Sleep is a vital part of everyday life. Humans on average sleep for about eight hours per day, or one-third of their life. Practicing healthy habits when it comes to sleep time can promote a better night’s rest. One very important function your body possesses is temperature regulation.
Although your body regulates its temperature at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, that’s not a hard and fast number. Core body temperature is affected by your biological clock, also known as your circadian rhythm. When you begin to fall asleep your body’s internal temperature will decline by a couple degrees. This is a natural part of you body’s thermoregulation. It may seem like wearing socks to bed would cause your feet to overheat, however that’s not quite the case.
In fact studies have shown that wearing socks while you sleep will help your body’s natural thermoregulation patterns, promoting a more restful night’s sleep. A study which was published in the journal of Physiology & Behavior demonstrated that people who wear socks to bed will fall asleep about fifteen minutes sooner than when they go bare foot. There are various health conditions in which wearing socks to bed may prove to be a beneficial factor. One condition is known as Raynaud’s disease. This is a vascular condition in which the blood vessels in the hands and feet become constricted as a reaction to cooler temperatures and/or stress. These patients develop cold feet and therefore benefit greatly from wearing socks to bed. Menopausal women may also be susceptible to developing cold feet at nighttime. Vasoconstriction can be related to fluctuations in estrogen levels. Keeping the feet covered during sleep can help with maintaining core body temperature.
The type of fabric your socks are made of may also play an important role on warming your feet and helping to aid in a better night’s rest. Socks made of merino wool or cashmere tend to work better than cotton or artificial fiber materials as they are naturally moisture wicking. Unlike other types of wool, cashmere and merino does not cause skin irritation or itchiness. Wool socks are more costly at about $20 per pair, but will be well worth your investment. Although wearing socks to bed isn’t a cure for insomnia, it has certainly shown to have a positive impact on promoting a quicker relaxation response and falling asleep after the lights go out.