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Is Sleeping in Shoes Bad for You?


It's possible you have dropped onto your bed in exhaustion after a hard day and woke up realizing that you slept all night with your shoes on. Maybe you know someone who regularly sleeps in shoes. Maybe you are the person who loves your shoes so much you never want to take them off, even at night. If this sounds like you, or if you are just curious about the side-effects of sleeping with shoes on, keep reading to learn more.

Related Blog: Is Sleeping on the Couch A Good Idea?

Why You Might Wear Your Shoes to Bed

As odd as it might sound, some people do wear their shoes to bed. They may do this for any number of reasons, including:

  • Your feet are cold.
  • Your feet feel better in shoes.
  • You are too tired to take off your shoes.
  • You are camping outdoors, and you might have to get up and walk through the woods during the night.

Disadvantages of Sleeping in Shoes

Are you ready to sleep with your shoes on tonight? Before you make this decision, consider the following disadvantages. They might make you change your mind.

Lack of Good Hygiene

Shoes are not the cleanest item of clothing in your wardrobe. Consider all the surfaces you walk on during the day. This includes parking lots, grassy lawns, mud puddles, busy sidewalks, hallways, public restrooms, and everywhere in between. Microbiologist, Dr. Charles Gerba, performed a study on the cleanliness of footwear and came to some disturbing results:

  • On average, there were 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside of the shoe and 2,887 on the inside.
  • E. coli was found on 27% of the shoes tested.
  • Bacteria transferred from the shoe to uncontaminated floor tiles 90-99% of the time.

If all that nasty bacteria is on the bottom of your shoes, do you really want them in your bed?

Uncomfortable Sleeping

Although some people love the snug fit of a good pair of shoes, most people enjoy the sensation of taking shoes off at the end of a long day. Being able to wiggle your toes and feel the texture of your flooring under your bare feet is a good feeling. Sleeping with shoes on is clunky and deprives your feet of freedom at the end of the day. When you need a good night's rest, make sure you are doing everything you can to make your body comfortable.

Fungal Infections

Foot rot is an actual thing. In hot, humid climates, people who sleep with socks or shoes on their feet risk rotting their feet due to the accumulation of moisture and bacteria inside their footwear. 

Even if you don't live in the jungle, you can still get foot rot. Around here, we commonly call it Athlete's foot. It is a fungal infection that usually develops between your toes. It thrives on warm, moist conditions, such as the inside of your shoe. If you wear your shoes to bed, you are increasing the number of hours your feet spend inside the ideal breeding ground for the fungi that causes Athlete's foot. If you take your shoes off and let your feet air out and dry off, you decrease your chance of getting this contagious infection.

Sleeping in Socks

Is sleeping in socks just as bad as sleeping in shoes? Thankfully, no it is not. Socks do not confine your feet in the same way that shoes do. Hopefully, they do not have the same amount of bacteria on them as the bottoms of your shoes. Plus, socks are more comfortable. If you suffer from cold feet at night, pulling on a pair of thermal socks is a great way to warm up and stay cozy.

Sleeping with your socks on can help promote better sleep. Studies such as this one have found that people with warm feet fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer than people with cold feet. Next time you are having difficulty sleeping, instead of reaching for your favorite pair of shoes, grab a pair of clean socks.

More Tips for Getting a Good Night's Sleep

It's very important to establish a bedtime routine. Use your bedroom for sleeping, relaxing, and snuggling. Leave your work and worries outside the bedroom. Take off your shoes, and sleep barefoot or in a clean pair of socks. Try going to sleep at the same time every day. Darken the room, and do not watch television or look at your phone while in bed. 

Most importantly, buy a comfortable mattress. Your bed should be the place you want to be when you slip off into dreamland.


If you live and slumber anywhere in the Sarasota or Venice, Florida area, Land of Sleep can help you select the perfect mattress that suits your sleep requirements. For further information, contact us today.

Guide to a Better Nights Sleep

Tags: sleeping tips, best night's sleep, sleeping habits