"never wtf is wrong w/ you"
March 3, 2020 9:04 AM   Subscribe

Why Socks Help You Sleep Better (How Stuff Works): You might fall asleep 15 minutes earlier and wake up far less during the night if you put on a pair of socks at bedtime.
posted by not_the_water (133 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
This speaks to me! I wear socks to bed 9 months out of the year...
posted by suelac at 9:12 AM on March 3 [4 favorites]


Ah, this advice must be aimed at those whose nighttime bedroom temperatures don't hover around 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. If I could design some sort of liquid-cooled sock I probably would sleep better, it's true.

In the winter I do try sometimes wear woolly socks into bed, but inevitably end up ripping them off in a rage at some point in the night when my toes feel too imprisoned. I'm afraid I'll have to accept my broken sleep patterns for the sake of my sensory issues.
posted by DSime at 9:13 AM on March 3 [31 favorites]


The thought of wearing socks to bed is as foreign to me as people who stand up to wipe but on the other hand I have a terrible time falling asleep and I believe in science so I am left in a strange limbo here.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:14 AM on March 3 [49 favorites]


As someone with uncommonly large ankles. No.
posted by pan at 9:15 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


I, a sufferer of Raynaud's, pretty much have to take a shower right before bed or my stupid feet are icicles which keep me awake for hours. So I have to heat up to cool off, I guess. But if I cannot shower then socks are an absolute necessity.
posted by maxwelton at 9:16 AM on March 3 [11 favorites]


Socks are like my Tobias Funke never-nude thing. I love them and wear them nearly always.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:17 AM on March 3 [7 favorites]


If you're worried about becoming too warm while wearing socks in bed, look for ones made of natural breathable fibers.

No. just kick them off and store them at the foot of the bed, like a squirrel preparing for winter. Once I've run out of socks it's time to change the sheets.

I cannot fall asleep without socks on, but I can't really stay asleep with them in either. I don't even remember kicking them off about half the time.
posted by ghost phoneme at 9:17 AM on March 3 [47 favorites]


Raynaud's here, too, and I am basically never, ever barefoot. I sleep in socks every day of the year, even when it's 90+ degrees in my un-airconditioned, flat-roofed, second-floor, 1920s-uninsulated-California-bungalow bedroom.
posted by jesourie at 9:19 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Do people not use blankets or something?
posted by Automocar at 9:19 AM on March 3 [7 favorites]


sweaty feet would def keep me awake
posted by supermedusa at 9:20 AM on March 3 [15 favorites]


Even with blankets my feet (and hands, but that doesn't bother me) are always freezing.
posted by ghost phoneme at 9:20 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Is this something I'd need to have cold feet to understand?

This method is clearly not for me. I usually fall asleep quickly and don't wake up a lot...except for about halfway through nearly every night when I become aware that I'm hot, sometimes even sweaty, and have to throw off a layer or two so I can get comfortable and fall back asleep. I guess I should count my blessings.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:21 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


I've been wearing socks to bed for years. I sleep so much better with them, even in summer.
posted by briank at 9:22 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Unless temperatures are positively arctic I'd probably suffer a heat stroke if I wore socks to bed. I run too hot in general and will hang my bare feet out from under the sheets even in winter with the window open just to be able to drain excess heat. I don't sleep well unless I'm in cold air.

My wife is the exact opposite and usually wears multiple layers to bed even if the room temperature is 70 degrees or more.

It's an unsolvable conundrum for us.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 9:22 AM on March 3 [14 favorites]




The thought of sleeping in socks is horrifying.

I run so hot at night, I sleep with just a sheet in the dead of winter. I have sometimes taken ice packs to bed in the summer time. If I accidentally fall asleep on the couch wearing socks, I wake up 2 hours later drenched in sweat with a pounding headache.

This was kind of a thing before I had kids, but it got really bad when I was pregnant, and my temperature regulation never really went back to normal afterwards.
posted by antimony at 9:24 AM on March 3 [6 favorites]


Haha, this speaks to me, I went through a phase where I discovered that socks help me sleep better because my feet were no longer cold.! Then a couple years later I discovered that I actually sleep better without socks on because I don't like the way my toes feel constrained. Now I can't sleep at all if I'm wearing socks. I usually just have a hot water bottle at the foot of the bed and then kick it out when it starts getting too hot. I also do the stick-one-foot-out thing when it's too hot in the summer!

I recommend fat cats who like to cuddle your legs, I never wake up cold any more (I wake up with my face shoved into the wall next to the bed because the cats have stolen all my sleeping space).
posted by stillnocturnal at 9:26 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Do people not use blankets or something?

I use blankets. I've also spent most of my adult life living in rental properties which are goddamn frigid in the winter.

My current situation isn't too bad – my apartment hasn't gotten below 67°F this winter (but it's been a pretty mild season). But for a few years, I lived in a rented farmhouse where you could see your breath indoors, and I had to wear a down coat at all times.

I researched my legal options. In the state where I was living, I didn't really have any.

I wear socks to bed.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:27 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


In conclusion, sleep is a land of contrasts.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:28 AM on March 3 [28 favorites]


This actually does work for me, but I will later semi-wake up and take those suckers off because it's too hot. I thermo-regulate all night by putting my feet out and then pulling them back in and socks make that less effective.

