Whether to wear socks to bed is an age-old debate. In the classic movie Bull Durham, Susan Sarandon instructed Tim Robbins to remove his socks before they got in bed. Comparing him to an All-Star major league pitcher, she asked, “Do you think Dwight Gooden leaves his socks on?”
It seems a little far-fetched to say that sleeping in socks will prevent you from making it to Yankee Stadium. Even if that were true, there are a number of very good reasons to wear socks to bed.
A Better Night’s Sleep
Do you have trouble sleeping? Those bare feet might possibly be the culprit.
First off, your brain needs to know it’s time to slow down and prepare to hibernate. The National Sleep Foundation reports that warming your feet will help the brain get the message.
When cold, your feet constrict the blood vessels and less blood will circulate. As you might suspect, the most effective way to keep your feet from getting cold during the night is by wearing socks.
Improved sleep is the most prominent reason why wearing socks to bed is a good idea. But there are a number of other benefits as well.
Keeping your feet warm by wearing socks also carries these benefits:
- Preventing hot flashes. Oh, those torturous spikes in temperature that cause a woman to hurl all the bed linens into the next ZIP code. Wearing socks helps some women keep their core body temperature cooler.
- Improve cracked heels. You’re probably already using lotion or some other moisturizer to help dry skin on the feet. Wearing cotton socks can help after you rub the feet down.
- Better sex. The BBC reported that researchers found that wearing socks increased participants’ ability to achieve an orgasm by 30 percent. And they discovered this completely by accident.
- Fight Raynaud’s disease. Are your hands and feed cold all the time? You may suffer from Raynaud’s disease. Raynaud’s is a condition that affects the blood vessels in the skin. Feeling cold or under stress are when attacks typically occur. Blood flow is reduced during an attack, mostly to the hands and feet. As a result, the fingers and toes start to feel cold and numb, and possibly throb and swell. They may also change color to white or blue. Wearing socks can keep your feet warm and reduce the symptoms of Raynaud’s. Speak to a doctor the first time you have a Raynaud’s attack.
If, after seeing all this, you still don’t like the idea of going to bed with socks on, you do have some options.
- Before bed, bathe your feet in warm water.
- Wear a warm pair of slippers the last hour before bedtime.
- Sleep with a hot water bottle near the feet (but not too hot, lest you burn your feet).
- Put a blanket over your feet (an electric blanket should not be necessary).
- Take a bath 1-2 hours before bedtime.
Heated socks should be kept at a moderate temperature to avoid overheating, prevent skin burns, and avoid any risk of fire. Compression socks reduce circulation, so avoid those unless directed to by your doctor.
Despite what you may have heard, wearing socks in bed is not poor hygiene. Keep in mind that blood circulation is important to keep your feet warm. So stay away from tight socks. And of course, you don’t want to wear the same pair of socks for days on end.
So go ahead and put on those comfy socks before retiring for the night. Your body will appreciate it.