A Doctor's Sleep Hack Has Gone Viral On TikTok, But Does It Actually Work?
From the 4-7-8 breathing technique to diffusing essential oils and investing in a weighted blanket, there are a myriad of tricks experts swear by to help fall and stay asleep.
But if you’ve tried them all yet still manage to have restless nights here and there, you might be interested in learning about the latest sleep hack that has gone viral on TikTok.
Doctor Jess Andrade, a third-year pediatric resident doctor who goes by the username @DoctorJesss, regularly shares medical facts with her 1.2 million followers on the social media platform. In one video posted on February 9, she explained how she often wears socks to bed at night and has found it to hugely benefit her sleep habits.
"So let’s talk about people that wear socks to bed,” Andrade said in the video, which has 3.5 million likes and 61k comments at the time of writing.
"Wearing socks makes your feet warm up and this opens up the blood vessels that cool the body down," she continued. "The body being cool tells the brain that it's time for bed. So actually people that wear socks tend to fall asleep faster."
She captioned the post: "I wear socks to bed so don't come at me, I'm not weird.”
I wear socks to bed so don’t come at me im not weird♬ presleywalker - PresleyWalker
While the majority of her followers reluctantly took her advice on board, others had strong opinions.
“When I wear socks I overheat and can’t fall asleep,” one person wrote.
“I can’t sleep with socks, I would never be able to fall asleep,” another commented.
A third person said: “I don’t know why, but I feel really weird and claustrophobic when I try to wear socks to bed. I always end up taking them off.”
So, does Andrade’s sock hack actually work?
Does wearing socks to bed help you sleep?
Despite the controversy, Andrade’s hack is supported by scientific research. A 2006 study published in the Physical Behaviour Journal found that “in adults, sleep-onset was accelerated by [wearing] warm and neutral bed socks after lights-off and correlated to the increase in foot temperature.”
Leading sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo, agrees. “As Dr Andrade mentioned in the video, wearing socks encourages heat loss - aka lowering of your core body temperature,” she tells Bed Threads Journal.
“To explain this further, a lowering of your body core temperature is a signal for your body to produce melatonin - the sleep hormone.
“As a result of melatonin onset, you naturally feel tired, sleepy and want to call it a night.”
If you’re a strong no-sock-to-bed person, there are other methods you could try that mimic the effects of wearing socks.
“Academic evidence notes a shower can help reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep, heighten sleep efficiency (so you get more deep sleep) and improve subjective sleep quality,” Arezzolo adds.
“After you emerge from a warm shower into a cool bathroom, your core body temperature lowers and you start to produce melatonin.”
Or, you could also try a foot bath: “Another clinical trial found a nightly foot bath could reduce sleep disorders such as insomnia, by 22 per cent.”
I mean, it won’t hurt to try.