If you’re like me, you’ll love the feeling of slipping on a good pair of socks before getting into bed. Your feet feel warm and cosy, making it easier for you to fall asleep. But let’s be honest, we usually aren’t going to bed wearing a clean pair of socks, fresh out the drawer.
Socks can’t be that dirty, can they? Well, it turns out dirty socks are even filthier than we could ever imagine.
Given that there are many sleep benefits of wearing socks to bed, experts at MattressNextDay want to highlight the importance of swapping your socks for fresh ones before getting into bed.
As part of their analysis, MattressNextDay swabbed different people’s socks that were worn from 7 am to 11 pm.
Each person wore the same socks whilst wearing shoes, exercising, and going about their everyday routine. After sending the swabs to a lab, they found that half of the socks featured the same bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause a wide range of infections – lovely, right?
Oh and if you think that’s not too bad, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is also commonly found on cockroaches and in their faecal droppings.
“It typically infects the airway and urinary tract, and causes infection of the lungs. It can easily spread on tools that get contaminated and are not properly cleaned,” the bacteria test found.
Similarly, MattressNextDay swabbed a doormat and a TV remote to compare the bacteria found in these hotspots.
The test results found that the bacteria on the socks and the doormat were the same, meaning they were just as dirty as each other.
Similarly, in previous studies, the remote has been dubbed as ‘dirtier than a toilet’, however MattressNextDay’s findings revealed that the socks of the participants were even dirtier than a TV remote.
This is icky considering people are wearing these socks to bed, meaning they’re spreading bacteria in an area where they spend a third of their life. It seems that several of us have been putting bacteria in our beds as only 30% of people change their socks when going to bed to sleep.
Wearing clean socks every time you go to bed might seem like an inconvenience but you don’t want all those germs somewhere you sleep.
Besides, there are several benefits to going to bed with socks on, including the following:
You’re more likely to orgasm whilst wearing socks. This is because socks can cause the blood vessels in your feet to dilate and improve blood flow, therefore, making it easier to climax. A study by the University of Groningen confirmed this too, after finding that 80% of people were able to reach orgasm whilst wearing socks, compared to just 50% that could wear socks.
You’re less likely to get hot flushes or night sweats. Your circadian rhythm - which signals when it is time to go to bed and wake up and controls your sleep patterns - also affects your body temperature, which drops during the night. However, by sleeping with socks on, you regulate the temperature cycles your body goes through during the night, thus improving your sleep. This, therefore, makes it ideal for those that suffer from hot flushes or night sweats.
You’re less likely to wake up in the middle of the night. A study found that for those who wear socks to bed, the number of awakenings during the night was 7.5 times lower than the group without socks.
You’ll sleep for around 32 minutes longer, too. The same study also revealed that those who wore socks to bed slept for an average of 32 minutes more. This is because wearing socks and warming your feet stops the cold air from escaping and regulates the body’s core temperature.