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STRIPPING off might seem like something that only weirdo exhibitionists get excited about.
But wait . . . there are plenty of health benefits to be had from getting your kit off.
These range from losing weight and reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes, to enhancing fertility and improving your circulation.
So to encourage you to get to know your body, this week’s Me is a special Naked edition.
Here CLARE O’REILLY, er, uncovers some of the ways in which putting on your birthday suit could help keep you healthy.

A dozen reasons to strip off
Improves immune system

EXPOSING your entire body to the sun’s rays boosts vitamin D production, and could help you battle an array of ailments — while also keeping your smile sparkling.
Known as the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D helps maintain bone and teeth health, supports the immune system and regulates insulin levels.
Studies have also shown vitamin D levels can influence genes involved in development of cancerous cells — so soaking up a bit of sunshine in the buff could help ward off the deadly illness.Better balance

IT’S not just whipping off your top or bottoms that helps — running or walking in bare feet improves balance and orientation.
Not relying on shoes for cushion or comfort stimulates smaller muscles in the feet, ankles, legs and hips that are responsible for balance and co-ordination.
Personal trainer Anna Somma says: “Walking or exercising barefoot means you move differently. It’s good for posture and balance.”

Relaxation & confidence

ONCE you get over the sensation of being starkers, stripping off will relax your whole system. Going naked can improve blood flow and can also enhance your mood.
“Being happy with your body begins with a naked one,” says psychologist Emma Kenny.
“Being willing to bare all and being unafraid of our bodies can provide a boost to our confidence.
“People who don’t feel the need to cover themselves up are potentially more self-accepting.”

Improves fertility
   Inline Image     Alamy    WHICH do you prefer — boxers or briefs? The biggest factor affecting sperm quality is underwear fit, according to researchers from universities in Sheffield and Manchester.
They studied 2,000 men, taking into account their body mass index, lifestyle, alcohol consumption and smoking, and found those who wore loose boxers or none at all had a higher quality than those who wore fitted or tight briefs.
“This potentially overturns much of the advice given to men about how they might improve their fertility and suggests many common lifestyle risks may not be as important as we previously thought,” says Dr Andrew Povey of The University of Manchester.

Leads to more sex
   Inline Image     Getty    THE key to a happy relationship and more sex is sleeping in the buff, a poll of more than 500 British couples showed.
Almost 60 per cent of couples who stripped off at night said they were content together, compared to just 38 per cent of those who wore onesies in bed.
Psychologist Emma Kenny says: “Skin-to-skin contact is good for us and promotes intimacy.
“This means it’s great to have in marriages and long-term relationships.”

Lowers stress
   Inline Image     Alamy    SKIN-on-skin contact encourages the release of oxytocin, the body’s happy hormone. It also helps to regulate stress hormone cortisol.
A decade-long study from Israel showed babies who were given skin-on-skin contact when they were born continued to feel the benefits in later life.
At age ten, the children who had what’s known as “kangaroo care” showed better hormonal responses to stress, slept better, had a more mature nervous system and had better thinking skills.
“A good sleep will help decrease the level of cortisol, the stress hormone,” says dermatologist Dr Amanda Wong-Powell.
“Too much stress hormone can lead to cravings and comfort-eating.”

Prevents ageing
   Inline Image     Alamy    SLEEPING in pyjamas means your core temperature could be warmer than it needs to be.
This can interfere with the production and regulation of melatonin and HGH, or human growth hormones, which are responsible for ageing and good health.
“Sleeping naked balances both levels,” explains Emma Kenny. “This can improve your mental health but also means that you genuinely stay younger.”

Burns fat
   Inline Image     Getty    WHEN adipose fat — the good kind found primarily around the neck and shoulders — cools down because that area of the body has been exposed, it multiplies and kills off bad fat cells.
“Going naked won’t help you lose lots of weight but it will certainly help burn some fat,” personal trainer Anna says.

Reduces diabetes risk
   Inline Image     Getty     A LINK between sleeping in colder temperatures and lower blood sugar levels, which in turn prevents Type 2 diabetes, has been found in an American Diabetic Association study.
Scientists discovered that when participants slept naked their body temperature fell, while their metabolic health improved.

Improves skin
   Inline Image     Getty    SKIN needs air to breathe and going to bed naked will help parts of the body that are normally swathed in clothes.
“In our normal circadian rhythm (how the body responds to its environment over the course of a day and night) during our deep sleep period the body naturally drops its temperature,” says Dr Wong-Powell.
“And wearing too many layers when you sleep can disrupt this natural rhythm, disturbing your sleep.”

Helps circulation
   Inline Image     Getty    PRESSURE marks can occur when clothes, underwear or socks are too tight — and losing clothes can help your body’s circulation right itself.
“When one sleeps naked, there will be no concerns with circulation, as the body is not restricted or constrained in any way,” says Dr Wong-Powell.
“This will allow full blood and lymph circulation, enabling the body to regenerate during sleep.”

Prevents insomnia
   Inline Image     Alamy    A FALL in the body’s core temperature is needed in order to fall asleep, which is more easily achieved if you’re naked, a study found.
The Dutch research also revealed those who sleep in the buff get a better quality of sleep.
Scientists at Flinders University, in Australia, placed thermo suits on survey participants to lower body temperature and found they had an uninterrupted sleep and spent more time in the REM stage of slumber — the most restorative kind.
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