Adult POC lying in bed with socks, while cooling swirls of air surround them.

Sleep Socks and Getting a Comfortable Sleep With RLS

Last updated: February 2022

Temperature control and restless legs syndrome (RLS) can be a finicky thing for all of us. For me, it is a lot better when I am cool at night. Temperature control isn’t always easy for me, though, when it comes to just hormonal fluctuations during my menstrual cycle, and because I have hypothyroidism.

Reducing core temperature

I like to sleep in a cool-to-cold bedroom, and other people in the house — well, not so much. So I heard about this thing to reduce your core temperature at night: sleep socks. Which sounds so not sexy, but I really want to just — well, chill at night.

Trying out cooling bamboo products for my RLS

So I really want to have a nice cool sleep so my RLS is not even more aggravated and I am not up insanely early. What I have done so far is bought cooling bedsheets and a bamboo cooling pillow.

Apparently, they even sell cooling bamboo PJs, so I am looking into that as well. I have the fan on low because my spouse doesn't want it on higher.

Hearing about sleep socks on TV

A tip I heard on a morning TV show from some sleep specialist was that if you are the one that sleeps hot and wants to get cooler, then sleep with your socks on. He said it helps open up blood flow everywhere else to cool your core body temperature.

This also may help with night sweats. So I may try that, but it doesn’t sound comfortable.

Researching the socks' effect on body temperature

I looked for more information about sleeping in socks, but there isn't exactly that much research done on sock sleeping (weird, eh? Sock research just doesn’t rank that high). But what was done did say it can help with sleep temperature regulation, longer duration of sleep, and with fewer episodes of waking up. Some of that research included warming your feet in water prior to sleep, but the idea is the same.1-2

Temperature regulation when living with other people

I guess it is worth a go anyway. The sleep specialist they had interviewed on TV said wearing socks was an option for people who are the ones who are hot at night and who can’t control the room’s temperature due to other people being freezing if they do. And clearly, in this house, I am outnumbered.

However, one important thing for sleep hygiene is sleeping in a room that is just on the cool side but not too hot, and not too cold. So it is important to help us for optimum sleep to have that ideal body temperature. Different people have different ideal temperatures for the house and bedroom, though. This would be one apparent solution for those like me who overheat at night.

I question if this will work for me when my temperature seems to be erratic, but I’m giving it a go!

Compression socks, regular socks, and restless legs syndrome

So, I am all for trying sleep socks to help with my core body temperature, but would wearing socks bother my RLS at night? I mean, the sensations are the severest at night. I was thinking they might be annoying. However, one tip to manage RLS is to wear compression socks, so I might be wrong there.

I would have to ask my doctor if it is okay to wear compression socks at night; I can still try regular socks first, though.

So, yeah, I am going to be that weird person that sleeps with their socks on. Or at least try it.

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