A few Kenyan men and women find it hard to sleep naked. Their concern is simple: What if a fire breaks out?
Unknown to them is the long list of benefits that come with ditching the pyjamas. One in three adults sleep in their birthday suits; this is according to an international study by the US National Sleep Foundation.
Experts say that it is in fact not a bad thing, as sleeping in the nude could improve sleep quality, boost relationships and may even burn calories. Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience at the University of Oxford, says ditching nightwear may improve your slumber.
The argument is that, 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.
Lower blood temperature
Cozy 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.
“It is triggered by closeness, particularly skin-to-skin contact,” says Dr. Kerstin Uvnas-Moberg, a physiologist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and an expert on oxytocin.
“Sensory nerves on the skin send impulses to the brain, triggering the release. When a baby is placed on its mother’s chest, the blood in the mother and child starts to pulse with oxytocin, which has a protective effect on the heart, as it lowers blood pressure. It also boosts the immune system and reduces anxiety. But it only works if skin-on-skin touching is something you’re happy with,” says the expert.
Jumpstart love life
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 that 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.
Sleeping naked is a good strategy for those with body image issues, says Denise Knowles, sex therapist at counselling charity, Relate. “You can slip under the sheets and then take your clothes off, and then you can be touched, even if you don’t want to be looked at. Sleeping naked may increase the chances of sex,” she says.
Say goodbye to infections
Wearing nothing to bed can help women avoid developing yeast infections, such as thrush, says Austin Ugwumadu, a consultant gynecologist at St George’s Hospital in South London.
“Thrush loves warm, restricted environments, so wear something loose or preferably nothing at all. If you wear something tight, it means less air gets to the area and you’re more likely to sweat, which can cause irritation,” explained Ugwumadu.