Sleeping naked has health benefits

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An international study done by the US National Sleep Foundation has found that one-third of all adults sleep in the nude, and it has been indicated that there are huge benefits to this.

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Sleep experts have agreed on the importance of keeping cool at night. This is because your body temperature needs to decline by around half a degree to allow you to fall asleep. Your brain sends messages to the blood vessels to open up to allow for the release of heat. According to Dr Chris Idzikowski, the director at the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, your body temperature reaches its peak at around 11pm and its lowest level at around 4am. He said if anything prevents this fall in temperature, the brain will awaken to determine the reason for this, which means you will suffer with disturbed sleep or struggle to fall asleep.

The advantage of sleeping in the nude is that it is easier for your body to cool and maintain that lower temperature your brain is trying to achieve.

If you wear warm pyjamas or too many layers, your body will not be able to regulate your temperature. The answer is to wear the least you are comfortable with.

According to scientists, one theory for the body needing to cool down during sleep is that our ancestors in Africa used to sleep in the afternoon and to obtain adequate rest, it was necessary to keep cool in the heat.

Warm Hands and Feet

Although it is important to keep cool at night, you should ensure that your hands and feet are warm. If your hands and feet remain cold, the blood vessel under the skin constrict and this reduces the blood flow in a bid to keep warm and stop heat from escaping, which, in turn prevents your core temperature from dropping.

To prevent cold hands and feet, you should swop socks for a hot water bottle. Socks do not allow the loss of heat from your feet, which will result in overheating.

Study

The importance of body temperature during sleep was demonstrated during a 2008 study undertaken by the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience.

Volunteers wore thermosuits whilst sleeping, which allowed the researchers to manipulate the temperature of their skin, without altering their core temperature. The team discovered that when the skin temperature was increased by 0.4˚C, the volunteers were less likely to awaken during the night.

Elderly volunteers experience an increased effect in that the 0.4˚C rise doubled the numbers who experienced deep sleep and those who woke early declined from 50% to 4%.

Burn Calories

Focus has been placed on brown fat, which is a type of tissue which could offer protection against weight gain. Ordinary fat is gained when we consume more calories than we burn, however brown fat appears to burn the excess calories to generate heat. Experts believe that it is possible to turn on this fat, helping us to burn calories at increased rates.

A US study found that when you sleep in a cold bedroom, brown fat could be activated in adults.

They asked five healthy young males to sleep in bedrooms which were climate-controlled, for a period of four months. The temperature of the room was maintained at 24˚C for the first month, lowered to 19˚C for the next month, back to 24˚C for the next month, and finally, raised to 27˚C for the final month.

They consumed the same amount of calories and the amount of calories they expended and their insulin sensitivity was monitored daily.

It was found that after one month of sleeping at 19˚C, the males had almost doubled their amount of brown fat. Tests indicated that they used more calories during the day when their room was cooler, though not sufficient to lose weight, and there was an improvement in their insulin sensitivity.

Other benefits of sleeping naked include lowering blood pressure and if you have a bed partner, it will boost your sex life.

Image Credit: GabPRR

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