What also helps is drinking something cold at bedtime because it makes you cold, which makes Warm Bed more appealing and then you get sleepier.

Of course later you have to get up and pee, so.
posted by emjaybee at 9:29 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Another Reynaud 's here. The problem with blankets is they take too long to warm up, and cold feet don't have much warming power. The problem with Reynaud's is that if my feet get even a little cold the blood vessels to my toes spasm shut and my toes turn white and go numb. I have to apply actual heat to reverse the process. It's annoying and dumb because I can be warm enough to be sweating and my feet will still do this.
posted by antinomia at 9:29 AM on March 3 [14 favorites]


So if the bodies' extremities are the arbitrator of core temperature discrepancy, then why not gloves too? Why just feet? Why not a toboggan? It didn't really explain what is special about feet.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:29 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


By the way, if your toes feel constrained do what I do, wear injinjis.
posted by antinomia at 9:30 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


It didn't really explain what is special about feet.

It's harder to tuck your feet under your head.
posted by clawsoon at 9:31 AM on March 3 [13 favorites]


Oh, no, I can't even have the sheets tucked in if I want to sleep. I need to have at least one foot sticking out from under the covers unless its below 60 degrees or so. Socks would be fine if its cold enough to see my breathe, other than that no chance.
posted by gusottertrout at 9:32 AM on March 3 [7 favorites]


This discussion is making my feet cold.
posted by clawsoon at 9:32 AM on March 3 [9 favorites]


I have a Sunbeam heating pad that i put at my feet under the blankets before I go to bed and set to auto-turn off in 2 hours so my feet are warm when i go to bed, which is my solution so i don't have to awkwardly wear socks.
posted by vespertinism at 9:34 AM on March 3 [6 favorites]


Today I learned that wearing socks to bed is one of those things.
posted by sleeping bear at 9:35 AM on March 3 [16 favorites]


Wife is Princess and the Pea in all things temperature. I always end up stripping down to underwear because it's too damn hot but I do like a cover of some sort on top of me and complaints regarding the same (i.e. "Please put on socks or clothes if you are cold, this is miserable for me.") fall on deaf ears.

Considering divorce. Open to suggestions.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:37 AM on March 3


Am I to infer that sex in bed is also best with socks on?
posted by mikeand1 at 9:38 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Team socks here.
I never wore socks to bed until I moved north to Vermont, but socks are necessary for me for most of the year.
This may be because of my age- I was over 50 when I got here, and my hands and feet are always cold now. Interesting that the stick-your-foot-outside-the-covers article is Teen Vogue.
I wear socks (or some other foot covering) to yoga even in summer.
posted by MtDewd at 9:39 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Oh and I offer her hot water bottle service pre-bedtime every night. She even says thanks most times....
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:39 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


uh... Socks would roast me. I have to pull the covers off the foot of the bed in the winter to not roast, exposing my feet.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:40 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


OK, so even the idea of wearing socks to bed triggers whatever senses I get when my misphonia kicks in.

I can't even have the covers over my feet most of the time. Tucked in sheets are the devil.

Camping is a PITA because of this, usually.
posted by Chuffy at 9:40 AM on March 3 [8 favorites]


It's an unsolvable conundrum for us.

We solved this by purchasing bigger blankets. Queen sized bed? King sized blankets. Works like a charm.
posted by Chuffy at 9:44 AM on March 3 [4 favorites]


I sleep nude. I'm uncomfortable with any clothes on. This is especially true in sleeping bags. Though of course during the rare times I've been winter camping, it's not really an option, unless I want to be hypothermic. No socks. Makes my feet sweat. I'm going to have to find something though to help me sleep, right now I'm using benadryl, 3 tabs, works sometimes.
posted by evilDoug at 9:44 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Wife is Princess and the Pea in all things temperature.
Percent of time controlling the thermostat should be decided before marriage in a pre-nuptial agreement.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:46 AM on March 3 [7 favorites]


my besock'd feet get all tangled in the linens.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:51 AM on March 3


Percent of time controlling the thermostat should be decided before marriage in a pre-nuptial agreement.

My reaction.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:52 AM on March 3


Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Same goes for blankets... sometimes I hate the idea of being covered with something, sometimes it is very cozy.

But I almost always have to have a fan blowing on me, even with the blanket and socks and whatnot. In fact, the fan is usually at the foot end of the bed, so maybe that's why the socks...?
posted by Foosnark at 9:53 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Am I to infer that sex in bed is also best with socks on?

