By The Sun
SLEEP hygiene has never been more important.
Experts often tell us to leave our to our phones and laptops out of the bedroom and to keep our sheets as clean and fresh as possible in order to have a good night’s sleep.
But maybe the easiest sleep hack and weight loss tip might be less do with our bedtime behaviour and more to do with what we’re (not) wearing.
Forget waiting until summer to ditch your PJs – sleeping naked apparently comes with a host of benefits, whatever the time of year.
1. You’ll fall asleep faster
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the quicker you fall asleep, the better quality of sleep you tend to have. One way of reducing the amount of time it takes you to fall into a deep sleep is to lower your body temperature.
Falling temperatures in the body tell it that it’s time for snoozing and a simple way to do that is to take off your clothes.
Reducing body temperature not only helps you get off to sleep faster but may also improve the overall quality of your sleep.
One sleep expert Dr Christopher Winter told Women’s Health that the ideal temperature for sleep is 18 degrees.
Although your body changes temperature throughout the night, going to sleep naked means that it doesn’t have to cool down quite as vigorously and you can control the temperature more easily by removing or adding duvets and sheets.
2. You may lose weight
Firstly, reducing stress and improving the quality of sleep has been proven time and time again to increase the body’s ability to burn fat as we reduce cortisol levels.
But we can also change our body composition by tapping into something called brown fat.
Heat-generating brown fat was only discovered in adults back in 2009 – before then, it was assumed to only be in babies (who don’t shiver).
Scientists found that the colder the temperature, the more brown fat mice produced…and later, the same was discovered in human adults.
The more brown fat you have, the better insulin sensitivity you have (which means you’re less likely to store belly fat) and the slimmer you tend to be.
Dr Pam Peeke is a “fat doctor” and she wrote on Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen that exercise can convert white-yellow fat to brown fat, as can getting enough sleep and exposing yourself to cold temperatures regularly.
“Getting enough high-quality sleep (is important) as proper melatonin production influences the production of brown fat; and exposing yourself to the cold regularly, such as exercising outdoors in the wintertime or in a cold room.
“Lowering the temperature in your living and working spaces is another tip.”
A study published in the journal Nature Medicine says that in order to increase your brown fat stores significantly, you’ve got to spend two hours a day in 18’C, tucked so that you’re cold but not freezing.
Dutch scientists found that when people spent time in room where the temperature was reduced from 21’C to 15’C, they burned an extra 6 per cent.
And that means that if you typically burn around 2,000 kcals a day, you could burn up to an extra 120 kcals.
3. You’ll feel better
One way to improve self-confidence from the comfort of your own bedroom is to sleep naked. One study found that spending a few hours being naked every day can improve body image and self-esteem.
You don’t have to go to a nudist beach or naturist camp; simply bedding down in the buff can help.
4. Your vagina will be healthier
“I’m forever telling my patients to set themselves free and not to wear pants at night,” Dr Shazia Malik, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Portland Hospital for Women and Children, previously told The Sun.
“When you’re all warm and cosy under your duvet, any bacteria in your pants can thrive and spread.”
If you have to wear anything, opt for 100 per cent cotton knickers and wash them at 90 degrees in order to kill any bacterial spores.
But if possible go nude and save yourself the trouble.
“The best underwear is made from pure cotton and you need to be washing it at 80-90’c to kill candida spores.”
5. You might have more sex
There’s nothing like a bit of skin on skin action to set the mood right four regular sex. And if you’re having more sex, the chances are you might be having better sex.
Regular sex has got loads of health benefits including counting as part of your daily exercise.
Some studies have shown that the average peak heart rate and at orgasm is the same as during light exercise – and while that’s not enough to keep you fit and healthy, it certainly can be a great add-on.
The NHS also says that sex can be a great stress buster.
A small study of 46 people found that stress levels were highest in people who had no sex at all while those who had it regularly have the smallest rise in blood pressure and cope better with overall stress.
6. You’ll look younger
As well as helping us feel more mentally alert and promoting better metabolism, regular good, deep sleep can help us look younger.
Dr Winter said that when we’re in deep sleep, our bodies secrete human growth hormone.
That’s a hormone which is crucial for keeping us healthy and free from infection and it also helps with the regeneration of cells.