night
as your body, or 'core' temperature needs to drop by about half a
degree for you to fall asleep.
"Your core temperature is at its
highest at 11pm and its lowest at 4am," says Dr Chris Idzikowski,
director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre and author of Sound Asleep:
The Expert Guide To Sleeping Well. "If anything prevents that
decline in temperature, the brain will wake itself up to see what's
going on, meaning you'll struggle to get to sleep or you'll have
Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience
at the University of Oxford, agrees by saying, "If you're wearing
lots of bedclothes it's going to be more difficult to regulate your
temperature, so wear the least you can get away with." Disrupted
sleep from being too hot doesn't just mean you'll get less sleep
overall, but it might mean less deep sleep, which is key for memory
consolidation and the production of growth hormone, that helps cell
repair and growth.
There is an increasing focus on
brown fat, a type of tissue in the body that may protect against
weight gain. Experts believe that certain activities could switch
on this fat, potentially helping to burn calories at a greater
rate. While ordinary body fat piles on when we eat more calories
than we burn, brown fat seems to burn excess calories to generate
In a U.S. study in the journal
Diabetes, researchers found that sleeping in a cold bedroom could
activate brown fat in adults. Five healthy young men slept in
climate-controlled bedrooms for four months. For the first month,
the room was kept at 24°C, then it was lowered to 19°C, then it
went back to 24°C and for the last month raised to 27°C.
They ate the same amount of calories
as they usually would whilst their calorie expenditure and insulin
sensitivity, how much insulin the body needs to keep blood sugar
levels stable, were measured each day. The results were
striking. After four weeks sleeping at 19°C, the men had almost
doubled their volumes of brown fat.
Cosy pyjamas are tempting, but if
you share a bed with a partner, going nude will generate a generous
boost of oxytocin, a hormone that's been shown to have a wealth of
health benefits. Oxytocin has a protective effect on the heart, as
it lowers blood pressure. It also boosts the immune system and
reduces anxiety. 'It is triggered by closeness, particularly
skin-to-skin contact,' says Dr Kerstin Uvnas-Moberg, a physiologist
at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Can boost your love
People who sleep naked have happier
love lives, according to a survey of 1,000 British adults by a
bedsheet company this year. The study found 57 per cent of nude
sleepers were happy with their relationship, compared with 48 per
cent of pyjama wearers and 43 per cent of nightie wearers (onesie
wearers were just 38 per cent).