AS the winter draws in, many of us are more focussed on our overall health and wellbeing.
That might have something to do with the amount of sniffles and sneezes we hear all around us.
You might be struggling with ailments like colds and flu.
Or maybe you're just feeling out of sorts due to the change in season.
All these issues can make us feel like we want to get our cosiest PJs on and wrap ourselves in a duvet when it comes to bedtime.
However one sleep expert has revealed that in order to stay in tip top condition you should sleep naked.
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Sleep psychologist Dr Katherine Hall explained: "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 regardless, but sleeping naked stops any clothing like socks or tight pyjamas from restricting blood flow.
"Remember that good blood circulation is crucial for your heart and muscles’’.
Good blood circulation allows every organ to function properly, helping blood and oxygen flow through our bodies.
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Dr Hall, who is working with bed retailer Happy Beds, added that sleeping in the nude can help regulate your body temperature, which is always higher when you're ill with conditions such as the flu.
Sleeping naked can be beneficial for both men and women's health, Dr Hall added.
The expert, who specialises in treating insomnia added: "For men, it can increase fertility and for women, it will lower your chance of any infections caused by uncomfortable underwear. "
Ditching the clothes and opting for skin-on-skin contact can also boost your oxytocin levels, which can help combat feelings of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), she said.
SAD is a mood disorder or a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons.
Unlike depression, where symptoms can occur at any period of time, people who suffer from the condition can display normal mental health through most of the year.
SAD usually begins and ends at about the same times every year, with symptoms typically start in the autumn and continue into the winter months, with those suffering from a lack of energy and mood swings.
This skin-to-skin contact, Dr Hall says, can help prevent this.
However, Dr Hall said there are some things you must consider before opting to go au natural.
"When you sleep naked, you unfortunately leave more bacteria on your bedsheets.
Of course, this can be fixed by washing your bedding more regularly. However, more bacteria means you could be more susceptible to picking up germs and bugs whilst you sleep naked.
‘’Sleeping naked is great, but it’s always better in your own bed. When sleeping somewhere else such as a hotel, stick to pyjamas!," she added.
BEAT THE BUG
Keeping yourself healthy is key and while sleeping naked might help, there are also other things to consider
Boots Superintendent Pharmacist Claire Nevinson said that in most cases of colds and the flu, there should be no need to see your GP.
She explained that as with a cold, the best way to recover is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water.
"The same medicines used to relieve the symptoms of cold may also be considered to help relieve the symptoms of flu.
The main symptoms of flu
The NHS says that flu symptoms come on very suddenly and include the following:
- a sudden high temperature
- aching body
- feeling tired or exhausted
- a dry cough
- sore throat
- difficulty sleeping
- loss of appetite
- diarrhoea or tummy pain
- feeling and being sick
"This is includes paracetamol or ibuprofen, which can help to reduce a high temperature and relieve aches and pains.
"Ask your pharmacist or member of the pharmacy team for advice about medicines for flu symptom relief that may be suitable for you."
One way you can help protect yourself is to boost your immunity, and Claire said the best way to do this is to consume a balanced diet rich in vitamins A, B12, B6, C and D will support the normal function of the immune system.
She added: "If you are struggling to get these vitamins from your diet, supplements can help.
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"In fact, the government advises that everyone take a daily 10mcg vitamin D supplement during the autumn and winter months, as we do not make enough vitamin D from sunlight during this time and cannot get enough vitamin D from food alone.”
"Supplements and can also help increase your intake of Vitamin C, but once you reach the recommended daily allowance of 40 mg you will not receive any further benefits and taking large amounts of vitamin C per day can be harmful."
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