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Fact Check: Is sleeping with socks on a bad thing?

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Quick Take

A WhatsApp message circulated suggests that wearing socks at night while sleeping can cause brain damage. The same question has also been discussed on multiple online forums. We did a Fact Check on the topic and realised that the claim is entirely false.

The Claim

The claim has been circulated in a viral WhatsApp messages. It was sent to us by one of our readers on out WhatsApp tipline number. We also found the question being asked and discussed on multiple online forums including Quora. Snapshot of some pages as below:

Fact Check

Can sleeping with socks cause brain damage?

Dr. Pawan Raj

Dr. Pawan Raj, Associate Professor & Consultant Neurologist at Father Muller Medical College says, “Our brain sits heavily insulated inside a thick skull, and seven layers of scalp tissue followed by hair layer which protects it from temperature fluctuations.  Caps and socks do not significantly affect brain health except being helpful as sleep promoting agents in cold climates.”

The same is advised by National Sleep Foundation. On its website Sleep.org, it claims warming your feet before you go to bed helps give your brain a clear sleep signal that it’s bedtime.

A study from 2007 reported that adults who wore either normal or heated socks in bed got to sleep fasterA similar study was also published on Nature.com in 1999.

Can sleeping with socks cause skin problems?
Dr-Joyeeta-Chowdhury-Dermatologist
Dr. Joyeeta Chowdhury

Dr. Joyeeta Chowdhury, MD. Assistant professor, Dermatology, NRS Medical College and Hospital says, “In normal condition, socks will not cause any problems to skin. But, people who maintain an unhygienic lifestyle like not bathing daily or going to bed with the same socks they wore to office, can develop skin issues. I see patients daily who have developed skin infections like intertrigo, fungal infections because they were either too lazy or too busy to follow a basic hygiene regime. Person with outdoor jobs, should change their socks once they reach home, else there can always be a chance of infections.

Not only infections, even dermatitis with post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation, due to scratching, occurs very commonly due to whole day wearing of socks. So, it is necessary to wash your feet, keep it clean and dry.

As such there is no issue with wearing socks during sleep. But if you have skin infections over your feet or toes, please avoid using them or consult your dermatologist.

Apart from that, people who have a problem of excessive sweating should change their socks daily. People who have a problem of bad odour on their feet, should change socks twice a day. If you are allergic to a certain mixed textile, stick to cotton socks.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also advises against “wearing socks made from fabric that doesn’t dry easily (for example, nylon)” especially in cases of existing foot infections like Athlete’s Foot (tinea pedis).

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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