Do you have trouble dozing off at night? It could be what you’re not wearing to bed. Socks, everyone. For some reason there’s a stigma attached to wearing socks to bed, with many people considering it a contemptuous violation of bedroom culture.
They may not be considered the cutest bedtime accessory or an aphrodisiac, but for some socks make everything cozier. I’m one of those people who gets cold feet at nighttime during the winter months. So, sometimes I wear socks to bed. Clean ones, not crusty ones worn all day. I just can’t sleep with cold feet.
I know others who do it as part of their beauty routine, moisturizing and sealing their feet with a sock kiss. As it turns out, sleeping with socks on can be good for your sleep routine. A study conducted by researchers at the Sleep Laboratory in Basel, Switzerland looked at the relationship between hand and foot temperatures and how rapidly people drift off.
A group of healthy young men were put to the test, and each dozed off quickly once their extremities were warmed. When the blood vessels dilate – called vasodilation – in the hands and feet, that heat gets redistributed to the rest of the body. The Swiss study showed that this vasodilation to the tootsies and hands helped people to fall asleep within a short amount of time. You cool down faster.
Because the core temperature of the body cools down when the feet and hands warm up, the body starts to go into its bedtime lull. Along with the blood pressure dropping, the brain receives messages from the body to prepare for sleep. It’s also possible the sleep hormone melatonin increases production. Long story short: warm feet can keep your sheep counts low when you hit the pillow.
It’s not just socks that will do the trick for warm feet. If you’re one of those people who have an aversion to the thought of socks in the sheets, you can try some of these suggestions from the National Sleep Foundation:
- Place a hot water bottle or heating pad between the feet before you go to sleep.
- Put extra blankets on the foot of the bed on top your comforter.
- Get luxe and buy a pair of cashmere socks for sleeping.
- Warm up in some slippers before getting in the bed.
You can also take a warm shower or bath, or get fancy and buy an electric blanket – just leave it at your bare feet. And don’t forget the soothing scent of lavender to help you relax into Dreamland! Getting adequate rest can be a struggle for some, and there are quite a few tricks we can use to beat insomnia or sleep better.
If you get the feeling to slip socks on before catching some z’s, roll with it. Now you can back up your footie habit with science. Save the cool feet for the summer slumber.
Do you wear socks to bed or are you barefoot all the way? What habits do you have that help you to fall asleep faster? Tell us in the comments!