Yep!
posted by DSime at 9:55 AM on March 3 [4 favorites]


I've been a sock-sleeper for decades. As I've gotten older, I've added a heating pad with auto-off to the foot of the bed. That might work for anyone who can't wear socks or gets too hot with socks.
posted by JawnBigboote at 9:58 AM on March 3


Ahh, that annoying "you" that pretends to represent everyone but is really just laaazzzyyy ass clickbait headlining. [ thumb to nose, waggles fingers, braaap ]
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:00 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


I use special weighted socks
posted by Flashman at 10:02 AM on March 3 [14 favorites]


If you're warm enough to not need socks you're too warm.
posted by Damienmce at 10:04 AM on March 3


Posting in support of all the other Reynaud's sufferers in the thread! I have Reynaud's, and I'm menopausal, so I often end up sticking a leg out of the blankets at night. And I use a fan for much of the year. But I'm still wearing socks until it's over 70 at night...
posted by suelac at 10:04 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


As a child my mother would never allow me to wear socks to bed and my feet would be so, so cold no matter how much I burrowed them into the blankets. It was out of a fear from when she overdressed my brother as a baby (socks and a onesie) and he got heat rash on his feet so she went the opposite with me. I have perpetually cold feet. In the summer, I can go without socks to bed but it has been a joy to be an adult and be able to do what works for me. I sleep with socks on and if my feet are ever too hot, I take them off. That rarely happens. I'm so much happier now.
posted by acidnova at 10:04 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


I generally go to bed with socks on but wake up without them. I can only assume some sort of gnomes are to blame.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:06 AM on March 3 [13 favorites]


Wearing socks to bed is something that I will never do. It feels too binding and I need my feet to breathe. If that means giving up a bit of sleep, so be it.
posted by Fizz at 10:09 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Not the only thing socks are good for. Maybe NSFW sexy words.
posted by j_curiouser at 10:09 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Ahh, that annoying "you" that pretends to represent everyone but is really just laaazzzyyy ass clickbait headlining. [ thumb to nose, waggles fingers, braaap ]

Almost as annoying as the opinion writer's "we" that pretends to be universal but really means the writer and a couple of people out of their small circle of upper middle class friends e.g. "Why are we so afraid of Indonesian women who play guitar?"

I also have Reynaud's and so has half my family. At a recent funeral we were in the graveyard and half the conversation was around how numb our feet were. I wear two pairs of socks, even in summer.
posted by kersplunk at 10:13 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Why not a toboggan?

Surely you mean a tuque. Bringing a toboggan to bed seems like it would make sleeping quite a bit more difficult.
posted by asnider at 10:19 AM on March 3 [11 favorites]


If I fell asleep 15 minutes before I currently do, that would be while I'm outside emptying the dog, well before I get my last pee of the night, brush and floss. Yes, yes, I see that this is for people with problems falling asleep (which I did in my youth). But maybe instead of wearing socks, try getting enough exercise? 1-3 hours of running per day, and my spouse swears that I'm usually snoring 30-60 seconds after my head hits my pillow.

It's winter and I have a dog. So just before bed I take him out for a 3-5 minute sniff and pee stroll. As I'm a flip flop/barefoot kind of guy, while I'll put a coat on for the -10C nights, I'm still out there in flip flops unless there's fresh deep snow I haven't shoveled yet. And often as I get under the covers my feet will still feel a bit chilled. But maybe ultimately the going out into the cool (I rarely bother with a coat if it's above -5C) helps to lower my core body temp as my body realizes I'm doing my pre-bed ritual so it doesn't fight the brief jaunt into the cold?

Perhaps of note, I typically have cold feet (or as my spouse calls them, "cold frozen steaks"), despite not having any apparent circulatory problems in my feet/hands.

Also, the title of this is very correct; WTF is wrong with them. No socks while sleeping.
posted by nobeagle at 10:23 AM on March 3


My nightstand drawer holds sexytime implements, lip balm, and a pair of thick fuzzy slipper-socks. 85% of the time I'm comfortable socksless, but they're nice to have at hand when I'm in bed with freezing feet, instead of getting up and going across the room to dig them out of my dresser. My first choice is strategic dog/cat placement, but they generally don't like snuggling up to cold feet and will go for the back of the knees instead.

My bedtime quirk is that I need to wear pants to sleep. I can't stand my legs touching each other.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 10:23 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Oh, no, I can't even have the sheets tucked in if I want to sleep. I need to have at least one foot sticking out from under the covers unless its below 60 degrees or so. Socks would be fine if its cold enough to see my breathe, other than that no chance.
posted by gusottertrout at 9:32 AM on March 3


I also can't have the sheets tucked in either but that's because i need to tuck the blankets/sheets under my feet so they can get warmer. With socks on as well. I do understand how horrible it is to feel too hot but feeling too cold is also horrible. Some of us need to wear socks. I'm wearing them now and my feet are still cold.

I'm also iron deficient. That doesn't help.

I'm so cold.
posted by acidnova at 10:28 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


My nightstand drawer holds sexytime implements, lip balm, and a pair of thick fuzzy slipper-socks.

