Wearing socks to bed causes nightmares?

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.





7 thoughts on “Wearing socks to bed causes nightmares?

  1. Tyler Mitchell Azar

    This was a very intriguing blog on a topic that I had never given any thought before. I’ve never worn socks to sleep, just as a personal preference. But I’d never heard of them causing nightmares. It sounds like the jury is still out on whether or not they do, but it may be worth trying out as a rational student, since the tradeoff is so small. This is a topic that I think deserves more research done on it! Well done

  2. Kaitlyn A Kaminski

    Hi Mackenzie,

    You chose a very interesting topic and one that I never thought about before. I’ve found that I will get a nightmare if I sleep on my back- I’ve always had this issue regardless of it my day was good- but as soon as i go on my back forget it. It’s the weirdest thing, but at least I know my trigger. I always wear socks to bed in the winter and have never noticed a correlation to nightmares and socks, but I definitely can understand if people got them after looking at the research you provided. Here’s an interesting article on nightmare therapy that works with people to get past traumatic events in their lives-https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=lsTlCAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA149&dq=+nightmare+triggers&ots=nk7BV-dPfr&sig=8L2CZxYrQoh8mzSSFDg6SkacT-c#v=onepage&q=nightmare%20triggers&f=false, I thought you might enjoy this!

  3. Thomas Tatem Moore

    While I don’t wear socks to bed this article still caught my eye because I have always been fascinated with dreams and the science behind them. While it does not appear that sock wearing causes nightmares it caused me to look deeper into what could possibly cause nightmares. Here is an article that talks deeply about nightmares, and what could cause them.

  4. Jason Williams


    That anecdote you brought up at the beginning of your blog was very fascinating to me. I have never heard anything like the idea that you would get nightmares from having your socks on. Instead of thinking about the socks part of your hypothesis, I wanted to learn more about what causes nightmares. According to WebMD, nightmares are more common in children but can affect a fairly sizable population. Typically factors that lead to nightmares are stress, anxiety, depression, and certain medications. Other things like sleep deprivation and psychological triggers such as PTSD may also play a part of a certain portion of that population. So overall, it does not appear that the causes of nightmares can be linked to sock wearing.

    Here’s the source about nightmares: WebMD

  5. Brian Cunningham

    While I understand the whole idea of bacteria building up, I would think that there are also downsides to NOT wearing socks, in terms of the opposite end of the temperature spectrum. Some people’s feet freeze over night if they aren’t wearing socks, so it would be interesting to see if those effects are worse than the effects of overheating in bed. Overall I do think it’s a topic that should be studied more broadly!

  6. ana5383

    I used to never be able to go to sleep with socks on, but now I always wear socks to bed. The correlation between socks and nightmares is very interesting. Most of the time I forget what my dreams and/or nightmares are about, therefore, I cannot truly tell if my nightmares have increased ever since I started wearing socks to bed. This is a hypothesis that should be further looked in to by researchers and scientists!

Leave a Reply