I've recently read this piece:

Is sleeping with socks on good for you?

from "MedicalNewsToday", and supposedly reviewed by a "PhD, RN". Having moved into a poorly-insulated apartment, and being generally sensitive to cold in my feet I'm considering this possibility. Now that I've heard a pro-socks spiel - I'd like to ask:

  • Whether any research has been done on the effect of socks on quality of sleep, particularly in colder ambient temperature and/or with people who report feeling cold feet in bed. (If it's anecdotal / local small sample study - please mention that.)
  • Can an opposite case be made - against sleeping with socks - based on established medical fact, even if the conclusion is more speculative (like in the link I gave)?

PS - For the sake of discussion let's ignore the fact there are many kinds of socks one could use.

1 Answer 1


First, some anecdotal evidence:

Whenever I slept in cold environments (cold room, camping), the feet were usually the first that got cold to the point I was not able to sleep. An obvious solution was wearing socks, which usually helped.

The opposite is also true. When wearing socks makes me too warm, I may not be able to sleep, so I remove them and it helps.

I'm convinced, many people have the exact same experience.

The article linked from the question links to 2 studies about socks and sleep:

1. Skin temperature and sleep-onset latency: changes with age and insomnia (PubMed, 2007):

The abstract of this study just says that wearing socks accelerated the sleep onset in adults. They don't even mention any temperatures.

2. Warm feet promote the rapid onset of sleep (Nature, 1999):

This study does not specifically mention socks but claims that vasodilation in the feet (which can be stimulated by wearing socks, btw) accelerates sleep onset.

Here we show that the degree of dilation of blood vessels in the skin of the hands and feet, which increases heat loss at these extremities, is the best physiological predictor for the rapid onset of sleep.

More studies about how warm feet can help you fall asleep:


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