Misread first comma as colon at first. Was momentarily confused, though intrigued.
posted by The Bellman at 10:29 AM on March 3 [27 favorites]


What keeps me from getting to sleep, aside from chronic brain overactivity, is sensitivity to the slightest movement of the sheets or bed. A weighted blanket has helped with that, and socks might help mute the tickle of a scurrying sheet. I'll give it a shot.
posted by grumpybear69 at 10:30 AM on March 3


I don't like to wear regular socks to bed, because the hairs on my lower legs and the top of my feet get irritated by the friction of the socks against them. On the other hand, I've found that compression socks are fine since they don't slide around as much. On the third hand (foot?), I really just prefer that my feet are bare under a sufficiency of blankets. In conclusion, my bed is a land of contrasts.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:32 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


15 minutes earlier? That would mean falling asleep before I even went to bed, which could be dangerous. I'll keep my socks off, thanks.
posted by GoblinHoney at 10:36 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


I will occasionally wear socks when it's super cold, but it inevitably results in me waking up in an hour and having to take them off.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:39 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Traditional hot water bottles have the built-in feature of gradually getting cooler over time and are easily kicked out of the way if you start to overheat.
posted by Lanark at 10:49 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


I like the warmth of socks but can't stand how constricting they feel. If I fall asleep with them on--necessary, sometimes, in the cold--I, too, pull them off after a few hours.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:53 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


The problem with blankets is they take too long to warm up, and cold feet don't have much warming power

Recommend: Electric mattress pad. Fire it up half an hour before bedtime.
posted by aubilenon at 10:53 AM on March 3 [6 favorites]


For 'pajama socks', I recommend not regular halfway up the calf socks, but ankle socks or the little 'footie' ones (with the pompom if you're cute like that). That keeps your cold toes from being an obstacle to sleep; but if you get hot soles later, you can just rub your heels together and they peel off.
posted by bartleby at 10:54 AM on March 3 [16 favorites]


I was just thinking that, aubilenon -- heating pad under the duvet at foot-position, turn it on 10 min before going to bed, that might work. (I'm not putting anything containing water in the bed. I'll find a way to burst it I'm sure.)
posted by antinomia at 11:00 AM on March 3


Socks, pajama pants, and even nightgowns/shirts that are too long can trigger restless legs for me. I don't know if it's the heat or the feeling of something touching my legs and feet closely, but AUGH NO GET THEM OFF
posted by telophase at 11:01 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


I sometimes wear socks to bed, because sometimes I'm wearing socks when it's time for bed, and the thought of bending over to take them off seems exhausting. I am never still wearing socks when I wake up in the morning, though.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:04 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


heated mattress pad means my feet are never cold but when i am doing my stress-sleeping on the couch bc making the bed is an insurmountable task, i need socks. huge fluffy ridiculous socks. they're so stupid.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:07 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Oh, the huge 2cm thick merino wool moutaineering socks are for wearing to bed along with a beanie/toque/toboggan. For when you've got a cold coming on and you're trying to induce a low grade fever to burn it out.
posted by bartleby at 11:17 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Today I learned that toboggan is also a type of hat.

Because boy, that's a confusing image. Who brings a sled into bed with them?
posted by acidnova at 11:21 AM on March 3 [20 favorites]


Rule 34.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:30 AM on March 3 [16 favorites]


This is me! Even if it's 100 degrees out, I HAVE to have socks on my feet or I cannot sleep. At all. It's so bad for me that I have told my best friend if I'm ever in coma or unconscious in the hospital - she better be god damn sure I have socks on.

I highly recommend low-cut cashmere or merino wool. They should not be too tight.
posted by crayon at 11:32 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


No. just kick them off and store them at the foot of the bed, like a squirrel preparing for winter. Once I've run out of socks it's time to change the sheets.
What a surprising way to learn that my wife uses MeFi.
posted by Lame_username at 11:39 AM on March 3 [29 favorites]


Team Go To Bed With Socks, Wake Up to Find Socks Mysteriously Off checking in.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:54 AM on March 3 [12 favorites]


Wow I as well never knew that toboggan refers to a hat for some people.

Nthing Electric mattress pad / bed heaters especially the ones with duo controls if you sleep with someone else. It may not prevent a divorce but they do help regulate bed temperature. But sometimes I still go to bed with socks sometimes. And sometimes I will also go to bed in what I refer to as my "Parisian Night Suit".

I'm surprised there is no mention of the best temperature to sleep at: 15C to 19C (60F to 67F).
posted by Ashwagandha at 11:59 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


I used to wear socks to bed because cold feet drove me crazy. But I would always wake up overheating in the middle of the night and have to kick them off. I posted a Metafilter question about this problem, even! Now I just shower before bed at lava temperatures and get my feet all toasty before tucking under the blankets.
posted by brook horse at 12:00 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


If it's cold enough, I wear socks to bed, and it definitely helps. Pretty much as soon as the lows creep above about 55F here I get too hot with them on tho, so most of the time I go without.
posted by Aleyn at 12:19 PM on March 3


I am very much Team Socks. My wife is so anti-Team Socks that my wearing them frustrates her, though we've moved past it for the most part. But we live in a tiny Manhattan apartment which, in the winter, has a heating system of which we have little control, temperature-wise. This means that going to bed is a tricky nightly combination of how open the window needs to be, what blankets and comforters, etc.

But she generally sleeps under the covers and I generally don't. My feet are the only thing that really gets uncomfortably cold. I need my socks, man.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:22 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Wow I as well never knew that toboggan refers to a hat for some people.

I totally said the wrong word. The hat that I meant that some may call a toboggan is called a beanie or just a ski hat where I live.
posted by The_Vegetables at 12:31 PM on March 3 [4 favorites]


The_Vegetables: It didn't really explain what is special about feet.

