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Wearing socks to bed can improve your sleep

Posted on March 21st, 2022

Whether or not you wear socks to bed may seem like an insignificant detail. But research shows that wearing socks to bed can significantly improve your sleep quality.  

Anecdotally, many people claim to sleep better when they wear socks. But now, research backs up these claims. 

Here’s how sleeping with socks on can improve your sleep 

Studies show that wearing socks to bed helps people fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up fewer times throughout the night. 

In one study, participants who wore socks to bed fell asleep seven and a half minutes sooner, stayed asleep for thirty-two minutes longer, and woke up seven and a half fewer times than those who did not wear socks to bed. 

Other studies found similar results. Taking a warm foot bath before bed also enhanced sleep quality, especially among people with insomnia. 

More research still needs to be done about bedtime sock-wearing. But so far, the relationship between warming a person’s feet before bedtime and sleep quality appears to be positively correlated. 

The relationship between sleep quality and body temperature 

Circadian rhythms govern a person’s sleep-wake cycle and core body temperature over twenty-four-hour periods. And these two circadian rhythms affect each other. One of the signs letting the body know it’s time for sleep is a drop in core body temperature.

Core body temperature shouldn’t be confused with skin temperature, however. Core body temperature refers to the temperature of your internal organs, whereas skin temperature refers to the temperature of your body’s outermost surface. Increasing your skin temperature actually decreases your core body temperature. 

When you warm your skin, the blood vessels near the skin’s surface expand. This causes heat to escape from your body’s core and move to your skin. 

This is the reason why wearing socks to bed helps you fall asleep. You decrease your core body temperature when you warm your feet either by wearing socks or taking a foot bath. And this signals to the brain that it’s time to sleep. 

People with cold feet often take longer to fall asleep. If you’re one of those people, try wearing socks to bed or taking a warm foot bath just before bedtime. 

Of course, wearing socks to bed isn’t a cure-all for insomnia or other sleep disturbances. If you regularly have trouble falling asleep or believe you might have a sleep disorder, talk to a healthcare professional. Arranging a sleep study may help. 

Dr. Meghna Dassani has practiced dentistry for over two decades and is passionate about the role dentists play in whole-body health. You can learn more at her website: MeghnaDassani.com

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