Sleeping With Socks On: Good Or Bad?
Even the smallest of details can affect our sleep quality. If you live in a cold climate, sleeping with socks on may seem like the obvious choice. Though it’s practical to keep them on, you might have wondered if there are any negative effects involved. In this article, we discuss the benefits of wearing socks to bed, along with the possible drawbacks involved.
How Does Core Body Temperature Impact Sleep?
If you’re in the habit of sleeping with socks on and have also experienced trouble sleeping, you might be wondering if there's any connection. It’s a reasonable question, especially if you’re aware of the relationship between body temperature and sleep.
Most people mistake core body temperature as skin temperature. While they are two different things, a warm skin temperature can play a role in decreasing core body temperature.
By allowing heat to escape, blood vessels dilate (vasodilation) and the core body temperature drops, giving our body the go-ahead it needs to doze off. A stable internal temperature promotes better sleep and prevents us from waking up.
As we move towards a state of sleepiness, our body sends signals to initiate a restful night of sleep by triggering the production of melatonin, the hormone associated with sleep and part of our natural circadian rhythm.
Since our core body temperature usually fluctuates around our extremities, it’s important to pay attention to factors that can help bring the temperature of our hands, cold feet, and toes in agreement with the rest of our bodies. A warm pair of socks, therefore, can be useful for thermoregulation.
Of course, outside factors like room temperature can impact the quality of sleep. This can be easily managed by adding or removing blankets and wearing clothes with the right thickness to properly manage our core body temperature.
Benefits of Wearing Socks to Sleep
Sleep research suggests that socks can help us fall asleep quicker. Not only that, but people who wear socks also experience overall better sleep quality than people who don’t. The list of benefits doesn’t end there. Here are four of the biggest benefits of wearing socks in bed:
Vasodilation refers to the dilation of our blood vessels. As the walls of our blood vessels relax, they widen and increase blood flow to our hands and feet, relieving fatigue. Without it, our body may not get the signal it needs to sleep.
If you’re having trouble sleeping or want to fall asleep faster, you may want to wear socks to bed to speed up dilation and lower your core body temperature. Doing so initiates better sleep more quickly.
Wearing socks to bed increases blood circulation in your feet. Good circulation is vital for good health and crucial for our body to function properly. Donning your favorite pair of socks might just be the change you need in your bedtime routine to ensure optimal health and better sleep.
We regulate our own body temperatures and generate our own heat. Thermoregulation allows us to stay warm in ice-cold weather and cool ourselves when we’re too warm. It’s one of the many smart functions associated with the human body.
However, we need to keep in mind that we can help thermoregulation do its work. Since our hands and feet affect our core body temperature, wearing a pair of socks helps trigger the process and gives us exactly what we desire — a good night’s sleep.
Prevents Raynaud's Attacks
Poor circulation can affect our bodies physically and psychologically. It can lead to poor blood flow in the hands, fingers, feet, and toes, which can result in throbbing pain and swelling. This condition that affects the blood vessels in the skin is commonly known as Raynaud’s disease.
Raynaud’s attacks may become most evident when a person is feeling stressed or cold, i.e., when they’re at their most vulnerable.
Wearing a pair of socks keeps your veins warm and cozy and initiates good blood circulation. This can help lower the intensity of symptoms related to poor circulation by protecting the feet, ankles, and toes.
Reduces Hot Flashes
Our hormones tend to get off-balanced and overreact when we hit menopause. Of all the ways they can change our bodily functions, sending signals to make our bodies warmer is perhaps the most common. You may experience a series of hot flashes which can negatively affect your sleep schedule.
Covering your feet with socks can help vasodilation by helping blood vessels dilate and regulating blood flow and temperature to keep extremities warm. This will maintain balance by allowing excess heat to escape through the skin and prevent hot flashes.
Since hot flashes are often accompanied by sweating, socks can also keep the skin on your feet, ankles, and toes from drying and cracking by maintaining your skin’s natural moisture.
Remember, you can modify your sleep hygiene based on what works for you. If you feel that wearing socks in bed helps you fall asleep faster, go ahead and wear one. Ideally, use socks with natural soft fibers instead of artificial fiber socks to ensure optimum comfort, breathability, and hygiene.
Reasons Why You May Not Want to Wear Socks to Bed
Wearing socks to bed doesn’t work for everyone. Here are some reasons why you may want to ditch wearing them to bed:
Wearing socks to bed helps improve circulation. However, it can also lead to poor circulation. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it?
Not all socks are the same. You should take that into account if you plan on wearing them to bed. For example, tight-fitting socks can decrease the blood flow and do your body more harm than good.
To ensure good circulation, try wearing a clean pair of normal socks (in the size you usually wear) to bed instead of going up or down a size to deal with cold feet. You can also look for specially designed bed socks that are usually thicker and fuzzier than regular ones.
One of the major benefits of wearing socks to bed is its ability to regulate body temperature. However, you should choose the right kind to ensure that you don’t end up feeling too hot.
The socks you wear to bed should not be constricting in any way. Compression socks and thicker socks like merino wool can mess with vasodilation and can make you overheat. To prevent those things from happening, wear breathable cotton socks to wick away sweat, release excess heat through the skin, and stabilize your body temperature.
Wearing socks to bed doesn’t mean that they’ll stay clean forever. Even if you only wear them to bed, socks that haven’t been cleaned for a while can put you at risk for poor hygiene. It may not sound like a big deal but dirty socks increase your chances for infection and foul odors.
To prevent these issues, change and wash your socks regularly. Choose socks made from natural materials as opposed to synthetic ones. Bamboo, cashmere, cotton, and merino wool socks are great options.
Alternatives To Wearing Socks in Bed
Socks can help you maintain your core body temperature through vasodilation. However, if you want to have warm feet without wearing a pair, you can try these helpful tips:
- Place a hot water bottle or a heating pad at the foot of your bed.
- Treat yourself to a warm foot bath before bed. You can have a warm water foot bath by soaking your feet in warm water before slipping under the covers. You can also take a warm shower.
- Wear a pair of warm slippers in your bedroom before going to sleep.
- Avoid using electric blankets to keep your feet warm as they can put you at risk for overheating.
Wearing socks to bed can give you a better night’s sleep by keeping your feet warm and increasing blood flow to your feet and toes. This helps maintain core body temperature. Since a stable core body temperature is crucial for sleep, wearing socks to bed can help your body prepare for sleep.
If you want to get the best sleep, consider pairing those socks with Sandland Sleep supplements. Natural, vegan, and non-GMO, their sleep supplements support good sleep hygiene and are an easy way to tackle sleep issues.
Their two variants help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. Formulated with top-grade hemp extract and melatonin, Sandland Sleep is “where clean sleep comes easy.”
Yes, there are risks to sleeping with socks on but most of them can be prevented by opting for breathable fabrics and changing the socks you wear to bed regularly.
If you don’t wear breathable socks or keep wearing them even after they’re dirty, you can face issues related to overheating, decreased circulation, and poor hygiene.
No. Wearing socks to bed is the safest way to keep your feet warm at night. They can also help increase blood circulation — just make sure to wear the right kind!
Wearing socks for too long can increase your chances of infections and foul odors. It can also cause you to overheat by not allowing your feet to breathe properly.