My theory is that the head, arms, and hands are so much more vital to life that the body doesn't use them as controllable radiators to the extent that it will feet.

Even when you think your feet are cold, try sticking one out for fifteen minutes or so and pull it back in. It will probably be warmer than your other foot. If you leave it out long enough, the cold goes away. You can also sorta half nestle it down into the covers so the top of the foot isn't exposed to the air while leaving the sole exposed to do it's thing.

It's been nice to see that there are so many foot sticker outers and human bags of mostly hot water around. I used to have a friend who would invite me over just to keep the bed warm during those cold winter nights. I like sleeping when it's mid 40's ℉, still with the foot sticking out.
posted by zengargoyle at 12:36 PM on March 3 [4 favorites]


Another Reynaud's sufferer here, and my problem with socks is that with my big feet, it's so hard to find socks that are big enough that they don't press against the ends of my toes and restrict circulation. I have a heating pad in bed that I leave under my feet, and fall asleep with it on every night that it's below 80 degrees or so. If I could find socks that were warm but literally not pressing against my feet at all I'd wear them, but that's hard to find (even diabetic socks can restrict my circulation).
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:39 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


This sounds like a plan someone would come up with if they went to bed feeling cold. As such, it sounds absolutely bizarre to me. If my feet need any adjustment in temperature, it's that they need to feel COOLER, not warmer.

In other words, what that Teen Vogue article said.
posted by chrominance at 12:58 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


If your partner has freezing feet, don't make fun of them for wearing socks because they might put their ice toes on your body for warmth.
posted by acidnova at 1:05 PM on March 3 [7 favorites]


I live in the tropics without air conditioning. I will not do this.
posted by deadbilly at 1:11 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


I love how polarising this inconsequential thing is. I smell something off (though it could be my socks): where's the 'one neat trick' tag?
posted by k3ninho at 1:19 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


I go to bed with socks on about 50% of the time. I wake up with socks on about 3% of the time. I have no memory of removing them, but sleeping me clearly hates them.
posted by Mchelly at 1:27 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Being unable to sleep if any of my skin's surface is making contact with another part of my skin's surface i find the idea of regular socks, that might hold toes against each other, abhorrent for sleep. However, toe socks, preventing my toes from touching one another, fantastic.
posted by ixipkcams at 1:32 PM on March 3 [4 favorites]


...I actually sleep better without socks on because I don't like the way my toes feel constrained. Now I can't sleep at all if I'm wearing socks...

Try Freetoes (disclaimer: alligators smell naked toesies easier).
posted by cenoxo at 1:35 PM on March 3


I recommend fat cats who like to cuddle your legs

Speaking of fat cats, here's an old Garfield comic strip where Jon reveals that he sleeps with socks on!
posted by A Mind of Winter at 1:49 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


"Is this something I'd need to have cold feet to understand?"

Apparently, there are a substantial minority of us who have hot feet. I don't think it's climate or room temperature—my feet have almost never felt cold in my life, excepting when I've been barefoot outside in temps below, say, 45°F. My feet just don't get cold. They get hot. Like others here, in bed I keep one or both feet uncovered and often hanging over the side of the bed, which feels extra-comfortable.

"My bedtime quirk is that I need to wear pants to sleep. I can't stand my legs touching each other."

and

"Being unable to sleep if any of my skin's surface is making contact with another part of my skin's surface..."

YES! Thank You! Woohoo! I'm not alone! This is such a relief to learn.

I'd be very interested if you have any info about this.

I know that people on the autistic spectrum often have sensory overload issues, such as skin sensations. I don't think I'm on the spectrum, but I might be because I also prefer the cocooning thing. I haven't yet tried a weighted blanket because I'm not sure what to get and they are expensive.

Otherwise, my skin has always been quite smooth and soft, even now in late middle-age. I don't know if that's a factor.

But it's a real issue for me. For the last twenty years I've been wearing t-shirts and either pajama bottoms or sweatpants to bed and that's helped me sleep much more comfortably. But I also don't like my fingers touching each other and I typically thread my sheet/duvet between my fingers when I sleep. None of my toes when unclothed normally touch each other so that's not normally a problem.

I also cannot stand the feeling of exhaling on myself, most frequently on my upper arm somewhere—I just can't tolerate it. I have to use sheet/duvet positioning and/or reposition my head to avoid this.

