what does wearing socks to bed do?
Questions And Answers

Is Wearing Socks To Bed Good or Bad for Your Feet?

Last Updated on October 1, 2023 by Louise Carter

Research suggests that wearing socks to bed helps people fall asleep faster and remain that way.

Wearing breathable socks in bed moderates your core temperature, resulting in prolonged sleep. If you have a partner, wearing socks improves things for them because cold feet lead to sleep disturbances.

Socks can prevent the spread of foot fungus, like athlete’s foot and toenail fungus. If you’ve applied cream to your feet for a medical condition, wearing socks will aid absorption.

Avoid restricting foot circulation by wearing loose-fitting socks you can remove if you get too hot.

Is Wearing Socks To Bed Good for You?

Wearing socks in bed has advantages, especially if you’re prone to feeling the cold at night. For some people, getting into bed with bare feet is unthinkable.

Let’s review the beneficial changes that wearing socks to bed can introduce:

Fall Asleep Sooner

It’s advisable to keep a bedroom cool, even if you dislike the feeling of cold air. Circadian rhythms govern the human body, and our temperature drops when preparing to sleep.

If you struggle to get comfortable in a cool climate, it may affect your ability to sleep. You’ll likely feel particularly uncomfortable around the feet, especially the toes.

When the ambient temperature drops, the body works harder to produce heat in the upper body to maintain circulation to our vital organs.

Wearing socks at night can go some way toward regulating your body temperature. The warmth of socks promotes blood flow to the feet, a process called distal vasodilation.

When your feet are warm, focus on retaining heat for the rest of the body with a duvet or blankets. This will help the mind and body to relax, enabling you to fall asleep sooner.

side effects of wearing socks while sleeping

Reduced Temperature Fluctuations

When you first get into bed, regulating your body temperature will help you fall asleep.

Keeping your temperature consistent will ensure you remain asleep, which is just as important. If you experience temperature fluctuations, socks can be beneficial.

Temperature variations have many explanations. A woman experiencing menopause may have hot flushes at night, while somebody with a respiratory infection may shiver.

You’ll likely grow uncomfortable and wake up if your body temperature changes. Once this happens, it can be hard to fall asleep again if you’re overly hot or cold.

Raynaud Syndrome Protection

According to Techniques in Vascular and Interventional Radiology, up to 5% of the population has Raynaud syndrome, which impacts the blood vessels in the skin.

If you have Raynaud syndrome, you’ll sometimes experience cold extremities, so the fingers and toes feel numb because blood flow isn’t fully reaching these body parts.

Wearing socks in bed, especially those pre-heated on a radiator, can alleviate the effects of Raynaud’s.

Foot Treatment

If you apply creams and lotions to keep the feet healthy, wearing socks assists with absorption. This approach will assist anybody who moisturizes dry heels and treats foot and nail concerns.

Wear loose-fitting cotton socks to maximize the benefits. Of course, wearing socks will also keep the bedsheets free of creams and lotions, which can lead to discoloration.

Cross-Contamination

Wearing socks may keep fungal infections contained. If you share a bed with a partner, athlete’s foot and toenail fungus can be spread through shared bedsheets.

Better Love Life

Studies on the brain have found that women, in particular, struggle to achieve orgasm when uncomfortable, often faking a climax.

When this was researched further, many women cited cold feet as why they couldn’t orgasm during intercourse. Low temperatures and feelings of discomfort were the main reasons why.

Wearing socks may resolve this issue, improving a couple’s interpersonal dynamics during waking hours.

As discussed in Social Psychological and Personality Science, many couples avoid discussing dissatisfaction during intimacy due to fear of causing anxiety and hurt feelings.

Why Socks Shouldn’t Be Worn While Sleeping

There are disadvantages to wearing socks while sleeping, including the following:

Poor Blood Circulation

The main problem with wearing socks in bed is reduced circulation. If you wear tight-fitting socks that close around the ankle, you risk a lack of oxygenated blood reaching the feet.

Don’t wear compression socks unless instructed by a doctor because these will cause issues with circulation. Ideally, bedtime socks should be loose-fitting, perhaps bigger than you usually wear.

If you wear compression socks or other footwear that slow blood flow to the feet, elevate the legs while you sleep because this will improve your chances of sleeping well.

Foot Hygiene Problems

We discussed how sleeping with socks on can prevent spreading fungal infections to partners.

Unfortunately, constricting the feet and wearing unbreathable socks can result in poor personal hygiene. Sweating leads to the spread of fungus and bacteria, leading to smelly feet.

Wash your feet and change into clean socks before bed. You’ll sweat overnight, meaning your socks won’t be fresh by the time you wake up. However, bamboo sheets can wick up excess moisture.

why socks should not be worn while sleeping

Physical Discomfort

Some people find socks restrictive and uncomfortable. If you prefer to go barefoot, removing your socks at the end of the day can feel as liberating as a woman removing her bra for sleep.

If you’re uncomfortable wearing socks in bed but still get cold feet, alternative ways exist to warm your extremities. Possible options include the following:

  • Have a hot shower before bed and wash your feet.
  • Using a foot spa or massaging the feet before bed.
  • Applying a direct heat source, like a hairdryer, to the feet.
  • Placing a blanket at the bottom of the bed.

Alternatively, sleep with a hot water bottle beneath your feet. If you want to avoid the risk of water leaks or fear you’ll overheat, consider wearing rice socks. To create rice socks:

  1. Take a pair of oversized, non-flammable, baggy socks.
  2. Pour 3 cups of raw rice into each sock.
  3. Apply a sturdy elastic band to the top of each sock to keep the rice in place.
  4. Microwave the socks for 1-2 minutes.

Place the rice socks by your feet in bed as warming agents, receiving all the benefits of wearing socks without the adverse effects.

What Socks Are Appropriate for Sleeping?

Wear soft, natural fibers like cotton, merino wool, or bamboo to allow the feet to breathe more easily.

Wear socks that provide ample space, ideally allowing you to remove them without getting out of bed. If your socks are easy to slip off, you can remove them if you overheat.

If you follow basic guidelines and avoid wearing circulation-suppressing footwear, you’ll enjoy superior comfort and benefit from sleeping in socks, including falling asleep sooner and for longer.