Wearing socks in bed is not exactly the sexiest look, however there are some benefits to keeping your feet covered when you sleep. In this article we look at some of the reasons people wear socks in bed and answer the question of whether it helps us sleep better. Let’s find out more:
Reasons For Wearing Socks In Bed
The majority of people who wear socks in bed do so because they have cold feet. It’s as simple as that. But there are some other really good reasons why night time sock wearing could help us sleep.
1. Improved Circulation
Sleeping with socks on means your feet get lovely and toasty and warm and it is this warmth that helps to increase blood circulation. Better circulation leads to improved blood and oxygen flow, which plays a huge part in optimal organ function. And when our organs function properly we are much more likely to sleep well.
On the flip side, if you have poor circulation it can lead to numbness, pins and needles, tingling and even muscle cramps, which definitely does not equate to a good night’s sleep. One thing you must be careful of when wearing socks to sleep in, is that they aren’t too tight as this can decrease blood flow.
2. Prevents Night Sweats
Right, so we know for a fact that when we wear socks in bed we are warmer. There’s no scientific evidence needed here, we just know from experience that putting on a pair of fluffy socks keeps us warm overnight. Therefore, the obvious solution if you’re too hot in bed or if you suffer from night sweats would be to take the socks off, right? Well, um no, as it happens.
As we’ve just learnt, warm feet equals better circulation, and better circulation equals better body temperature control. So weirdly, even though we put socks on to help warm us up initially, throughout the night those same socks can help us cool down too. This works because when your feet start to warm up from the socks, the blood vessels widen allowing more heat to be released through the skin, thus helping to cool you down internally.
Regulated body temperature means that there is also less chance of experiencing the uncomfortable hot flushes that can occur during menopause. Which is great news, as hot flushes are huge contributors to sleep problems in menopausal women, which also then worsens other symptoms they may be having.
3. Reduces Symptoms Of Raynaud’s Disease
Raynaud’s disease is a circulatory condition in which sufferers experience limited blood flow to their fingers and toes, which can cause numbness, swelling, and throbbing pain. People usually get attacks of Raynaud’s disease rather than suffering from it all the time and these attacks are brought on by cold temperatures and stress.
By wearing socks in bed it can help to keep the feet warm and therefore reduce the symptoms of Raynaud’s disease. You should try to keep your hands and feet warm in the daytime, so that even before you get into bed they are not cold. Heat pads can be placed inside gloves to help keep hands warm and you can also buy heated foot muffs to help warm up your feet. If you have any concerns you should always seek advice from your GP.
4. Moisturises Your Feet
This is a great reason if you’re someone who suffers from dry skin on your feet or cracked heels. Before going to bed, smother both feet in moisturiser and then pop on a pair of socks. The socks will help to seal in the moisture, so by the time you wake up in the morning, your feet should be super soft and smelling gorgeous.
5. Helps You Fall Asleep
We now know that wearing socks in bed helps to regulate our body temperature and improve blood circulation, and both of these can help us to fall asleep faster. Our body temperature should be in sync with our circadian rhythm (our biological clock). Throughout the day, our body temperature slowly rises until it hits a peak about mid afternoon when it then starts to slowly come back down. In general, a person’s body temperature drops a degree or two as they begin to fall asleep and then continues to decrease during the night, until it starts all over again. If this cycle is disturbed in any way, it can really affect how we sleep.
By wearing socks in bed, it can help to lower our overall body temperature at the same time as keeping our feet warm, and this sends a signal to the brain that it is time for us to go to sleep. Interestingly, women are more likely to feel the cold in bed and men prefer a cooler sleeping environment. So if you and your partner can’t agree on what tog duvet to put on, or what to set the thermostat to on the heating, perhaps you should just suggest that one of you puts a pair of socks on!
What Socks Should I Wear In Bed?
You could spend an absolute fortune on socks that are marketed and sold as ‘bed socks’ when all that really matters is that they’re clean and made from a good breathable fabric. Make sure you don’t keep on the same pair you’ve been wearing all day. We know it saves on the washing, but if your feet have been sweating in the same pair all day it’s really not hygienic. Treat yourself to a fresh pair that will smell a whole lot nicer and that will also reduce the risk of you getting an infection.
Socks that are good to wear in bed include:
- Cotton Socks – Cotton is a cheap option but has many of the benefits of the more expensive ones. It is breathable and moisture wicking, which will help to regulate your body temperature as you sleep.
- Cashmere Socks – Cashmere is eight times warmer than wool, soft, natural, and is made of thin fibres which allows less air to pass through. This makes it an excellent bed sock, however it comes at a price, a very hefty price!
- Merino Wool Socks – Merino wool is another natural material and comes with a midpoint price tag. It has thicker fibres than cashmere, so is arguably better for air flow and temperature control. It is also a good natural deodoriser, is moisture wicking and isn’t itchy.
So, Does Wearing Socks In Bed Help You Sleep Better?
Whether or not you wear socks in bed is down to personal preference, but as you can see from the reasons listed above, there are some benefits to wearing socks when you sleep. It’s worth bearing in mind, that whilst socks may help you sleep better in some instances, the quality of your sleep is affected by much more important factors such as having a regular sleep schedule, coming off of screens in plenty of time before trying to get to sleep, and making sure your sleep environment is cosy, noise free, dark, and is set to a comfortable temperature.