This has always been a huge bummer with regard to sleeping with my partners. Although I don't mind skin contact during sex, afterward I'm only okay with cuddling for, like, five minutes. But I do like the intimacy of cuddling! Ideal for me would be if we're both wearing long-sleeved pajamas, which has almost never been the case. Even then, I feel like I'm overheating very quickly.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:04 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


I have a heated mattress pad for my bed that has 3 different heat zones for each side (6 total). It doesn't stop the dog from deciding at 2AM he no longer wants to sleep in his bed on top of the blanket and instead wants to burrow in the pillows right next to my head, but other than that it solves all of my comfortable sleep problems. Sometimes too well, since on days I don't work I may stay in bed until sometime after lunch.
posted by TedW at 2:40 PM on March 3


There are so many handknitted socks in my house (another of the Raynaud's clan).
posted by catlet at 2:47 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


The only one time I slept in socks deliberately was when someone had given me a set of foot cream and bedsocks as a present. You were supposed to treat your feet with the moisturising cream and put on the socks before going to bed and then wake to beautifully soft smooth feet in the morning. I woke up at 2 am, from a confused dream in which someone was setting fire to my feet and had to get rid of the socks immediately

Then again, my feet tend not to get cold, unless I am ill, which is when I dig out the hot water bottle, which cools down overnight and can be kicked out of the bed when not needed.
posted by Fuchsoid at 3:15 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


@Ivan. For me, I think it's a moisture and/or anxiety issue. For one, I think I just evaporate more water through my skin, all of it, than the average person. Not hyperhidrosis levels, just somewhat more than average...and like you, yes my skin is smooth and soft, well hydrated i suppose. That's probably part, but also I'm sensitive to the effects of the absence of skin ventilation. The result is whenever my skin is in contact with my own, or another person's, and there is no movement, I perceive moisture, I perceive sticking, and I immediately want to get unstuck. I perceive it cause it's there, there is moisture, the skin surfaces are sticking to each other, and this feels very confining so I must move to alleviate.

Can't offer any thoughts or information on it beyond my own observations. You're not alone.

Doubt it's related, but weighted blankets are great. Got one for my developmentally disabled daughter. She hates it. It's heavy and she does not care for that at all. But I love it. I probably have some sensory issues, I really like to be in motion. Strangely though, the heavy blanket, while confining and more restrictive is very relaxing, it's weight does seem to remove my desire to move and is calming. Still do like to have one foot poking out and unrestrained though.
posted by ixipkcams at 3:17 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Sleeping with socks on is a guaranteed way for me to get an athlete's foot outbreak that won't go away for months.

No thank you.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 3:37 PM on March 3


Sleeping with socks on is a guaranteed way for me to get an athlete's foot outbreak that won't go away for months.

I'm hoping people that sleep with socks on are swapping to a new pair and not just wearing the pair they've been out and about in all day o.o
posted by Aleyn at 3:45 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Just leaving this here:

Hotfoot Rag.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:49 PM on March 3


I dig out the hot water bottle, which cools down overnight and can be kicked out of the bed when not needed.

You heartless cad!
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:57 PM on March 3 [5 favorites]


If your partner has freezing feet, don't make fun of them for wearing socks because they might put their ice toes on your body for warmth.

What is this "might" you speak of?
posted by soundguy99 at 4:02 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


I have had an ask tumbling around in my head for quite some time, but lo! my question is answered! Occasionally, I am totally unable to get to sleep until I warm my body up: taking a hot shower, getting a hot water bottle, putting on layers (including socks). AND NOW I KNOW WHY!! This happened with most regularly when I was working the late shift and biking home in the winter at 2:00am. It all makes sense.
posted by Grandysaur at 4:08 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, How to Sleep Better By Sticking a Foot Out From Your Blankets

But... but... that's how the monsters get you!

Team socks here.
posted by belladonna at 4:27 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Not sock related, but
For the folks with cold feet, or cold heads, or who like a cold bedroom but a warm bed. Or for the folks like me when I learned thus trick, live in a drafty old barn of a house that cannot be heated above 65F no matter how much heating oil you throw at it...

There's a thing sold in the US, usually called a 'heated throw'. [In British-English there's an old use of 'rug', for the small woolen rectangular blanket, often plaid, that one tucks around the legs of an invalid while wheeling them around the park, or that Nan throws around her shoulders like a shawl while knitting. A 'heated throw' would be an 'electric rug'.] It's an electric blanket, but only as big as a bath towel. Relatively inexpensive.

The trick is to unmake your bed and place a heated throw on top of your mattress - but UNDER your sheets - in the winter. Cold feet? Lay it horizontal at the foot of the bed. Lower body's fine, but your shoulders and head get cold? Put it under the pillows. Just one of you is always cold? Lay it vertically on your side of the bed and sleep on top of the warm spot like a lizard on a hot rock.

If you add an appliance timer, you can accommodate lots of cases. Shivering when laying down, but you kick the covers off by midnight? Or fine going to bed but wake up shivering at 4am? Set it just to run for an hour at bedtime or pre-dawn. Or go all 21st century: "Alexa, run me a bath and pre-heat the bed."

But the best use case is that it allows you to have a warm bed, without having to heat the entire room all night. Sometimes that's about utility bills and heating expense. Sometimes it's because your ideal sleeping situation is outdoors in the snow, under a thick pile of bearskins (with one leg sticking out, of course). Putting the nighttime heat under your body, both under blankets, lets you indulge in (or cope with) sleeping with the windows open in January but still being toasty.

We had some success with the same idea in the living room too. You can sit and read for hours comfortable in a 60F room, if you're sitting on top of something that warms up all your blood as it passes through your back and thighs. You only notice when you get up and walk around. (Problem is, the moment you get up, your spot will be occupied by any and all very hairy pets, who get warm enough to shed more than usual.)
posted by bartleby at 4:31 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


For those haing spouse-temperature-issues: separate blankets. It's kept us married for 20+ years.
posted by PennD at 4:42 PM on March 3 [8 favorites]




I hope someone has added this to the list of discussions here (like the standing-to-wipe one) that let us all enjoy how weird other people are.

