Everyone at least one time in the winter has experienced their feet are so cold that they have never got warm again. The first thing which crosses to mind in such a situation is wearing socks. Wearing socks before going to sleep has its advocates and opponents. Some people point some scientific reasons for sleeping with socks on while others are reluctant to wear them. This article tries to answer this question: is it good to sleep with socks on?
The Benefits of Sleeping with Socks On
Human beings, like other warm-blooded animals, regulate their body temperature around 37 ⸰C. However, the body temperature doesn’t stay steady all day long and varies during the day. For example, the body temperature falls when we sleep and rises when we wake up. It means that getting too cold or too hot during sleeping may interrupt sleep or even wake you up. The first idea to cope with cold feet in winter is wearing socks.
There are some scientific reasons behind the benefits of keeping feet warm in bed. When our feet are cold, the blood vessels get contracted; thereby, the blood volume circulated in that organ is reduced. However, when you warm your feet, the bloodstream increases, which is a sign for the brain that it is bedtime. In general, the benefits of wearing socks to sleep is as follow:
Fall Asleep Faster
As mentioned above, our body temperature decreases at night and makes the person feels sleepy. However, after we fall asleep, our body temperature should maintain constant; thus, the body feels relaxed. Thereby, when we wear socks (especially in winter), the vessels in our feet don’t contract; the blood flow increases in that organ. Thus, our body can regulate the temperature more effectively while sleeping. All these events together cause a person to fall asleep sooner and experience deeper sleep. Wearing socks to sleep can be specifically beneficial for seniors who have sleep disorders.
Decrease Hot Flashes
All women experience menopause in their lives. The symptoms of menopause vary from one woman to another, but one of the most common symptoms is hot flashes. A hot flash can occur during night and day, but it would be so annoying during bedtime since it prevents falling asleep. Some studies claim that sleeping with socks on can reduces the occurrence of hot flashes in seniors. Wearing socks helps to cool the core body temperature and maintain it steady, thereby reduces hot flashes.
Maintain the Natural Skin Moisture and Avoid Skin Cracks
Different reasons may cause appearing cracks on the skin of your heels. No matter the reason, one of the benefits of wearing socks to sleep is maintaining the natural moisture of your feet. It is especially important for seniors since as we age, our skin becomes drier. Wearing socks can act as a barrier against losing excessive moisture from the skin.
Reduce the Risk of Raynaud’s Symptoms
Raynaud’s syndrome is a disease that involves vasospasm of vessels. In this phenomenon, the bloodstream circulation in the small vessels in the toes, fingers, etc., is interrupted for several reasons, including cold or stress. The typical symptom of this phenomenon is changing the colour of skin in those areas. The easiest way to avoid such a problem is to keep yourself warmer. As a consequence, sleeping with socks on in winter can effectively prevent such a problem.
Cons of Sleeping with Socks On
Although the pros of sleeping with socks outdo its cons, it has some drawbacks too.
Reduced Blood Circulation
Choosing too tight socks may harm blood circulation. On the other hand, inappropriate socks not only don’t improve blood flow but also impair it. Tight socks may pressure small vessels and prevent proper blood flow. In general, any tight piece of cloth may interrupt the bloodstream in our body. So, the answer to the question “is it bad to sleep with a bra on” may be the same because the bra can also stop blood circulation during sleep.
One of the drawbacks of sleeping with socks on is overheating. It will probably occur if you choose unbreathable or thick socks. In unbreathable or thick socks, the air trap between fabrics and heat can’t flow out, so you may feel it overheat and uncomfortable.
Infection or Poor Hygiene
Note that use clean socks before bedtime. Dirty socks or those with unbreathable fabrics may increase the risk of infection. Some of the best materials for socks are as below:
Best Socks for Sleeping
The best socks should be loose enough to allow normal blood circulation. Choose socks with fabrics that don’t maintain moisture since it can be led to bacterial or mould growth and poor hygiene. In general, natural fabrics like cotton are better than synthetic ones. Some examples of natural fabric are:
- Natural wool (like cashmere or merino)
Sleep is one of the essential parts of human living, and its quality is quite essential to feel fresh during the day. Numerous factors influence quality and quantity in seniors Sleep. This article discusses the effect of wearing socks on sleeping quality and reviews the pros and cons of sleeping.
Use this article only as educational material. You must consult your doctor and/or specialist prior to using it. Read more about this disclaimer.