Remember your grandmother putting a hot water bottle at the foot of her bed? Turns out, she might’ve been onto something. If you have trouble falling asleep, it’s time to think about pulling on a pair of socks just before climbing into bed. Wearing socks, like that hot water bottle, warms your feet, which can help speed you on your way to Snoozeville a little faster.
Here’s why: Heating cold feet causes vasodilation—dilation, or opening up, of the blood vessels—which may signal to the brain that it’s bedtime. After the blood vessels open in the hands and feet, heat is redistributed throughout the body in preparation for sleep.
Research has shown that the more vasodilation in your hands and feet, the less time it takes for you to fall asleep.
If slipping on socks before you drift off, but you need help getting your body and brain to sleep faster, give these these foot-warming strategies a try:
- Layer extra blankets on top of your comforter, over the bottom portion of the bedspread, to create extra warmth for your feet.
- Make like your grandmother and invest in a basic hot water bottle (about $10 at drugstores) or a heating pad ($15 to $85 at drugstores) to warm up the foot of your bed before bedtime.
- Splurge on plush footwear to wear in bed. A pair of cashmere socks might set you back about $20.
- Take slippers for a test drive. Wear cozy, insulated ones before bedtime to help prep yourself for sleep.
In the final analysis, should you wear socks to bed? They may not be sexy, but neither are cold feet.