My wife wears socks to bed because her feet get cold at night. I never wear socks to bed because my feet rarely feel cold. Plus, I do not like the feeling of something tight around my feet. Socks also grip the sheets and tug on them when I roll over. I never really thought wearing socks to bed was anything more than a personal choice by people with different attitudes about comfort while sleeping. Come to find out there are people out there who think wearing socks to bed is psychopathic behavior. The Wall Street Journal wrote about it so it must be a public health issue. The WSJ had this to say:
Before going to sleep in a hotel room he shared with his brother recently, Matthew Johnson slipped wool socks over his feet. He did what?
“My brother saw me putting on socks and he was like, ‘That’s crazy. You’re a crazy person,’” says Johnson, a senior at George Mason University in Virginia.
But an under-cover inquiry by The Wall Street Journal finds that socks-in-bed is dividing couples and the public square. Opponents physically recoil at the notion, and say people who snooze in socks can’t be trusted.
“That’s just psychopathic behavior right there, wearing socks to bed,” says Sean McMahon, a 32-year-old retail worker in Deltona, Fla., who called a former roommate weird for doing so. He recalls watching a murder mystery one time where a character in the movie wearing socks to sleep was the killer.
The plot thickens. There are even some converts to bed socks.
…Johnson wasn’t always a socker. He wore them—a pair of generic Walmart socks—to sleep for the first time after reading about the benefits. The first night, “it feels like you’ve put your feet into jail,” he recalls. “Your feet are like ‘Get me out of here.’”
Johnson reports that the initial discomfort was worth it. He woke up feeling refreshed. He thinks he has the magic sleep combination of a 65-degree room and socks to keep his feet warm. Upon closer inspection, what Johnson and many others are doing is trying to establish and maintain a sleep hygiene. According to the Sleep Foundation:
Paying attention to sleep hygiene is one of the most straightforward ways that you can set yourself up for better sleep.
Strong sleep hygiene means having both a bedroom environment and daily routines that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep. Keeping a stable sleep schedule, making your bedroom comfortable and free of disruptions, following a relaxing pre-bed routine, and building healthy habits during the day can all contribute to ideal sleep hygiene.
The Wall Street Journal admits that sleeping in socks is not about mental health status, it’s about getting into a routine to get a good night’s sleep.
There is even scientific evidence about sleeping in socks.
Authorities, from the Cleveland Clinic to the University of Florida Health have expounded on the positives of sleeping in socks. (On its website, Cleveland Clinic writes, “Here’s a bit of information that could knock your socks on,” while UF Health heralds socks as “the unsung hero of undergarments.”)
A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that young men fell asleep 7.5 minutes faster, slept 32 minutes longer and woke up 7.5 times less often than those not wearing socks.
Wow! That last paragraph is pretty amazing! If it’s true that equates to much better sleep.
When two people share the same bed one is bound to be hotter or colder than the other. The Wall Street Journal quoted Dr. Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist. He recommends the colder person wear socks to bed.
Wearing socks to bed is not a mental health issue. Getting a good night’s sleep can be, however. Also, for couples where one person feels colder and wants the heat turned up higher or a heavier pile of blankets, a pair of socks may help with a compromise. Oh, the WSJ didn’t say this but get rid of the television in the bedroom. It’s bad for sleep.