Health & Injuries

Why Runners Should Sleep Naked to Run Better

by On Jul 26, 2016

Because people who sleep naked are happier.

9 Reasons Runners should Ditch their PJs and Sleep in the Nude

Have you ever dreamed that you put on your running shoes and began your usual run on a trail or through city streets only to realize you weren't wearing of stitch of clothing? It’s a common dream that’s been interpreted by those in the business of analysing such nocturnal happenings, and many of these professionals believe that nude dream runners are manifesting a fear of embarrassment.

According to one dream expert, if you run naked in your dreams you may feel out of your comfort zone. Your naked jog could also tell you that you feel vulnerable and unprotected — particularly if you have this dream so often, you’re beginning to channel Rihanna. After all, the singer never met a public place in which she didn't feel comfortable stripping down!

Are you harbouring feelings of embarrassment, abandonment or vulnerability? Do you worry about being judged? Untangling those emotions takes work, but exploring these feelings can change your life for the better. On the other hand, don’t dismiss the benefits of being nude - particularly when you sleep.

Sleeping naked can improve your run, your health, your life and your sex life, so next time you hit the sheets, do it in the buff. You’ll enjoy amazing rewards if you do.

1. Feel the freedom.

Especially if you toss, turn and awaken each morning looking like a half-wrapped mummy. Enjoy the luxury of feeling soft sheets caress your skin rather than constrictive bed clothing that serves no purpose other than to obey your mum’s directive: Put on your pyjamas for bed!

In fact, donning those confining PJs can ruin a good night’s sleep, leaving you crabby and ill-prepared to face the day on and off the trail.

2. Stay healthier.

When you let your body breathe during the most important and restorative hours of your day, you allow every inch of your skin to rehabilitate itself. Sleeping in the buff helps kick-start your immune system and that’s just one of the therapeutic tasks your body undertakes as you snooze.

Sleep naked and you lower your risk of acquiring or worsening skin maladies like athlete’s foot which tends to pop up more often when running in wet weather - especially during the muggy days of a Singapore summer.

9 Reasons Runners should Ditch their PJs and Sleep in the Nude

Photo Credit: 123RF

3. Sleep better and deeper.

Why is it important to sleep deep and how does being nude help you get there? Because you crave REM sleep to heal your body from injuries inflicted upon it when you run, exercise and stay active.

Getting deep sleep is especially important if you tend to over-exercise when preparing for races, marathons and ultras. Even your mental health benefits from deep sleep so if it takes leaving your sleepwear in a drawer to do just that, so be it!

4. Fight off diseases like cancer.

Sleeping naked forces your body temperature to stay within optimal ranges so bad cortisol, a chemical capable of leaving your body vulnerable to cancer and other autoimmune diseases, doesn’t take control, trigger imbalances and lead you into temptations you work hard to avoid.

Bad cortisol triggers anxiety, food cravings and weight gain, but if you sleep au naturel, your chances of avoiding spikes of this nasty chemical increase.

5. Stay young.

Why run like the wind during the day and shroud your body like a nun at night when you could expand the number of years you live by shedding your bedclothes? When you sleep nude, your body sets in motion floods of melatonin and, in some cases, releases growth hormone levels that keep you healthier.

These types of chemical releases have the ability to slow down your rate of ageing and even your sex organs will thank you! Men’s testes stay cool once constricting clothing disappears and sperm counts increase and women can stave off yeast infections. You might even have more sex if you don’t have to fight your way through clothes.

9 Reasons Runners should Ditch their PJs and Sleep in the Nude

Photo Credit: 123RF

6. Remain hot while staying cool!

Sleeping in the heat is always going to be a fact of life for those who live and run in Singapore, and if you prefer not to run an air-conditioner for myriad reasons, what sense does it make to wear anything at all when you slide between the sheets after you’ve turned on a cooling room fan?

Further, an Australian study concluded that nude sleeping helps drop core body temperatures faster because there are no barriers to releasing the heat that builds up during the night.

7. Go with the flow.

There are increased circulation benefits from sleeping naked that are rarely talked about, yet every inch of your body receives hours’ worth of benefits to the heart, muscles and arteries because constrictive clothing doesn’t get in the way of healthy blood flow.

Further, research published in “Diabetes” magazine revealed this startling finding: Colder temperatures that lower metabolism also send blood sugar levels into a nosedive, thus nude sleepers in the study were found to be less likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

8. Boost your self-esteem.

If you’re still reeling from the introduction to this article because you admit to having dreams of running nude in public, you’ll be happy to know that sleeping without wearing a stitch of clothing boosts self-esteem, confidence and feelings of acceptance.

Who knew that sleeping naked could do for you what that “embarrassing” nocturnal sprint under the watchful eyes of complete strangers couldn’t achieve? In fact, you feel more comfortable in your skin when it’s not shrouded in bed clothing, according to a study undertaken at the University of Central Florida.

Their research proved that people who prefer to sleep sans clothes are even less likely to develop prejudices against minorities because they tend to be so comfortable in their own skins.

9 Reasons Runners should Ditch their PJs and Sleep in the Nude

Photo Credit: 123RF

9. Be a sexier, better you!

Poor body image can destroy lives in contemporary society where pursuit of the perfect physique is a goal everyone feels they should strive for. But at what cost? Those dreams of inferiority and lack of self-esteem don’t happen in a vacuum and contemporary media doesn’t help when it sends this subliminal message: Look great and you will be loved.

It’s at the core of human longing. You do your bit to reverse this every time you run because you do it for the right reasons - to stay healthy, fit and happy. Besides, wouldn't the money you spend on nightgowns, pyjamas, sleep pants and slumber wear be better spent on new kicks and sweat-repelling tops?

'Fess up: What prevents you from sleeping in the nude? Modesty? Habit? Room-mates?

Nathaniel is a disciplined casual runner and a lover of bananas. As a columnist for RunSociety, he is always on the lookout for exciting and controversial topics that touch the heart of the running community in Singapore, often adding in his funny observations. He has embarked on a mission to start a world class running group in Asia.

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