An “Odd” Way to Get the Best Sleep of Your Life
Back in college, I developed a really odd sleeping problem.
No matter what I did, no matter the time of year or the temperature of the room, I would wake up in a pile of sweat. My sheets would be soaked and my body would be cold and uncomfortable.
I couldn’t figure it out. I tried using a fan, I tried not using a fan. I tried cracking open the window in the middle of winter, I tried not using blankets, everything. My body could not regulate its own temperature at night.
This problem has followed me around since then, on and off. For over a decade, I’ve dealt with night sweats in bursts at various times of the year.
That’s just one sleeping problem, and maybe a percentage of you reading this have dealt with it. But a more universal problem is just not getting comfortable at night.
You know your bed is comfortable because you don’t want to leave it when you get up in the morning. But at night, you toss and turn, unable to really sink into a deep sleep.
A few months ago, on a suggestion from my wife, I tried something I’ve never really tried before. As a result, I’ve slept better than I ever have in my life.
Note: The idea of sleeping naked raises a lot of questions. Hang on until the end of this article, and I’ll answer the most common ones for you in a special “lightning round” Q&A video.
The oddness of sleeping without pajamas
I pulled the trigger on this one night — I didn’t ease into it or anything. I had previously been sleeping in shorts and a t-shirt.
That night, I ditched the shorts and shirt, crawled under the covers, and snuggled in.
Two things became very apparent to me:
- This is actually pretty comfortable after a minute or two.
- I am very aware that I am naked.
Fortunately, I fell asleep pretty quickly that night. And even though I was in the middle of another series of sweaty nights, I woke up the next morning bone dry.
I had slept great. I was well-rested and felt good. It worked so well that my wife decided to start sleeping naked as well.
On the surface, guys, this sounds like a great situation for sexy times, and I’ll talk about that in a few minutes. But the truth is, it’s been producing such good sleep for us that we’ve openly wondered why we haven’t tried this before.
In addition, I wanted to look around and see the real reason why sleeping naked is good for you. There are tons of articles on the Web right now promoting the concept of sleeping naked.
That’s good, but 99% of them are anecdotal — meaning, they’re just people saying, “SLEEPING NAKED IS GREAT” and rattling off some reasons why without explaining them or showing where they got this information.
So I wanted to do something different and really explore the science-backed research that would coincide with sleeping naked. I like to deal with facts and not opinions as much as possible, because facts are more useful.
After doing a bit of reading, I unlocked a few key points in defense of sleeping naked:
You get a much better quality sleep
Turns out, the biggest factor in whether or not you get a good night’s sleep is not the quality of your mattress or the softness of your pillow.
It’s actually the temperature of your body.
This is easy to point to when we’re discussing night sweats — obviously that’s a body temperature issue. But actually, most sleep is a body temperature issue.
At night, your body cools off while you sleep. The deeper you get, essentially, the colder you get (it’s only a few degrees, though, so it’s not noticeable).
If you’re wearing long pajamas, your body can’t figure out how to let the heat escape to cool you off. Without that cooling off period, you aren’t going to sleep very well.
In fact, the National Institute of Health says,
“Different types of insomnia symptoms have been associated with abnormalities of the body temperature rhythm.”
So it would stand to reason that, by ditching the pajamas, your body has the opportunity to regulate itself the way it was made to, which results in a much more satisfying deep sleep.
You’ll feel sexier
The elephant in the room.
I didn’t want to address this because I felt it was self-explanatory. Everyone associates “naked” with “sex”. But it’s an important benefit and there is actually some science behind it as well.
If you’re somebody who shares a bed with a lady — like your wife — sleeping naked will almost certainly result in more sex.
That doesn’t mean she’s going to be ready to throw down every night, so calm down. I mean, she might, I don’t know her. But don’t be surprised if it does happen more often.
But why? Other than the sight of naked bodies, is there something else at play here?
Turns out skin-on-skin contact between two people releases oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that, among other things, increases the bond between two people.
It’s the same hormone that soothes babies when you pick them up and hold them. Completely different scenario, obviously, but this helps you understand why sleeping naked might lead to more sex.
It goes beyond sex, too. Being naked together brings you closer together, even if you don’t have sex all the time. That’s all thanks to oxytocin.
Wait, you also get less stress, fewer cravings, and reduced weight gain?
I’ve talked about how to deal with anxiety before. Preventing anxiety is your best defense, of course.
Sleeping naked? Yeah, it’ll help keep anxiety low. Your stress levels can decrease, you’ll wake up with fewer cravings for unhealthy foods, and your appetite can be more under control, leading to weight loss.
This is the part where you’ll probably start clicking away because it sounds like I’m promising miracles that can’t be fulfilled, right?
Well, make no mistake about it, I’m not saying sleeping naked will cure you of your depression or make you lose 50 pounds. It’s not that good.
But by sleeping naked, you keep the levels of cortisol in your body nice and low. Cortisol increases have been linked to stress, anxiety, cravings, and weight gain.
So by sleeping in the buff, you might not solve all of your problems, but you’ll have another weapon in the neverending battle between you, your brain, and your gut. What’s not to like about that?
So you see, from a scientific standpoint, there are some great benefits to ditching those PJs.
But because it’s such an uncommon practice these days in our society, the idea might bring up a bunch of questions in your mind, like “What do you do when you have to get up in an emergency?” or “What about in the winter, when it’s cold?” or “What if my wife is not on board with the naked sleeping thing?”
I knock these questions out — and a few others — in a rapid-fire “lightning round” Q&A video, all about the major concerns with sleeping naked.
This post originally appeared in CuffLinked Magazine.