Personally I'm on team no-socks in bed because my feet get hot and itchy if I try to sleep in socks. (Relatedly, as someone who doesn't watch much porn, I am always surprised when I see it how often the actors are wearing socks. One would think that they would keep the sets warm for reasons beyond cold feet.)
posted by Dip Flash at 5:23 PM on March 3


Team socks, but they're very much oversized, so they're loose and fall off by morning when they're no longer needed.
posted by channaher at 5:29 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


When it's cold out my feet feel really cold at bedtime, but if I wear socks to bed, I wake up with hot feet and have to kick them off.

Solution: Heating pad.

I put a heating pad at the foot of the bed, and it keeps my feet nice and warm as I relax and go to sleep, and it turns off automatically after 15 minutes.
posted by BrashTech at 6:00 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Team Raynaud's here too. Also Team Unable to Sleep if Any of My Skin's Surface is Making Contact with Another Part of My Skin's Surface. I feel so seen right now you guys.

why not gloves too? Why just feet?

For me, my hands do get cold pretty easily, but when I'm sleeping they're under the blanket hugged to my chest, so that keeps them warm.
posted by joannemerriam at 6:44 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


If your partner has freezing feet, don't make fun of them for wearing socks because they might put their ice toes on your body for warmth.

for anyone contemplating icytoed vengeance, the most upsetting places i have found on the unsuspecting toasty flesh of my sleeping victims include the small of the back, behind the knees, and the underbutt zone.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:19 PM on March 3 [10 favorites]


Popsicle toes are totally a weapon (which I'm kind and never inflict on my beloved). But I definitely have to shed the socks (and swear by the heated mattress pad. Also separate blankets under a bedspread. We are sleep special snowflakes, aren't we?
posted by ldthomps at 7:28 PM on March 3


Okay, so I have scrolled through all these comments and there is one thing I do not understand, that I am shocked no one else has brought up:

You guys get warm feet when you wear socks?

If I specifically heat my feet up in some way, like by soaking them in hot water, and then after they are hot put socks on, the socks will delay the chilling of my feet. If I put socks and shoes on and then go for a walk, moving my feet around a lot, they get a little warmer.

However, if I put socks on feet that are presently cold, and don't move around or do anything additional to apply added warmth, nothing happens. My feet just stay cold, but now they're cold in socks. I only even realized this was unique to me when I asked my husband, "why are you wearing socks on the couch, it's not like they do anything" and he stared at me like I had nine heads.

Now I wonder if something is wrong with me.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 7:37 PM on March 3 [7 favorites]


I'm late to this but have to say: the key is to have the right socks.

My granddaughter gave me a pair of Wigwam Men's 40 Below socks three years ago and I've worn them every night since (and bought two more pairs of the same). Bed socks have to be loose and soft and thick to work for sleeping. To anyone who hasn't had success: please try Wigwam 40 Below socks!

I have zero connection with the company, but those socks are tops for sleeping.
posted by anadem at 8:12 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


I'm going to have to find something though to help me sleep

Weighted blanket?

Me and my sister play a game sometimes we like to call HOW DO YOU LIVE where one of us will talk about a completely normal thing they do and the other will say "Huh, HOW DO YOU LIVE?"

So like she sleeps on her stomach. HOW DOES SHE LIVE??
I sleep in a hat. HOW DO I LIVE??

She can't sleep in any clothing with a zipper or button. I sleep in a sweatshirt with a zipper. She sleeps in boy shorts. I can't have my skin (that isn't hand, foot or face) touching the sheets. She keeps the door open for the cats, has the window open in the spring and summer, and has sheer curtains. I can't sleep unless all the doors and windows are closed, and there is no light coming in from outside. She has a fluffy polyester duvet. I have a sheep's wool comforter, and a down comforter, and flannel sheets. She wakes up around 5-6 am. I wake up around 10-11 am.

However, we agree on a few things: mattress pad warmers are the only thing that makes living in New England in the winter bearable, and sleeping in socks is impossible.

However for folks who have a hard time finding sleepworthy sock in big sizes, I'd like to put in a plug for Heat Holders socks which come in XL sizes and are super warm. They have this weird deep pile that means they're not restricting. I have a pair I wear for padding around the house (my mom used to have them for her neuropathy-induced cold feet) and they are magical.
posted by jessamyn at 8:21 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


I'm late to this but have to say: the key is to have the right socks.

