As strange as it may seem, sleeping with socks can help you fall asleep faster. Indeed, temperature regulation is an essential part of the sleep cycle.
Sleep is an essential part of everyone’s life. After all, man spends about a third of his day sleeping. Sleep is essential for the normal functioning of the brain and body.
Most people sometimes have trouble getting to sleep. One trick they may not have tried yet is to sleep with their socks on.
Read on to learn more about the benefits and risks of sleeping with socks.
Socks help you fall asleep
Studies suggest that wearing socks in bed can promote sleep. It may seem like wearing socks in bed causes your feet to overheat. But in reality, this habit could promote the regulation of the internal temperature of the body. A 2007 study showed that adults who wore normal or heated socks to bed fell asleep faster.
The average body temperature is 37 degrees (°C), but it varies in 24 hours. Warming the feet and hands causes the blood vessels to dilate, called vasodilation. This releases heat through the skin and helps lower core body temperature. This reaction sends the message to the brain that it is time to go to bed.
Research suggests that warm skin is associated with falling asleep faster.
Sleep and body temperature
A person’s core body temperature is influenced by their biological clock, also known as the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm controls the timing of sleep, which makes a person feel drowsy at night and awake in the morning. Body temperature gradually increases throughout the day, peaking in the late afternoon, when the person feels most awake and alert. The body temperature then decreases during the night, which gives a feeling of drowsiness. When a person begins to fall asleep, his body temperature drops by 1-2 degrees. This can be explained by the fact that the body saves energy for other functions.
If a person sleeps with their socks on, it can help regulate their temperature. Good body temperature regulation is also why it is generally suggested to keep bedrooms cool, between 16 and 19°C.
Other benefits of wearing socks in bed
Reduction of symptoms of Raynaud’s disease
Wearing socks while sleeping can help prevent symptoms of Raynaud’s disease. Frequently cold hands and feet can be a sign of Raynaud’s disease. Raynaud’s disease is a condition that affects the blood vessels in the skin. Seizures usually occur when a person is cold or under stress. During a seizure, blood flow to the hands and feet is reduced. Consequently, the fingers and toes begin to feel cold and numb. They can also change color and turn white or blue. People experiencing a Raynaud’s seizure for the first time should see a doctor. Wearing socks to bed can help reduce symptoms, as can staying warm throughout the day.
Prevent hot flashes
Many postmenopausal women experience hot flashes. The symptoms are as follows
a sudden feeling of intense heat that spreads throughout the body
The ability of socks to lower body temperature during the night can also help prevent hot flashes. This is because hot flashes are thought to be caused by hormonal fluctuations that affect the body’s temperature control.
According to a 2005 press article, a study showed that couples who wore socks to bed were more likely to have an orgasm during sex. The study reportedly looked at brain reactions during sex and found that cold feet put people off. However, the study cited in the report was small, as it involved only 13 couples.
Alternatives to socks in bed
A hot water bottle helps warm the feet and can provide similar benefits to wearing socks in bed.
People who shy away from wearing socks in bed can also try:
a warm foot bath before bedtime
to wear a pair of warm slippers before going to bed
sleep with a hot water bottle near your feet
sleep with a blanket at the foot of the bed
take a bath 1 or 2 hours before bedtime.
If you are using heated socks, it is important not to overheat them. If they are too hot, they can not only burn skin, but also pose a fire hazard.
Contrary to what is often said, wearing socks in bed is not unhygienic. However, it is important to choose a pair of socks that are not too tight, as this can reduce circulation. Avoid wearing compression socks in bed unless directed by your doctor.
Adults generally need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. A lack of sleep can have a negative impact on concentration, memory and mood. A chronic lack of sleep can also increase the risk of heart disease, depression and obesity. Temperature regulation is an important part of falling asleep. Wearing socks in bed increases blood flow to the feet and heat loss through the skin, which helps lower core body temperature. This allows the person to fall asleep faster. For similar reasons, wearing socks in bed may also help prevent seizures in people with Raynaud’s phenomenon and hot flashes in postmenopausal women.