Can sleeping naked combat SAD symptoms? We asked a sleep psychologist

Combat the symptoms of SAD by sleeping au naturel, says expert

Sleeping naked for SAD, sleep & wellness tips
(Image credit: Maddi Bazzocco / Unsplash)

Since we spend a third of our lives sleeping, it’s important that the time we spend in bed is used wisely. Having the best mattress and the best pillows can make a huge impact on sleep duration and quality, but have you ever considered that what you wear to bed could not only help you sleep better but could have an effect on your physical and mental health?

That’s right, the key to a good night’s sleep could be as simple as switching up what you wear to bed, more specifically what you DON’T wear to bed. Dr Katherine Hall, a sleep psychologist who specialises in treating insomnia, has teamed up with Happy Beds to answer the big question: is sleeping naked good for you?

Considering only 20% of people in the UK sleep naked, Dr Hall is dispelling sleep myths by revealing that sleeping naked has many health benefits, including lowering the risk of infections and combating symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

So, rather than getting out your best pyjamas, maybe it’s time to think about going au naturel between the best sheets! Keep reading to find out why sleeping naked is good for you.

Is sleeping naked good for you?

Sleeping naked isn’t a go-to for many people. This could be because you tend to feel the chill during the night or you don’t feel the most comfortable in your skin, but sleeping without any clothes on has been found to have many benefits, from improving relationships to helping those who experience SAD. 

According to Dr Hall, “there are definitely benefits that come with sleeping naked, perhaps the biggest being that it improves blood circulation. When you sleep, your blood circulation increases but sleeping naked stops any clothing like socks or tight pyjamas from restricting blood flow.” Better blood flow is not only good for your heart and muscles, but it can improve both men and women’s health. If you tend to wear tight pyjama bottoms or underwear to bed, this can negatively affect men’s fertility and increase the risk of infections.

Tips for side sleepers

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During this time of year when the temperatures are colder and the night’s are darker, many people experience signs of SAD, which is a form of depression with a seasonal pattern. But, Dr Hall advises that “skin-on-skin contact with your partner can boost your oxytocin levels, which can help combat feelings of SAD in the winter.” Oxytocin is a hormone that acts as a chemical messenger for the brain and to the organs in the body. Many studies have shown that oxytocin is the best for your mood and energy levels, and being close or skin-on-skin with your partner can make you feel more connected to them. Of course, if you feel that your SAD symptoms are getting too hard to handle, speak to a doctor or think about investing in the best SAD lamps to brighten your days.

So, if you’re struggling to get to sleep or you’re feeling uncomfortable in your pyjamas, it could be worth ditching your clothes and sleeping naked. It’s worth noting that sleeping naked can “leave more bacteria on your bed sheets which means you could be more susceptible to germs and bugs,” says Dr Hall. This can be easily avoided by washing your bedding more regularly, and if you’re a little lazy when it comes to cleaning your sheets, read what happens when you don’t wash your bed sheets for more.

For more expert sleep tips, check out 6 rules for great sleep hygiene.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!