Doesn't your left foot get cold?
posted by aubilenon at 8:31 PM on March 3 [10 favorites]


socks plural so maybe the trick is having two right feet
posted by poffin boffin at 9:01 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Those of us with restless leg syndrome laugh bitterly.
posted by Pastor of Muppets at 9:17 PM on March 3


I just got into bed and sighed in the comfort of my sockless feet. Soon they’ll have to go outside the duvet - it’s ridiculously hot in here, probably 65F, I need to go turn the thermostat down - but this little interlude as they warm up is so nice. I’ve always been a furnace, which is complicated when you can’t sleep without covers, but as I’ve gotten older it’s gotten ridiculous. I would be quite happy if the bedroom was about 55 all year round; then moving my feet in and out would perfectly regulate the temperature. At least until a hot flash hit.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:18 PM on March 3


if my bedroom was 55 degrees i would prosecute my landlord in the hague
posted by poffin boffin at 9:38 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


You say that, but what if your 55 degree bedroom was a cave, strewn with the bones of those who have failed to answer your riddles three?
posted by bartleby at 10:26 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


those who have failed to answer your riddles three?

Time, a hole, and George Washington Carver?
posted by aubilenon at 10:34 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


My apartment is really expensive to heat so I keep my thermostat on 58. It's much colder inside than it is outside. Not only do socks in bed keep my feet warm, but I also tuck my PJ pants into them so they don't slide up my legs and leave my legs exposed. Besides pants and socks, I also have a t-shirt, a wool sweater, a two-layer fleece bathrobe plus my cold-weather duvet. The bathrobe often comes off in the night and maybe I stick an arm outside the duvet but it's just cold.

The only way I can convince myself to get up on work days is to imagine the hot shower I'm about to get into.
posted by bendy at 11:53 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Guys, you need better duvets. When I was young, I'd even bring my eiderdown duvet with me on travels, because I found it hard to sleep with just blankets or lesser quality duvets. I can see how socks might be more practical.
posted by mumimor at 12:32 AM on March 4


You say that, but what if your 55 degree bedroom was a cave, strewn with the bones of those who have failed to answer your riddles three?

i would still want it to be cozy
posted by poffin boffin at 1:32 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


cozy toesie
posted by poffin boffin at 1:32 AM on March 4 [2 favorites]


I did this last night and HOLY FUCK BALLS I had some weird sleep. I think good?

So I went to bed. I felt like I fell asleep fine. I woke up having to pee EXCRUTIATINGLY with no memory of previously waking up and having to pee but ignoring it like I'm fairly sure I'd have... cause I do that. Anyway, I hobbled into the bathroom just SLEEP DRUNK OFF MY ASS it was like 2am according to my sleep tracker. Maybe 3.

I go back to blissful sleep and sleep so deeply except when my cats bug the fuck out of me to feed them. I overslept my alarm by snoozing twice which I never do... I don't remember the snooze which is also extremely not me. Then I got up so sleep drunk again.

What sorcery is this sock thing. My feet were warm all night too. I must try this again. It felt good but getting up was painful because I wanted more of this good sleep?! Or did I get bad sleep that felt good?! My sleep tracker said I spent a lot of time awake but I do not remember any of it like I would based on all my previous other times alive and in bed.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 6:59 AM on March 4 [8 favorites]


what if your 55 degree bedroom was a cave, strewn with the bones of those who have failed to answer your riddles three?

SO not fair to just out people like that.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:43 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


I have very specific sleep hygiene, and there's No Way (fuck NO) I would ever wear socks to bed. I'm trying to condition myself to wear a light sleep shirt, and can't even do that. I sleep nekkid, heavy blanket, temp lower than 60, fully dark, and no other person in the same building. (Yes, my "she shed" is Just For Me 24/7. MINE) My feet are always too hot.
posted by RedEmma at 11:43 AM on March 4 [2 favorites]


I wear socks to bed every night, even in the summer - my feet would feel weird without them. But, even so, I wake up several times a night. I'd hate to think what would happen if I wasn't wearing socks.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 1:04 PM on March 4


it takes me approximately 1 million years to fall asleep at night, so last night I tried socks and a hot water bottle. Not sure it helped - (it's hard to judge 1 million years minus 15 minutes) but at least my feet were toasty
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:48 PM on March 4 [1 favorite]


Setting: overheated NYC apartment, with a drafty window that keeps the bedroom a few degrees cooler. King size bed, separate sheets and blankets.

Player one: wears t-shirt, no socks unless it’s 10 degrees or building boiler is malfunctioning. Only a sheet and a light blanket covering.

Player two: sleeps naked with only old wool socks, with couple blankets that get tossed off in the middle of the night, or balled up and clutched to the chest.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:56 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]


I always end up with my feet sticking out from under the blanket, freezing. Hence the socks.

Am also contemplating elbow gloves.
posted by Omnomnom at 7:55 AM on March 5


Yes, gloriouslyincandescent has it:
If my feet are cold, they're gonna stay cold 'til my core temperature rises enough that my panicky autonomic nervous system finally decides it can spare some blood for my poor feet. If I put socks on cold feet, I just have cold feet embalmed in socks.

I have a cheap heated throw from big lots and I turn it on about twenty minutes before going to sleep and heat up the bottom of the bed. If it's really cold, I get in a flaming hot shower and stand there 'til I'm close to unpleasantly hot, then race into bed and switch off the blanket. The bed and my feet and the rest of me gradually cool to a temperature suitable for slumber.
posted by Don Pepino at 6:08 AM on March 6


That's why you put the socks on before your feet get that cold. You put them on when your feet start losing heat.
posted by Omnomnom at 7:31 AM on March 6


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