The idea of sleeping with your feet covered, whether it is with socks or with the blanket itself, is not a novel idea. Rather, this is a topic that is talked about quite a bit and is argued both ways. For some, covering their feet up means not waking up at night due to unbalanced body temperature, and for others, covering up means becoming way too hot at night. According to the science behind this topic, there are numerous benefits to wearing a pair of cozy socks or slipping those feet under the covers, but what’s not talked about a lot? The potential “foot trouble” you could get yourself into when covering up. Let’s dive and see what the downsides are.
5 Downsides to Covering Your Feet Up at Night
While the majority of people may find that wearing socks at night helps them get a good night’s rest, there are some individuals who actually find that they come away with more foot trouble if they do. For these individuals, not only does covering up interfere with their sleeping patterns, but with the wrong blanket or wrong sock-type, it leads to rashes and infections. Here are 5 downsides to covering up at night.
1. Increased Risk of Infection. One of the many problems that individuals run into is not knowing which nighttime materials suit their own feet. If you choose a material that is either filled with chemicals, or is rough to the skin, and you wear them or cover your feet up with them over a prolonged period of time, you could end up with an infection. How? The material will chaff at your skin, opening up small sores, and creating an environment for dryness and further skin irritation. If your blankets or socks have any kind of chemicals in them, or you find yourself allergic to the material, you’ll end up with an infection in your feet. Make sure to be on the lookout for redness, tenderness, swelling, and open sores if you do choose to cover your feet up at night.
2. Compromised Hygiene. How often do you wash your blankets or your socks? Do you choose to cover up with a fresh set of sheets every night, or only wear bedtime socks at night that are clean? If the answer is no, you may be causing compromised hygiene, which can lead to foot trouble. Without clean sheets, blankets, or socks, your feet will be unable to breathe properly, and you may inadvertently create a breeding ground for bacteria while you sleep.
3. Increased High Blood Pressure. A commonly touted point for covering your feet up before bed is that it increases blood circulation. Unfortunately, for those who are wearing socks all day long and then covering their feet up at night may actually experience a decrease in flood flow. Why? Prolonged foot covering narrows the tissues, muscles, and blood vessels around your feet, thus decreasing circulation. Ever taken socks off that have left rings around your ankles or seen swelling above where the sock ends? Be careful of this, as this type of foot trouble can lead to worse health problems.
4. Overheating & Night Sweats. If you really want to cover those feet up, make sure you are doing so with the right materials. Wrong choice and you could end up overheating. If the covers aren’t breathable, then you could artificially make your temperature rise and cause yourself a whole heap of restless nights.
5. Skin Irritation Leading to Disrupted Sleep. Do you have extremely sensitive skin? If the answer is yes, wearing socks or covering your feet up at night may not be the best option for you. Excessive skin irritation, caused by wearing the wrong socks or covering up with the wrong sheet material, will lead to disrupted sleep. If you notice that you keep waking up completely exhausted, it may be from micro-disturbances at night, due to your feet being irritated.
6. Plantar Fasciitis. Possibly the biggest possibility with sleeping with your feet covered is the risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis is caused by stress to the fascia muscles that span the underside of the arch of your foot. When your bedding is tightly tucked in, they often will pull your foot down to a point if you’re a back sleeper, which over time can cause damage to those muscles. So, if you sleep on your back, do your feet a favor and loosen up the bedding at the end of your bed so that your feet can stretch out.
How Can I Regulate Temperature Without Covering Up?
If you are completely against covering your feet up at night, we recommend that you regulate your body temperature by placing a hot water bottle at the end of the bed, wearing a pair of slippers before heading to bed, or dipping your feet into a warm bath before bed.
If I Cover My Feet Up Now, Should I Stop?
If you are worried about foot trouble from covering your feet up, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stop. Just make sure that you are swapping out your socks on a nightly basis for clean ones, and choosing blankets and sheets that are breathable.The consensus here is that sleeping with your feet covered isn’t bad at all, and actually offers up some amazing benefits, but if you find yourself struggling, it may be for the reasons above. If you’d like to learn more about why sleeping with your feet covered is good for you, check out the benefits here or here.