Last Updated: January 13, 2023, 08:00 IST
Cold feet could be the reason behind your restless nights. Many have difficulty getting to sleep from time to time, especially during the chilly winters. When your feet are cold, they constrict the blood vessels, leading to poor blood circulation. According to the National Sleep Foundation, warming the feet before going to bed helps give the brain a clear sleep signal at bedtime.
And, what is the easiest way to warm your feet? Socks, of course. Wearing socks in bed is arguably the safest way to keep your feet warm overnight. As strange as it might sound, sleeping with socks on can help you get to sleep faster. This is because temperature regulation is an essential part of the sleep cycle. Other methods, used worldwide, include rice socks, a hot water bottle, or a heating blanket.
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A study from a 2007 report by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) found that adults who wore either regular or heated socks in bed got to sleep faster.
A person’s core body temperature drops during the night and the lowest temperature may reach around 4 a.m. The average body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (°F), but it varies by 1 to 2 degrees over the course of 24 hours.
But the question remains, is the practice of wearing socks to bed healthy? Despite the benefits, doctors insist on certain people avoiding this practice.
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Consultant of Interventional Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine, from Hyderabad’s Yashoda Hospitals, Dr Viswesvaran Balasubramanian in an interview with The Indian Express said, “People with abrasions or open wounds in the legs or those with problems with blood circulation like arterial or venous disorders of the lower limb are not advised to wear.”
Another health expert, Dr R R Dutta, HOD Internal Medicine, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram, stated that people who live in hot climates should avoid wearing socks. Those with fungal infections on their feet should also abstain from this practice as their skin requires air and light.
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Socks’ hygiene is another important factor. Poor socks hygiene may lead to an increased risk of skin infection, especially if socks are made of synthetic material like nylon.
Now if you want to avoid wearing socks at bedtime, we have some substitute methods to keep your feet warm:
- Warm foot bath
- Try those warm pairs of slippers. Wear them before getting into bed
- A hot water bottle. Keep it near your feet
- Sleep with a blanket over the foot of the bed, in a bid to keep them covered.
- Take a bath 1 or 2 hours before your bedtime
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