Lying in bed thinking about my next blog post just like every science 200 student should be doing I came up with a weird question. It is two in the morning and I just can’t seem to go to sleep. I thought of many different ideas of what may help me sleep better and one came to mind; sleeping naked. Although I can say I didn’t try it that night as I have a roommate but still a great blog post question.
First I wanted to get some background information on the subject. Who exactly sleeps naked and is it more common then what I would think? But according to a national survey “about sleep revealed that only eight percent of Americans sleep naked.” That is a small percentage of people that sleep naked. Hopefully after this post it will increase that amount ever so slightly.
According to The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, your body temperature naturally declines as a part of your Circadian Rhythm as you sleep deeply. Your Circadian Rhythm is pretty much your body clock. The circadian rhythm is a 24 hour cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep and other psychological behaviors. This internal body clock is affected by environmental cues, like light and temperature. In the study done by the School of Social Sciences at he Flinders University of South Australia. Eight adult subjects, five males and 3 females, who have reportedly are in good health and good sleepers had their rectal temperatures recorded for 24 hours in each of two laboratory conditions, sleeping at night and not sleeping at night to test body temperature in the circadian rhythm. According to the conclusion of the study, “Following sleep onset, body temperature dropped more rapidly and remained lower than when wakefulness continued over the same time, resulting in a mean sleep-evoked decrease of 0.31 ± 0.09°C. Fourier regression analysis showed a significant 24-hour (circadian) temperature rhythm, together with a 12-hour harmonic rhythm, in each condition.” So in short wearing those fuzzy pajamas that are so near and dear to your heart can disrupt this natural drop in body temperature and can cause restlessness and that dreadful tossing and turning at night. Although this study was on a small scale it was conducted well and proved some great things.
So maybe regulating your body temperature isn’t selling you on the idea of sleeping naked but after more research there a lot more other positives on doing so. How about athletic ability, and reduced belly fat. All of these are in result to sleeping better due to body temperature while sleeping. As body temperature drops, growth hormone is released. In a study published by Stanford researcher named Cheri Mah showed that you can get safe doses of growth hormone and even improve athletic performance just by getting a good deep sleep. From seasons from 2005 to 2008 the scientists looked at 11 Stanford basketball players. For two to four weeks. Then for five to seven weeks, The researchers watched everything from what they ate, drank, and slept. The goal was to take naps and get to around 10 hours of sleep a night. Two hours more then the recommended amount. Here is what the study concluded, “After increasing their daily rest, the players sprinted faster and said they felt better in practices and games. Their aim got better too: Their three-point shooting jumped 9.2 percentage points, and their free throw percentage increased by nine points.” Yes this does seem a little out of the park to sleeping naked but if sleeping naked and body temperature go hand in hand to make you sleep better, longer, and deeper then it isn’t so far from Cheri Mah’s idea of sleep and athletic performance.
In the terms of body fat sleep is a huge regulator of hormones especially such that deal with metabolism and morning hunger. So as your body cools down during sleep hormones such as cortisol will decrease with healthy sleep patterns. Dr. Doni, author of The Stress Remedy explains cortisol levels in our bodies. “Cortisol cues our body to hold onto body fat, so it plays a huge role in weight gain. It is a major contributor to anxiety and depression. When our cortisol levels are optimal, we feel mentally sharp, clear, and motivated. When our cortisol levels are off, we tend to feel foggy, listless, and fatigued. Cortisol also affects our blood pressure and circulation; our lungs, muscles, and bones; and even our skin and hair.” On the nights that you do not sleep enough, you will wake with a level of cortisol that is abnormally high. This is the cause of the morning hunger and aids our body to overeat. This increases tension and anxiety and fuels belly fat.
Most of this is strictly thin correlations to sleeping naked but with something as easy as taking your cloths off and going straight to sleep in order to get a better nights sleep which is directly related to many of the positives variables that can happen with a good nights sleep may just be worth it. Try it out for a couple of weeks, I know I will and maybe we can join the thin and healthy community of the eight percent who already do sleep naked.