Good or Bad: Sleeping With Socks On
Sleeping with socks on has been a long-discussed-debate. You might have preferences and beliefs about it, but should you sleep with socks or not? Are there benefits to it? If so, how does it help someone have a better sleep? Keep reading to learn whether sleeping with socks is bad or good.
Advantages of Wearing Socks to Bed
Wearing socks in bed warms them up, increasing blood circulation, lowering your core body temperature, and letting your brain know it’s time to go to sleep.
And when circulation improves, this ensures good blood and oxygen flow, so our heart, lungs, and muscles can work at optimum capacity.
Fall Asleep Quicker
Wearing socks to bed is beneficial to the process of distal vasodilation. This is where blood flow is increased to the hands and feet, reducing the core temperature and helping you fall asleep faster.
Prevent Hot Flushes
You may think wearing socks to bed will make you hotter and increase the frequency of hot flashes during menopause. However, the opposite is true because warm feet increase blood circulation, which stabilizes body temperature and can help to reduce the frequency of hot flashes.
During the night, your body may send signals to heat up due to off-balance hormones during menopause that causes hot flashes. Having your feet covered can help to regulate blood flow, helping your temperature to stay stable.
Eliminate Cracked Heels
If you suffer from dry, cracked heels, this can be from the constant exposure to cool, dry air that dries your skin out. Try moisturizing your feet before putting your socks on; this should help keep the moisture in, improving skin softness while you sleep.
Minimize Raynaud Symptoms
A Raynaud’s attack can happen when you are cold or stressed. This is why keeping your feet cozy and warm at night by wearing socks could reduce symptoms of Raynaud’s disease.
Alongside sleeping better, wearing socks to bed could enhance your sex life! A small European research study found that women who wore socks to bed increased their ability to orgasm by 30%.
What Happens if You Sleep With Socks On?
Six men participated in a study that followed them under two different conditions. One condition had them sleeping with socks and the other without socks. The study found that with socks on, they slept 32 minutes longer, 7.5 minutes faster, and woke up 7.5 times less than those not wearing socks.
This shows that sleeping with socks may help you fall asleep faster and sleep longer. However, why does this happen? Your body goes through different heating and cooling rhythms during the day based on your circadian rhythm. Because of this, your body naturally works to lower your core temperature before sleep. There’s evidence that warming your feet before bed can help lower your core body temperature, helping you fall asleep faster.
If your feet are cold, your body’s core temperature may rise. This is because your body sends more blood (and heat) to your core areas like your feet to keep them warm. When you sleep with socks on, you make your feet warmer, which helps widen blood vessels constricted when cold. This enables you to release more heat through your skin and cool down the rest of your body.
This process is what’s known as distal vasodilation. It refers to the increase of blood flow to your hands and feet, which results in a decrease in body temperature faster.
Why is it Not Good to Sleep With Socks On?
Sleeping with socks on can improve circulation. However, if the socks you wear are too constrictive and tight, it could cause a decrease in blood flow. If your socks aren’t breathable, it could prevent the release of heat from your body.
Poor hygiene could also occur with wearing socks at night. If you wear socks at night, it’s best to make sure they’re breathable and a clean, fresh pair. Wearing fresh and looser socks can prevent odors and infections from taking place.
Can Warm Feet Help You Fall Asleep?
While awake, the human body temperature is at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, give or take about half a degree. The body temperature usually lowers when it’s getting ready to sleep.
Warming up the feet by wearing socks, using a hot water bottle, or using a warm foot bath before bed may help to lower core body temperature, helping you to fall asleep quicker.
What Are the Best Socks to Wear to Bed?
If you prefer wearing non-animal-based products, cotton bed socks are a great option. Cotton will allow your skin to breathe, wick away moisture, and assist in regulating body temperature so you can get a good night’s sleep.
Cashmere is a fine, soft, naturally occurring material that is an excellent option for bedtime socks. The thin fibers make it a dense material, allowing less air to pass through.
This helps keep your feet warm and allows the skin to breathe. Cashmere is eight times warmer than wool. Cashmere socks are well worth the investment if you suffer from cold feet.
Merino Wool Socks
If you want to wear socks to bed, merino wool is another top option. The fibers are thick to keep your feet warm but allow enough air to pass through to cool you when needed.
Plus, merino wool is softer than regular wool, so it’s not as itchy and is excellent for battling odors and wicking moisture.
Can You Sleep in Compression Socks?
Avoid wearing compression socks in bed unless your doctor recommends it for a medical condition. Whatever socks you choose, select a fresh pair each night to eliminate bacteria growth.
Who Shouldn’t Sleep With Socks On?
If you suffer from swelling of the feet, circulatory issues, or any other issue that may affect the blood flow to your extremities, sleeping with socks on may not be suitable for you. If you’re worried, always consult with a doctor first.
Can Babies Sleep With Socks On?
According to the National Institute of Health, babies are sensitive to extreme temperatures. You should always gauge room temperature before deciding whether your baby should wear socks to bed or not.
If you have cold feet, the skin temperature of your baby’s feet is likely to be chilly, and they might benefit from socks or footie pajamas.
Other Ways to Warm Feet Before Bed?
If you don’t fancy wearing socks to bed, there are many other ways to warm your feet and improve sleep quality. These include:
Hot Water Bottle
A hot water bottle in the bed helps to heat the sheets and your feet. And the best part is that it eventually cools down, so you don’t feel too hot later in the night.
The key to a good bedtime routine is to relax and get comfortable before sleep. Cozy slippers will warm your feet before going to bed, helping to release any tension and putting you in the right mind frame for rest.
Warm Water Footbath
A warm footbath helps to relax the body and regulate body temperature, making it easier to drop off to sleep quickly. Fill up a bowl with warm water, add some Epsom salts or a few drops of essential oil and soak your feet for 10 - 15 minutes to enjoy improved circulation and a better night’s sleep.
If this doesn’t feel right, you don’t need to cover your entire body with heavy blankets. Just fold a blanket at the end of the bed to keep your feet toasty.
Heated Mattress Pad
Heated mattress pads are comfy to sleep on and can be fitted firmly over your current mattress with elastic straps. The amount of heat you want can be controlled to stay warm all night.
Can Socks Help With Sleep Disorders?
While there is no definitive research on whether wearing socks in bed helps with sleep disorders, warming a person’s feet in bed has been associated with better sleep hygiene.
Some research has shown that those with colder feet and hands take longer to fall asleep. This shows the importance of keeping the extremities warm to lower the core body temperature needed for sleep.
Therefore, wearing socks could help a person who has trouble falling asleep due to cold feet. If you’re suffering from a sleep disorder, always consult a medical professional to pinpoint the underlying cause.
How Our Body Temperature Helps Us Fall Asleep?
Our internal clock (circadian rhythm) manages your sleep cycle and core body temperature. These are both linked, with internal body temperature dropping before you go to sleep.
Skin temperature is different from the core body temperature. Surprisingly, warming your skin can lower your internal body temperature because blood vessels at the skin’s surface expand, allowing heat to escape.
This explains why putting your feet in a warm footbath or wearing socks to bed helps you to fall asleep faster. When your core body temperature drops, it signals your brain that it’s time to sleep.
The air temperature of a room can also affect sleep quality. While expert opinions differ, some say the best room temperature for sleep rests between 66 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whether or not you decide to sleep with socks is entirely up to you. Because of the role that temperature plays in our sleep, sleeping with socks can help to regulate your body temperature, leading to a better chance for a good night’s rest.
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