A Sleep Doctor Makes The Case For Wearing Socks To Bed

“We ask [one person] to wear socks. And we asked the [other] to not wear socks and put [their] feet out from under the covers,” says Breus. “And that actually allows for this interesting temperature regulation to cohabitate two humans in the same form.” 

That’s because your extremities (i.e., hands and feet), can impact your core body temperature overall, especially during sleep: According to the National Sleep Foundation, your foot temperature naturally increases prior to sleep, so warming your feet—with a fuzzy pair of socks, perhaps—can send signals to your brain that it’s bedtime. One study even found that warming the feet was associated with longer total sleep time and fewer awakenings during a seven-hour rest. 

If you find yourself on the other side of the argument, Breus recommends nixing the socks, instead slipping your feet out from under the covers. Let us remind you that your body’s core temperature naturally drops at night, as part of the circadian rhythm, so feeling too warm before bed isn’t ideal either (Here’s the best temperature for sleep, in case you’re curious). Again, your feet can help regulate your overall body temperature, so exposing them to the air can help your body lose heat and drop to its preferred degree. 

In other words, the tip works both ways: If you’re feeling chilly at bedtime, pulling on a pair of socks can send sleepytime signals to your brain and keep you cozy; if you’re too warm, exposing your feet to cooler air can help your body temperature dial down. 

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