When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, everyone seems to have a different hack or trick they swear by and are willing to share. The latest one, courtesy of a doctor on TikTok, is quickly going viral and causing many social media users to wonder: Will it work for everyone?
Dr. Jess Andrade, DO, a resident in pediatrics, recently posted a TikTok video where she talks about wearing socks to bed. In the short clip, Andrade explains why slipping into some socks can help you catch some much-needed shut eye.
“Wearing socks makes your feet warm and this opens up the blood vessels that cool the body down,” she said. “The body being cool tells the brain that it’s time for bed. So actually people that wear socks to bed tend to fall asleep faster.”
The video seemed to resonate with TikTok users and has been viewed more than 19.7 million times. But when the 3rd Hour of TODAY crew discussed the matter this morning, co-anchors Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones were divided in their opinions.
"No, that's a hard no," Dylan said when Sheinelle asked if she wears socks to bed.
"Really? Hard yes. How do I not know this about you?" Sheinelle asked.
"Don't you feel claustrophobic?" Dylan replied.
"No, I feel comfy," Sheinelle explained.
Dylan went on to say that she wears socks all day long and doesn't like walking around barefoot in her home. But when nighttime rolls around, she takes her socks off for bed.
"Even putting Oliver in footie pajamas stresses me out because your feet need to breathe," she said.
Sheinelle understood but still admitted she's a socks-in-bed kinda gal.
"For me, I can't fall asleep without socks," she said.
Should you wear socks to bed to get more sleep?
So, does wearing socks to bed really help you catch more zzz's? TODAY Health was curious to know if this is a one-size-fits-all sleep hack or if it only works for some of us, so we consulted a few sleep specialists for their input.
Dr. Carol Ash, a sleep specialist with RWJBarnabas Health in New Jersey, says it really depends on your personal preferences but acknowledged that socks could certainly help.
"I’ve read at least one study that noted that socks helped improve quality of sleep and decreases time to fall asleep. The study reported socks helped stabilize the body’s core temperature, sending signals to the brain to help you fall asleep faster, maintain sleep and improve sleep quality," she said.
Candice A. Alfano, psychology professor and director of the University of Houston's Sleep and Anxiety Center of Houston (SACH) agreed but also pointed out that most research around socks and sleep centers around the sleep onset period.
"It is possible that while you might fall asleep faster, sleep quality later in the night might be negatively affected. If you find this to be the case, a warm footbath before bed might be a better option than wearing socks," she said.
Some of us love that cozy feeling of wearing socks to bed, but what about those who run hot at night or suffer from hot flashes?
"If you find it uncomfortable or difficult to sleep with socks on, thermal benefits might not matter," Alfano said.
Still, if you're dealing with poor circulation, socks can be a lifesaver.
"The cooler temperatures can exacerbate circulatory problems. Socks can help keep that balance. You can cool down your core and keep your feet cozy," Ash said.
Sleep best practices from the pros
Still on the fence about wearing socks to bed? There are other ways to get a great night's sleep. Here are a few best practices from the pros:
- Create a cave-like space: "The best quality sleep occurs in dark, quiet, cool environments. The ideal temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 F," Alfano said.
- Create a calm area: "Remove all clutter and electronics from your room," Ash said.
- Consider lighting: "In addition to keeping the room cool, you sleep best in a calm, dark room," Ash said.