what does wearing socks to bed do?
Questions And Answers

What Happens To Your Body If You Sleep Wearing Socks?

What you choose to wear in bed, assuming you wear anything at all, is a matter of personal preference and comfort. It’s advisable to consider nocturnal footwear when choosing your bed attire. There’s a big difference between sleeping with and without socks on.

Wearing socks to bed balances your body temperature, helping you fall asleep faster. Socks in bed also prevent spreading fungal or bacterial infections in the feet. Avoid restricting circulation by wearing tight-fitting socks in bed, and choose footwear you can remove if you overheat.

Chosen well and worn appropriately, socks can be an invaluable part of your bedtime attire. If you feel the cold, there’s plenty to like about sleeping in socks.

Is Wearing Socks to Bed Good for You?

There are undeniably some advantages to wearing socks in bed, especially if you’re prone to feeling the cold after dark. For many people, the very idea of climbing into bed with bare feet is unthinkable.

Let’s review the helpful changes that footwear in bed can bring about:

Falling Asleep Faster

It’s always advisable to keep a bedroom cool, even if you dislike the feeling of cold air.

Circadian rhythms govern the human body, and our temperature instinctively drops a degree or two when preparing to sleep.

If you struggle to get comfortable in a cool climate, it may reduce your ability to sleep. You’ll likely feel particularly uncomfortable around the feet. When the ambient temperature drops, the body works harder to produce heat in the upper body to keep circulation pumping around essential organs.

Wearing socks in bed can go some way to regulating your temperature. The warmth provided by socks encourages blood to flow to the feet, a process known as distal vasodilation.

When your feet are warm, you can focus on retaining heat for the rest of your body through a duvet or blankets. This feeling of comfort and contentment will encourage the mind and body to relax, helping you fall asleep quickly.

side effects of wearing socks while sleeping

Reduction of Temperature Fluctuations

Regulating your body temperature when you first get into bed will help you fall asleep. Keeping it consistent will ensure that you remain asleep, which is just as important. If you experience temperature fluctuations, socks in bed can be of assistance.

Temperature variations come in a variety of forms, with various explanations. A woman undergoing menopause may have hot flushes throughout the night, while somebody with an upper respiratory infection may be prone to shivering and growing cold.

If your body is shifting temperature, you’ll likely grow uncomfortable and wake up. Once this happens, it can be hard to fall asleep again if you’re feeling excessively hot or cold.

Protection from Raynaud Syndrome

According to Techniques in Vascular and Interventional Radiology, up to 5% of the global population live with Raynaud syndrome, a condition that impacts the blood vessels found in the skin. The hands and feet are most affected by Raynaud’s.

If you have Raynaud syndrome, you’ll sporadically experience very cold extremities, to the point that fingers and toes turn blue and feel numb. This is because blood flow is not reaching these body parts during an attack of Raynaud’s.

Wearing socks in bed, especially those pre-heated on a radiator, counterbalances the effect of Raynaud’s. You’re likely to sleep through an attack and not experience any break in your slumber.

Foot Health

If you apply creams and lotions to keep your feet healthy, wearing socks in bed can trap them in. This approach will help anybody that moisturizes dry heels and other common remedies for pedicular concerns. Wear loose-fitting cotton socks for maximum impact.

Of course, wearing socks will also keep your bedsheets clean of any creams or lotions. What’s more, socks in bed will keep any fungal or bacterial infections to yourself. For example, athlete’s foot can be spread via bedsheets if you share a bed.

Wearing socks to bed will keep the infection within the clothing until you have time to wash the sock with disinfectant. It won’t resolve the problem, but it’ll at least keep transmission under control.  

Improved Sex Life And Communication

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 enjoy an orgasm during intercourse. Low temperatures and the feelings of discomfort they provoke were too distracting.

Wearing socks will resolve this issue and, in turn, allow somebody to give themselves over to a moment of intimacy. By extension, this could also improve a couple’s interpersonal dynamics during waking hours.

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

Why Socks Shouldn’t Be Worn While Sleeping

Despite the benefits of wearing socks in bed, there are also disadvantages to wearing socks while sleeping. If you plan to keep footwear in bed, you should be aware of the disadvantages.

Reduced Blood Circulation

The most significant hazard to wearing socks in bed is reduced circulation around the body. If you wear tight-fitting socks that close around the ankle, you risk a lack of blood and oxygen reaching your feet.

Never wear compression socks unless instructed by a doctor, as these will cause significant issues with circulation. Ideally, your bedtime socks should be loose-fitting – maybe even a little bigger than you would usually wear.

If you’re wearing compression socks, or any other footwear that slows blood flow to the feet, elevate your legs while you sleep, as this will bolster your chances of enjoying a peaceful and prolonged night of sleep.

Hygiene

We previously mentioned how sleeping with your socks on can help prevent infection that starts in the feet. While this is true, keeping bacteria trapped inside a sock is not always a good thing, especially if this sock will then be placed under a blanket.

Avoid taking the same socks that you’ve worn all day into bed with you. You wouldn’t wear shoes or boots in bed for fear of bringing germs into the sheets. Alas, your socks can be just as much of a breeding ground for bacteria.

Where possible, wash your feet and change into clean socks before you get into bed. At the very least, put on clean and dry footwear, which is then washed in the morning.

You’ll sweat overnight, meaning that your socks will not be fresh by the time you wake up.

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.

Thankfully, if you’re not comfortable with the idea of wearing socks in bed but still get cold feet, there are plenty of alternative ways to warm your extremities. Options include:

  • Taking a hot shower before bed, being sure to wash your feet thoroughly
  • Enjoying a hot bath around an hour before bed
  • Using a foot spa or massaging the feet immediately before bed
  • Applying a direct heat source, such as a hairdryer, to the feet before bed
  • Placing a blanket at the bottom of the bed

Alternatively, you could sleep with a hot water bottle beneath or between your feet. If you don’t wish to risk water leaks from a hot water bottle or feel that you would overheat with such an accessory, consider ‘rice socks’ instead.

To create rice socks:

  • Take a pair of oversized, baggy socks – ideally ones that you will not wear on your feet
  • Check that the material isn’t flammable, for reasons that will soon become clear
  • Pour three cups of raw rice into each sock
  • Apply a tough and sturdy elastic band to the top of each sock, keeping the rice in place
  • Microwave the socks for one or two minutes

You can then place the rice socks by your feet in bed as warming agents, receiving all the benefits of wearing socks in bed without any of the unwelcome side effects.

What Socks are Appropriate for Sleeping?

If you want to wear socks in bed, you shouldn’t just wear the first pair in your drawer. It’s potentially advisable to change into a fresh set of socks before climbing into bed.

Wherever possible, wear soft and natural fibers such as cashmere or wool. This may seem like a luxurious approach to wearing socks in bed, but these materials will allow the feet to breathe.

Wear socks that allow plenty of space, too, ideally allowing you to remove them without getting out of bed. If your socks are easy to slip off, you can immediately remove them if you start to overheat at night.

It’s a matter of personal choice whether you’re willing to wear socks in bed. Some people find it relaxing to do so, while others overheat in a matter of moments. As long as you follow basic safety guidelines and avoid footwear that suppresses circulation, you’ll enjoy greater comfort from sleeping in socks.