Early on in my marriage, my husband and I used to joke about having “naked” days at home. We were young back then, so don’t judge us too much! Nakedness was still a novelty. We would joke about spending whole days in our birthday suits, making pancakes, lounging about, and doing what married couples do.

Looking back, I can’t help but laugh at our idea of wedded bliss. After almost 10 years of marriage and four kids, our “naked” days look a little different than they used to. But no matter your age, marital status, or gender, it’s still a good idea to spend more time naked.

Here are a few reasons to celebrate spending more time in your birthday suit.

Many women struggle with body image issues, especially after having children. Most of us are all too familiar with the “tricks” that help us avoid seeing our full naked selves. There’s the full-on avoidance of mirrors (don’t look!), the refusal to install full-length mirrors (chest up only, please!), and the quick “towel wrap” after showers (quick, cover up!). I’ve done them all myself, so I totally get it.

But forcing yourself to spend more time naked forces you to confront the fact that your body is yours. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. No matter where you stand in your health journey, our bodies are amazing. They carry us through life and they deserve to be respected and treated well, not avoided at all costs.

Get comfortable with actually looking at your body and you may just get comfortable with what you need to do to learn to love your body more, too.

If you are a nursing mother, spending more time topless may help you with breastfeeding. Letting your breasts air-dry after a nursing session can help heal cracked nipples. You may also reduce your risk of a mastitis infection. Allowing your breasts to spend time out in the air instead of stuffing them inside of a restrictive bra with a milk pad that will get soaked with fluid and sit for an extended period of time can prevent infection.

If you’re partnered or married, spending more time in the buff can naturally encourage more intimacy. While there may be something to be said for keeping an air of mystery in the bedroom, there’s also something to be said for snuggling under the covers skin-to-skin.

Studies show that bonding between a mother and a baby during breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact promotes oxytocin, the “love” hormone. It turns out, the same is true for adults. Maintaining a physical connection also connects you emotionally.

Leaving your nether regions naked more often can be a lot healthier for you. Some forms of underwear are made of fabric that’s not breathable. These can make women prone to irritated skin and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Even cotton underwear can be a breeding ground for bacteria, although studies show that underwear made of synthetic fibers pose the highest risk of a UTI.

Going panty-less under a dress or at night can help your vagina’s pH balance itself out naturally and let your skin breathe, especially if it’s irritated from shaving or frequent thong use.

One of the most effective ways to get a better night’s sleep is to lower your body temperature. Not only will you have higher quality sleep, but the work your body is able to accomplish while you’re asleep will be better, too. Your body works pretty darn hard while you’re asleep. It’s getting rid of toxins, growing your cells, and burning off excess fat. One study even found that lowering your body temperature at night — like, by sleeping naked — may boost your body’s ability to burn fat and increase its metabolism. Not a bad result of being more comfy at night, right?

There are a lot of things humans do today that have taken us away from our natural roots. But as it turns out, sometimes stripping back to the bare necessities may be all we need to be happier, and in turn, healthier. One study found that by simply spending more time naked, an individual can increase their body image, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. Getting back to nature in a very literal sense might actually make you a happier person overall.

Of course, when it comes to spending time in the buff, you should do what feels comfortable to you. If the thought of spending extra time in your birthday suit makes you squeamish, then by all means, don’t do it. But don’t write off getting nude a little more often. And maybe make some pancakes while you’re at it!