Does Sleeping with Socks On Improve Your Sleep? Here’s What the Research Says

Today, we’re tackling a bedtime ritual that’s as divisive as pineapple on pizza: sleeping with socks on. We all know someone who swears by it and someone who scoffs at it.

So, what’s the deal? Will slipping on socks before bed really improve your sleep? Today we’re digging into the science to find out

A study titled “ Effects of feet warming using bed socks on sleep quality and thermoregulatory responses in a cool environment”…. measured two groups of subjects, one group that wore socks to bed and another group that didn’t.

During  7-h sleep sessions at an air temperature of 23 °C , 72F with 50% Relative humidity the researches measured: sleep-onset latency, sleep efficiency, total sleep time, number of awakenings, wake after sleep onset, average awakening length, movement index, Heart rate and body temperatures.  

After the subjects woke up they were given a questionnaire on their sleep.

The results showed that sleep-onset latency was on average 7.5 min shorter, total sleep time was 32 min longer, the number of awakenings was 7.5 times smaller, and sleep efficiency was 7.6% higher for those wearing feet-warming bed socks during the 7-h sleep sessions vs  the control group who wore no bed socks. 

The researchers concluded that feet warming using bed socks during sleep in a cool environment had positive effects on sleep quality by shortened sleep onset, lengthened sleep time, and lessened awakenings during sleep but had no significant influence on core body temperature. 

I dug into this a little deeper for you to understand WHY this happens…An article published by the Cleveland Clinic titled, “Can Wearing Socks to Bed Help You Sleep Better?

Explains that…

Your body naturally works to lower your core temperature at night to help you sleep. This happens as part of your circadian rhythm.

But if your feet are too cold, your core temperature may actually click up a notch or two, says Dr. Drerup. That’s because your body is sending more blood flow — and the heat that comes with it — to your core areas.

Socks warm your feet, relaxing and widening blood vessels that constrict while cold.

This improved blood circulation in your overall body helps release more heat through your skin.

“By making your feet warmer, you’re opening up blood vessels to help cool down the rest of the body,” notes Dr. Drerup. “So increasing the blood circulation to your feet results in a lower core temperature. It seems counterintuitive, but that’s what happens.”

So, to sock or not to sock? The answer, like most things in life, is…it depends. If you sleep in a cold room or you just came in from being outside in frigid temperatures and your feet are cold when you got to bed, the research shows it helps.

Key here is to experiment, find what feels good for you, and prioritize comfort above all else. Remember, a good night’s sleep is the ultimate productivity hack, so do what puts you out like a light – even if it involves some funky foot warmers.

Your move

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