What sleeping naked can do for you

The other night, my wife woke me from a deep sleep. She’d heard a noise at the back door, then again at a side window.

“I think somebody’s trying to get inside,” she whispered.

I sleep with an axe handle by my bed. No axe head, just the handle. In case of a home invasion.

I reached for it and crept out into the hallway.

Crossing the back room, I came to the back door, and it was there that I realised I was naked, because that’s the way I sleep.

Attacking an intruder in the nude, even when armed with an axe handle, didn’t seem like a sensible option, especially if the intruder took flight and I had to chase him over a fence or out into the street.

And it was cold outside. Very cold.

The next day I ordered some pyjamas online. The day after that, out of curiosity, I researched the health advantages of sleeping in the nude.

I was stunned. One website listed five advantages. The next listed 10. And neither mentioned it as an excuse for not having to chase intruders.

According to US research, about 12 per cent of Americans sleep naked, and research from several other countries indicated that there were overwhelming health benefits to sleeping in the nude.

For a start, sleeping in clothes might be why you sleep badly.

A South Australian study determined that clothes hampered your body’s natural temperature regulation, prolonging the time required to achieve the optimum sleeping temperature.

And, according to research out of Sweden, it’s even better if your partner sleeps naked. The Swedes determined that sleeping naked triggers anti-stress effects, reducing blood pressure and supressing the production of cortisol, a stress hormone.

If your partner is also naked, the skin-to-skin contact proved to stimulate the hypothalamus in the brain, which also releases anti-stress hormones into the bloodstream.

And the research continued.

Sleeping naked slows ageing.

Sleeping naked helps regulate your weight and reduces the risk of diabetes.

Sleeping naked keeps your private parts healthier by letting them ‘breath’, thus preventing moisture build-up which can cause bacteria.

Sleeping naked makes you feel free and more relaxed.

Sleeping naked can reduce skin diseases caused by lack of air.

Sleeping naked in winter makes the transition to sleeping naked in summer easier.

Of course, none of this is good news to the makers of pyjamas while probably being noteworthy to home invaders.

And I forgot to cancel my online order. Anyone want to buy some unused pyjamas?

What’s your view on sleeping naked? Does the research stack up for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Also read: Can sleep help prevent Alzheimer’s?

Steve Perkin
Steve Perkin
Steve Perkin had a long and distinguished career as a journalist, covering sport and general news and writing daily columns for The Age and the Herald Sun. He's written three books and is a regular YourLifeChoices contributor.


  1. My wife always slept naked and I would have loved to but I always get a cold ‘bottom’ and needed to wear shorts. I think though, that we had 4 children as it was, and if I had slept naked I think we would have had about 10????

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