From a medical point of view, there are good reasons to sleep with your socks on and several other reasons why you shouldn’t. If you frequently wear yours to bed, why is that? Maybe you have not even considered why you do or don’t wear socks to sleep at night. In this article we will break down the reasons why you should or shouldn’t wear socks at night. 

Cold Feet Keeping You Awake

Restless nights are no fun for you neither are they all that enjoyable if you share your bed with a light sleeper. When your feet get cold, the blood vessels there are constricted.  As a consequence, blood flow to your feet is reduced. That means less blood is circulating and is why your feet are cold. You could remedy this in one of two ways. First, you could warm your feet (think of soaking them in hot water just before getting into bed) to send a signal to your brain that when you are horizontal it is time for sleep.  Secondly, you can just wear a comfy pair of socks.

4 Great Reasons To Sleep With Your Socks On 

Aside from helping you stay warm enough under the blankets to fall asleep, there are a few other good reasons why you should consider wearing socks to bed. Here are four of them:

1 – Hot Flash Prevention

For many menopausal women, wearing socks to bed is effective in cooling – not warming – their core body temperature. The effect is a reduction in the number of hot flashes experienced at night. If you are menopausal or have a significant other who is, you know how hot flashes will interrupt your sleep. Wearing socks could help ease some of that discomfort. 

2 – A Remedy For Cracked Heels

After you add a moisturizer to the skin on your heels, wearing cotton socks to bed will help heal those heels. The cotton socks will protect the heels from drying out because the socks hold the moisture on your skin.

3 – Orgasms, Apparently

The BBC claims that during an unrelated experiment, researchers discovered that wearing socks to bed enhanced something else. The study results showed that participants who were wearing socks in bed were 30-percent more likely to achieve an orgasm. Wonder what the original study topic was?

4 – A Reduction in Raynaud’s Disease Attacks

Raynaud’s targets specific areas of skin, typically the toes and fingers which experience a decrease in circulation, as well as some swelling or throbbing. Wearing socks at night in bed, the feet are kept warm and blood stays in higher circulation which may prevent an attack.

What Kind of Socks Should You Wear To Sleep?

If you choose to wear socks to bed at night, the softer, the better. Natural soft fibers such as cashmere or merino wool are the best choices. Be sure to find a pair that does not fit too tightly because that can defeat the purpose. Tight socks can reduce circulation in your feet which prevents them from staying warm and toasty. You want to take good care of your feet. 

What Kind of Socks Should You Not Wear To Sleep?

Unless your doctor has prescribed it, do not wear compression socks at night. Although the concept behind compression socks is to enhance blood circulation, they are not intended to be worn for that purpose to bed. Compression socks move blood flow away from your feet but when you are in a horizontal position, they may block blood flow.

Children/Infants – Can They Sleep With Socks On?

Yes, they can but only if electric blankets and heat socks are not used. To encourage a good night’s sleep, a nice warm bath can be added to the regular bedtime routine followed by dressing those little feet in pre-warmed socks. However, you should carefully monitor your child and if he or she starts to show signs of overheating, sweating, flushed cheeks or crying and fidgeting, remove all additional layers of clothing and bedding.

How Else Can You Keep Your Feet Warm At Bedtime?

It has been mentioned here already but bears repeating: a hot bath, or just a hot foot bath, will increase your body temperature and assist you in more easily falling asleep. The best thing about a warm bath is that you can do this nightly without a doctor’s prescription. There is no fee and the benefits are pretty much the same as the side effects – a hot bath will make you warm. However, if your feet are cold all the time, it could be the result of something a little more serious. To be sure, consult with your medical professional regarding circulatory issues, especially if you have a chronic disease like diabetes. 

What If You Prefer To Not Wear Socks To Bed At Night? 

That’s perfectly fine. If you live in a warmer climate or just don’t feel comfortable with socks on your feet in bed, then don’t wear them. If you have trouble falling asleep because you are too warm, the last thing you need is socks adding to the equation. Try sleeping with just a sheet on the bed and an overhead fan. Open a window to assist with air circulation which will cool both your bedroom and you. The same tricks apply for that warm body lying next to you in bed.

In Conclusion 

If you have difficulty falling asleep at night, warm feet can be a great help. That’s because when your feet are warm, the rest of your body also warms up. You could warm your feet in many different ways with the most common method involving either hot water in a bathtub or foot bath or a nice, warm pair of soft socks. 

If your feet continue to be cold after the rest of your body has warmed up, it could be a sign of a much more serious condition. Be sure to see your doctor about a possible issue with poor circulation. However, to answer the original question, should you sleep in your socks or not? The answer is yes-unless you have a condition that may cause complications from heating the rest of your body by having warm feet. 

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Should You Sleep In Your Socks Or Not?," in Medicalopedia, March 28, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/8577/should-you-sleep-in-your-socks-or-not/].