Why you should sleep in socks: scientists have given an unexpected answer
People who have trouble falling asleep are ready to do anything to make the process easier. And a good lifehack for them can be sleeping in socks.
Edition Livestrong collected scientific advice on this subject. And told what benefits such a habit gives, and who it may not suit.
How socks can help during falling asleep
The first answer is the most obvious: they help warm your toes, and the cold sensation in your feet can itself prevent you from falling asleep. Consequently, warm feet mean that this discomfort is absent and that it is easier to fall asleep.
Another explanation is somewhat more complex and is based on the body's circadian (circadian) rhythms. Among other things, these rhythms regulate body temperature, rigorously raising it during the day and lowering it at night. And when the body begins to lower its temperature, it is a clear signal that it is time to get ready for sleep. That's why a cooler bedroom temperature is better suited for a night's rest.
For internal changes in body temperature to occur, the body must be able to retain or lose heat efficiently. Our main organ of heat exchange is the skin, which is permeated with small blood vessels - capillaries. Putting socks on your feet allows you to relax the muscles of capillaries and expand them. This improves blood circulation and optimizes thermoregulation. The body begins to generate more heat and cools down.
As a result, a person wearing socks can fall asleep faster and sleep longer. This conclusion was confirmed by a study published in October 2006 in the journal Physiology and Behavior. At that time, researchers tested different sleep strategies on participants with and without health problems. One of the disorders was chronic insomnia, for example. It turned out that in both groups - subject and control - people who wore socks at night fell asleep faster than those who slept barefoot.
In April 2019, the Journal of Physiological Anthropology published the results of a similar study. Its authors showed that six young men who went to bed wearing socks fell asleep an average of 7.5 minutes faster and slept 32 minutes longer compared to nights when they slept without socks on their feet.
Researchers warn that wearing socks alone is not a panacea for insomnia. In addition, this lifestyle can harm people with circulatory disorders, because the elastic band can constrict the blood vessels in the legs.
Other benefits of sleeping in socks
Sleep problems aren't the only health disorder that wearing socks to bed can help with. This item of clothing can also help with the symptoms of Raynaud's disease. This is a circulation disorder that causes certain parts of the body, especially the fingers and toes, to become cold, numb and discolored. Socks will help warm your feet in such a case.
Also, such an accessory to pajamas can relieve women with hot flashes during menopause. They are accompanied by increased sweating and often occur at night, than interfere with sleep. They are caused by hormonal fluctuations that disrupt the thermoregulatory system. Socks can help to cope with this problem.
You can also use socks to deal with dry skin on your feet. Before going to bed, apply a cream or lotion to your feet and put on cotton socks. They will create a favorable microclimate in which the product will be absorbed better and care for your skin more deeply.
What types of socks are best for sleeping
Doctors and experts say that the main criterion for selection is comfort. Socks should not irritate the skin or pinch the limbs. Therefore, they should not, for example, "bite" or be too tight.
It is better to prefer natural fibers such as cotton, cashmere or merino wool. These materials best provide heat and breathability. Change your sleep socks every day. Also, wash your feet before putting them on. This will protect you from the development of unwanted microorganisms.
Earlier OBOZREVATEL told how to help yourself sleep in the heat even without air conditioning.