Warming your toes at bedtime feels natural for a lot of people. For centuries hot water bottles have been placed at the foot of beds to aid in keeping people warm all night. Ever since mankind domesticated the first type of animal, dogs, they have been going to sleep snuggling on our feet adding heat as well. Some people even sleep naked with only their socks on. So it’s no surprise that this feels natural, but is it healthy? Is it bad to sleep with socks on? Some debate the answer to this question but the overwhelming answer is no, sleeping with socks on is good for you! Let’s read why.
Can Cold Feet Disturb Your Sleep?
Actually, yes. Maintaining a consistent temperature while you sleep helps ensure you that you stay asleep. If you get too hot or too cool, you are likely to wake up constantly and in the long run develop insomnia. So, if you naturally have icy toes, especially when you doze off, you should definitely consider wearing socks to bed.
Can Warm Feet Aid You to Sleep Better?
The overwhelming opinion is yes! When you fall asleep, your body naturally decreases in temperature by a degree or two. Your circadian rhythm or biological clock that regulates the timing of sleep and also affects your core body temperature. So, by keeping them warm, you can aid in maintaining proper temperature regulation. It then leaves your body free to focus on other restorative tasks.
Benefits of Wearing Socks to Bed
There are several benefits you can expect to receive from going to sleep in them. Some may even surprise you. Let’s take a look so you can decide if sleeping with socks on is something you should personally consider.
1. They Aid You to Sleep Faster
A study from 2007 suggests wearing socks to sleep aids in dozing off quicker. Research shows that warming up your fingers and toes causes blood vessel dilation or vasodilation. This warms the skin and aids in lowering your body’s core temperature, something that happens naturally while you sleep. As a result, a message is sent to your brain signalling that it is bedtime. Wearing them could help you sleep as much as 15 minutes faster than without.
2. They Aid in Preventing Hot Flashes
Socks aid in thermoregulation while you sleep and may be able to reduce hot flashes or night sweats. It probably seems counterintuitive that warming your toes can aid you in staying cool but by helping lower core body temperature, they promote better circulation. This, in turn, prevents overheating while you sleep.
Some menopausal women have found socks in bed aids them in regulating temperature and avoiding hot flashes. There are cooling socks for sleeping available but they are mostly for sick people who need extra thermoregulation.
3. They May Aid in Increasing Orgasm Potential
One study found that women specifically had higher orgasm potential when they wore these to bed. Theories vary on why this is but it most likely has to do with increased and improved circulation. The study was limited and small but it suggests that it could increase orgasms by as much as 30%.
4. They Aid in Reducing Raynaud’s Disease Symptoms
Raynaud’s disease is a condition that affects blood vessels in the skin. A symptom of Raynaud’s is cold feet and hands. Attacks are also more likely when a person is cold so it is important to try and prevent this. In the case of an attack, the victim’s fingers and toes begin to receive reduced blood flow. This causes a cold, numb sensation which may persist long enough to change your fingers or toes color to white, blue, or in the worst case scenario, black. Wearing them should keep you warmer but you should consult a doctor if you believe you are affected by this disease.
5. They Aid in Improving Dry, Cracked Skin on Your Heels
If you experience overly dry or cracked heels, which many people do, wearing socks to bed could remedy the issue. Right before bedtime try heavily moisturizing your feet, paying extra attention to your heels and then put a pair of them on. They will trap moisture in overnight and within a few days, you should start noticing a positive improvement.
What are the Best Socks for Sleeping?
The best socks for sleeping should be made from natural, breathable materials like cotton, cashmere, or thin wool. Make sure they are thin and loose so they do not cut off circulation. Also, always put a fresh pair on before you get into bed. You do not want to bring bacteria from the entire day into your bed and you also want to start fresh.
Avoid thick or synthetic materials in your socks for sleeping. Also, avoid wearing tight or compression ones unless it is recommended by your doctor.
Ways to Improve Circulation Before Bedtime
If for some reason you do not like wearing socks to bed, it’s okay, there are some other options available that will aid you in improving circulation and warm your toes so you can go to sleep fast and stay asleep:
- As mentioned in the introduction, a hot water bottle or pet at the foot of your bed
- Wear slippers before bedtime
- Massage your legs prior to bedtime
- Take a warm bath, even if it is only a foot bath about an hour before bedtime
- Use an additional blanket draped over the foot of the bed to increase heat retention
- Have a pillow or a warming cushion at the foot of your bed
Is it bad to wear socks all the time? Yes, because we need to clean and ventilate our feet regularly to promote proper sanitation and health. It may seem like taking them off is the ideal time to let your skin air out, however, sleeping with socks on has several benefits which should not be dismissed.
In this article, we have read that not only can socks help you go to sleep faster, but they can also aid you in staying asleep all night. They can maintain proper core body temperature to tell our brain it’s bedtime, prevents Raynaud’s attacks, reduces hot flashes, eliminates dry and cracked skin on your heels, and increases orgasm potential. You should consider trying it out and wear socks tonight. With all of the possible positive implications, you really have nothing to lose.