We all have our own preferences and a worldwide divide is formed between people who sleep with their socks on and those who are strictly bare-footed when it comes to night time! The public could argue until they’re blue in the face about this lifestyle choice, but the final decision always boils down to personal preference – until now.
There are in fact scientific side effects to wearing your socks to bed, which may be the reason behind many people opting for socks when sleeping as opposed to enjoying the way they feel.
For years, we may have been unable to understand why some would restrict themselves to wearing socks to bed until scientific research provided the true benefits behind wearing your socks to bed – it may shock you!
The Trick to a Better Night’s Sleep
Ever heard of ‘thermoregulation’? If you skipped that science lesson in school, thermoregulation is essentially the way in which humans regulate their own temperature. It is how we stay warm when it is freezing weather and how we naturally cool ourselves down in the blazing sun - it’s one of the many wonderful things that our bodies can do.
As humans, our bodies need to stay at around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit to be healthy, regardless of temperature and surroundings. Thermoregulation works to maintain this temperature and keep our bodies happy.
So, what has this got to do with wearing socks to bed? Well, your feet and hands are actually essential to thermoregulation and the environment in which they are in has a direct effect on your regulated body temperature when sleeping.This means that when you wear socks, you are influencing your thermoregulation which could be the secret behind a better night’s sleep.
If you regularly struggle from hot flushes or night sweats, wearing socks could be the surprising yet effective solution to your sleeping problems. Keeping your socks on throughout the night can provide the essential warmth to your feet needed to maintain a healthy temperature control throughout the night.
Furthermore, the National Sleep Foundation says wearing socks in bed is a simple way of telling your brain it is time for rest. Science dictates that cold feet have poorer blood circulation than warm feet, meaning less heat loss through the skin and possibly a higher core body temperature. Therefore, pulling on a pair of sleep socks for adults will improve blood flow, regulate overall temperature and help your body relax before sleep.
Pampering Those Feet
As well as this, socks can protect the moisture in your feet to prevent dry skin and cracking – a little pampering for your toes and heels during the night which your skin will thank you for throughout the day.
This may mean that those who sleep with their socks on have healthier and smoother feet – sock sleeping may not be so strange after all! If you suffer from dry skin, sock-sleeping might be the answer to all your worries.
However, it is advised that night-time sock-wearers change their socks prior to sleep and ensure that their feet are completely dry before wearing, to prevent bacteria build up and keep things clean and beneficial. With the right pair of socks and cleanliness, you could be doing the world of good for your feet and skin as you sleep, how effortless!
But, Won’t it Get Too Warm?
Of course, there are some disadvantages of wearing socks while sleeping, the most evident being overheating. However, a breathable cotton pair should help wick away sweat and help this, or you could simply kick them off after a few hours!
And, of course, there is the dreaded idea that you’ll have more washing to do. However, I’d take a better night’s sleep over a bit of washing any day.
There are also a number of old wives’ tales and sleeping with socks on superstition. For example, some people believe sleeping in socks will cause them to have nightmares or wearing wet wool socks will cure a fever. However, there is no scientific evidence that these are little more than myths.
Are You A Fan of Sleeping in Socks?
There you have it, a settled debate after a long time of deeming people who sleep in their socks as ‘strange’, ‘bizarre’ or any other weird-related insult you can think of! Hopefully, I have settled the unanswered question of exactly why people choose to sleep with their socks on and perhaps even convinced some of you to change your sleeping habits in hope for a better night’s sleep.