Keeping warm is essential for a good night's sleep when the cold weather sets in, but should you wear socks to bed? Strange as it may sound, if you've never thought about it, sleeping in socks can actually promote better sleep. Wearing socks in bed can help with hot flushes, improve dry feet, and even relieve sleep apnea. Some people absolutely love wearing socks to bed, whilst others can’t even bear the thought of it.
Given the position of our feet in relation to the rest of our bodies, at the extremities, when it’s cold during the winter, your feet can get cold if not covered. It seems perfectly natural then, if you suffer from cold feet, or you fear cold feet, to want to wear socks to bed to ensure you don’t fall foul of this awful condition. Well ok it’s not exactly an awful condition, but it’s still something you’ll probably want to avoid if possible.
Wearing socks to bed promotes positive blood flow throughout the body and to the feet. With good circulation your body is able to function as it should, your core temperature more readily drops, and that’s a precursor to sleep. And that’s reason number one for wearing socks to bed – they can actually help you to fall asleep faster. We bet your mind is already blown.
Reynaud’s phenomenon is a condition whereby primarily your fingers and toes turn white and experience a numb sensation in response to the cold. Naturally it’s our extremities that lose heat quicker when exposed to the cold, and this can be exacerbated with poor blood flow. Whilst typically not a very serious condition, it is a condition that creates discomfort, and it’s a condition that affects many people. In fact it’s estimated to affect as much as 20% of the population. Wearing socks generally, but also in bed is a very easy step you can take if you happen to be one of the 2 in 10 people in the UK that suffer from it.
Sleep can also be hard to obtain for women going through menopause. Hot flushes are a reaction to hormonal changes, but wearing socks in bed will avoid them. You cause a mechanism called vasodilation by keeping your feet warm by wearing socks. This is where blood vessels dilate, allowing you to cool down faster and sleep more quickly.
Our skin can often become dry and scaly when the weather changes and becomes cooler with the approach of winter. Wearing socks in bed can help to keep your feet moisturised and protected during the winter months.
Sleep apnea is a condition when your breathing is intermittent while you sleep, that is, your breathing stops and starts. Loud snoring, waking a lot during the night, snorting and gasping during the night are all potential clues that you may be someone who suffers from this condition. It is a condition that has many potential causes, but in adults it is quite often linked with being overweight or obese. Socks and in particular compression stockings used in the treatment of varicose veins can reduce the pre-conditions that bring about sleep apnea.
To ensure you don’t sacrifice foot hygiene make sure to wash and dry your feet before bed. Make sure to wear clean socks to bed, and make sure to opt for socks that are made of natural fibres so the air can circulate around your foot.
If you have a condition that affects the feet, especially a condition such as a bacterial or fungal infection like athlete’s foot, make sure to consult your doctor before you seriously consider wearing socks in bed. Presuming that’s not a barrier to wearing socks in bed for you, even if keeping warm is not your end goal, wearing socks to bed can play an important role in foot and overall health.
If you’re still not sold on the idea of wearing socks to bed, but you still want to keep your feet warm, there are other strategies and tactics to consider, such as adding an extra layer of bed linen, using a hot water bottle, or opting for an electric blanket or perhaps a memory foam mattress.