Sleeping with Socks On: Good Or Bad?

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While you may not think of them as the most attractive things to wear to bed, you might have heard it suggested that there are times when you might want to consider wearing socks to bed, especially in the colder months. But if the thought of that makes you cringe at the idea of hot, sweaty (maybe even stinky) feet as a result, you might balk at the idea. So the question is, sleeping with socks, is it a good or bad idea?

The fact is that there are some good, science backed reasons (more about those in a minute) that you may indeed want to consider leaving your socks on when you go to bed in certain circumstances. And if you choose the right socks – probably not the ones you usually go to the gym in by the way – then that nasty sweaty socks scenario should not be a problem.

Here we are going to take a closer look at these issues, and more.

What Causes Cold Feet at Night in Bed?

Obviously, it’s to prevent cold feet that most people even think about wearing socks to bed. But cold feet are not always caused by a light comforter or the fact that the air temperature around your bed is chilly.

A lack of warmth in the body, poor circulation in the limbs, and nerve difficulties or damage are some of the most prevalent reasons for chilly feet.

Diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and neuropathy are all conditions that might induce cold foot symptoms. So if your feet are almost always cold at night, a visit to your doctor to rule out these and other conditions is a must.

However, if you are healthy, wintry temperatures can cause those cold feet. If you are not quite warm enough, your body will draw heat to the areas that need it most – your essential organs, and away from your feet, and sometimes your hands too. And this is often a problem that can indeed be solved by a good pair of bed socks.

Is It Better To Sleep With or Without Socks?

In the summer, probably the last thing most people would even want to do is smother their feet in socks. When things cool down, however, socks can help keep not just your feet but your whole body, at a better temperature.

This is not to say that being exceptionally warm is conducive to a good night’s sleep either – according to sleep experts, the ideal sleeping temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit to get the best night’s rest.

There are also some people who should keep their feet as unrestricted as possible when they are sleeping, and that is often people who are known to have issues with circulation to their extremities. Even though compression socks are recommended for use during the day to promote circulation by boosting blood flow, they are not intended for use at night.

When you lie down, compression socks pull blood away from your foot and may obstruct blood flow, and the same can be true for tight standard socks. If in doubt about wearing socks to bed and your health, check with your doctor before making a decision.

The Pros and Cons of Sleeping with Socks On

Like anything else, health issues aside, there are pros and cons to sleeping with your socks on. Here’s a look at some of the most important of those to consider:

The Pros of Sleeping with Socks On

Wearing Socks in Bed May Help You Fall Asleep Faster

Adults who wore either conventional or heated socks in bed slept better and fell asleep faster, according to a 2007 study. This is due to the fact that a person’s core body temperature dips throughout the night, reaching its lowest point about 4 a.m. The average body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (°F), however it fluctuates by 1 to 2 degrees during the time they are asleep, regardless of temperature around them.

Vasodilation occurs when blood vessels dilate as a result of warming the feet and hands. This helps to lower core body temperature by releasing heat through the skin. This sends a signal to the brain that it’s time to sleep, allowing you to do so more quickly.

Wearing Socks in Bed May Help with Hot Flashes

Hot flashes or flushes are common in women going through menopause. Socks’ capacity to lower core body temperature during the night may be beneficial in reducing hot flashes, as they are thought to be produced by hormonal changes that throw off the body’s natural temperature regulation abilities.

Sleeping in Socks May Prevent Reynaud’s Attacks

Raynaud’s Disease attacks occur when the skin’s affected parts, commonly the fingers and toes, lose circulation and begin to ache or swell. By wearing your socks to bed you may be able to prevent this by keeping your feet warm and the blood flowing. But, if you suspect you may suffer from Raynaud’s you should also talk to your doctor!

Cons of Sleeping With Socks On

Sleeping in Socks Can Make Your Feet Too Hot

The biggest con of sleeping in socks is that if they are too warm and cozy you could end up with the hot sweaty feet we mentioned earlier. This can raise your core body temperature above the ideal sleeping levels and keep you awake. The solution is to choose socks that are appropriate for bed (more on those soon).

What Kind of Socks Are Best To Wear For Sleep?

So, about those perfect for bed socks. What kind of socks are they? The best socks for bedtime, that will keep your feet warm, and your temperature regulated, are usually made from breathable, natural materials that will naturally keep you warm and even wick away moisture.

Some of the best options include all the following:

Cashmere Bed Socks

Cashmere is regarded as one of the most luxurious natural fibers. This is due to the fact that its fibers are smaller in diameter than those of Merino wool and cotton. As a result, there are fewer openings for air to move through, keeping your feet toasty while also  enabling air to move through their structure. As a result, you’ll be able to better manage your body temperature if you wear cashmere socks to bed.

Graham Cashmere Women's Pure Cashmere Bed Socks Size Blue Click here to see these cashmere socks on Amazon

Merino Wool Bed Socks

Wearing merino wool socks to bed is also a terrific idea. The fibers are dense enough to keep your feet warm while still providing enough air spaces to let them cool down when the temperature rises. Merino wool is also odor resistant and wicks sweat away, all while offering amazing comfort.

Pure Athlete Merino Wool Socks - Low Show Cushioned Athletic Padded Running Sock (3 Pairs - Black/Grey, Large) Click here to see these merino wool socks on Amazon

Cotton Bed Socks

Cashmere and merino wool are obviously to be avoided if you’re vegan or simply don’t like wearing animal products. Cotton socks have similar benefits, and you can be sure you’re just utilizing plant-based materials if you choose ones that are 100 percent cotton. Cotton, like merino wool, is an excellent material for wicking away moisture, regulating foot temperature, and ensuring breathability throughout the night.

FGZ Womens Thin Cotton Socks, Casual Soft Cotton Socks Women Above Ankle Crew Socks 5 Pairs (9-11, Multicolored) Click here to see these merino wool socks on Amazon

Is It Bad to Sleep With Shoes On?

Yes, sleeping with shoes on is never a good idea. Not only will they be too tight, hampering circulation in even those without circulation problems, they are also going to make your feet too hot. Not to mention the damage you could do to yourself – or a sleeping partner – if you accidentally kick yourself in your sleep while wearing shoes!

3 Ways to Fix Cold Feet In Bed (That Don’t Involve Socks)

Wearing socks in bed is the best, and easiest, way to fix cold feet in bed, but if you really hate the idea (it’s maybe not the best look for a romantic weekend) there are some other things you can try:

Wash Your Feet in Warm Water Before Bed

Heat travels 25 times faster through water than it does through air. Place your feet in warm water between 38 and 46 degrees Celsius before going to bed. Dry your feet once they’ve reached a comfortable temperature, and you should enjoy at least a few extra hours of warmer feet!

Use an Electric Blanket

An electric blanket can help keep your body at a warm, regulated temperature, and provided they are tucked under it, that will include your feet. 

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Make Sure You are Hydrated Before Bed

Drinking plenty of water is one of the simplest ways to boost blood circulation throughout your body and avoid cold feet. However, make sure you stick to plain water or tea, as caffeine at bedtime is a big no!

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