My roommate told me last night to take my socks off before bed. I looked at her and was like “What the heck? Why?” She said she read an article on twitter that said sleeping with your socks on gives you nightmares. I decided to take my socks off and went to bed, but should I have actually taken my socks off?
It has been said that warming your feet with socks can make you fall asleep faster. Wearing socks heats your cold feet and causes vasodilation, which is the dilation of the blood vessels. Researchers have found that the vasodilation tells your brain that it is ready for bedtime.
Researchers have indicated a correlation between the vasodilation and the speed of falling asleep. So why wouldn’t you want to wear socks to bed if it would make you get to bed quicker? Also, it has been found that wearing socks to bed helps regulate your body temperature while you sleep. This helps prevent night sweating and hot flashes. Wearing socks to bed can also help moisturize your feet, especially in the winter months when it gets cold and your feet get dry.
If you want to wear socks to bed, you must make sure they are the right kind of socks. An important factor in making sure your socks are benefiting your health and sleep, is ensuring that your socks are clean and fresh so that bacteria does not build up and lead to infections on your feet such as fungus. Another factor that can lead to an increase of bacteria build up is the material of the socks. Socks that are too thick, for example, can block sufficient airflow from the feet causing fungus conditions. Socks that are thin and made from natural fibers are good and can benefit your health and your sleep.
Nightmares occur during the REM sleep stage and are caused by experiences throughout your day or life. Theories have been found that other factors such as what you wear, such as socks, can cause nightmares as well. Biochemists of Australia’s University of Tasmania conducted a study where they added spicy sauces to a healthy male’s dinner plate. By adding the spicy condiments it elevated his body temperature during the first sleep cycle. It was also found that he fell asleep faster. This study is related to the idea of wearing socks to bed due to the increase in body temperature.
There are many personal anecdotes in cases where people where socks to bed and claim they have nightmares every time they do so. I personally like to sleep in socks when I am cold because it makes me warmer and feel more cozy. But after researching about this “myth” my roommate told me about, I am a bit hesitant on wearing socks to bed. Although after research, it has said it will make me fall asleep faster. I would like to see more research done on this issue.