Is sleeping with your socks on safe? Here’s what experts say
Legs of a young woman sleeping in her bed; cut out
We all like to snuggle in bed with our feet feeling warm and cosy. Additionally, many of us believe that sleeping with socks on will help to keep us warm through the night. However, some experts are of the opinion that wearing socks overnight is not healthy, may disrupt our sleep pattern, and influence our heart rate as well.
Besides, experts warn that many people wear tight socks and this can lead to skin rashes and infection.
Speaking about the harmful effects of wearing tight socks, Dr Viswesvaran Balasubramanian, Consultant, Interventional Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad, India told the Indian Express, “Wearing very tight socks can impair blood circulation and can be detrimental. Additionally, not ensuring proper hygiene of socks can result in adverse consequences.”
Agreeing, Dr Aditya S Chowti, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Bangalore, India reportedly said that if the socks are not clean or if they happen to be tight, “There may be an increased risk of skin infection, especially if the socks used are made of synthetic material like nylon. Body temperature can rise due to excessive use of socks.”
According to the site Better Sleep, even though sleeping with your socks on can help to improve circulation, if your socks you wear to bed are too constrictive and tight, it could cause a decrease in blood flow. And if the socks are not made with breathable material, it could prevent the release of heat from your body.
Also, sleeping with socks on is not a good idea, especially if you suffer from circulatory issues, swelling of the feet, or any other issue that may affect the blood flow to your extremities.
An earlier report in Health Shots informs that sleeping with your socks on can cause health issues, including a rise in blood pressure.
Dr Pritam Moon, consultant physician at Wockhardt hospital, Mumbai, India is of the opinion that though wearing socks while sleeping increases blood circulation, it can reportedly go another way too.
Apparently, if you keep your socks on for a prolonged period like going to bed in them, blood flow will decrease, thereby causing a rise in blood pressure.
Also, wearing tight socks to bed can prove to be uncomfortable, leading to disturbed sleep.
Dr Moon is also quoted as saying, “If your skin is sensitive, ask your doctor whether you should wear socks to bed or not. Doing so might cause skin irritation if you wear the wrong kind of socks.”
Citing another reason why wearing socks to bed is not optimal, Dr Balasubramanian adds, “People with abrasions or open wounds in the legs or those with problems with blood circulation like arterial or venous disorders of the lower limb are not advised to wear.”
Here are some other helpful ways to keep your feet warm:
• Massage your feet with hot oil.
• Wash your feet with warm water and keep them warm inside a blanket.
• Use a hot water bottle – once your feet are warm enough, remove it.
• Wear a very warm pair of socks an hour before sleeping and take them off before getting into bed.
• Avoid smoking as nicotine in cigarettes tightens the blood arteries due to which less blood reaches your extremities, making your feet cold.
Overall, wearing socks to bed is perfectly normal and may also help one to sleep better. “However, either way, is fine depending on how you feel,” states Dr R R Dutta, HOD Internal Medicine, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram, India.