Dr Amir talks about the best sleep positions for health
A doctor has revealed how sleeping with socks on can improve your sleep.
This follows a number of studies pointing to the sleep-inducing benefits of wearing socks in bed.
For example, research has suggested that the simple hack improves your ability to get to sleep and the quality of your slumber.
But what’s behind this effect? The working theory seems somewhat counterintuitive at first glance.
According to biomedical scientist Dr Biquan Luo, the key lies in warming up your feet to lower your core temperature.
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“Warming the feet can have a positive impact on sleep for many people, primarily because of its effect in promoting lower core body temperature and relaxation,” she told Fox News Digital.
As the doc explains, core body temperature is instrumental in regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
“As we sleep, our core temperature naturally drops as part of our circadian rhythm,” she said.
“This decline starts at the beginning of sleep and reaches its lowest point during the early morning hours. Decreasing the core body temperature helps the body fall and stay asleep.”
A couple of studies support Dr Luo’s claim. In one study, published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, six young males were randomised into groups: those wearing socks to sleep and those without.
Researchers recorded several metrics, such as sleep efficiency, total sleep time, number of awakenings, wake after sleep onset and average awakening length.
A questionnaire on sleep quality was obtained after awakening in the morning.
The results showed that in the group donning socks, the time it took to get to sleep was on average 7.5 minutes shorter, total sleep time was 32 minutes longer, the number of awakenings was 7.5 times smaller, and sleep efficiency was 7.6 percent higher.
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“Feet warming using bed socks during sleep in a cool environment had positive effects on sleep quality by shortened sleep onset, lengthened sleep time, and lessened awakenings during sleep but had no significant influence on core body temperature,” the researchers concluded.
Another research study demonstrated that warming feet for 20 minutes before bed reduces insomnia symptoms
However, research also suggests that elderly patients with insomnia do not experience any changes in their symptoms when increasing foot-warming techniques, indicating that age may play an important role in the efficacy of foot-warming’s effect on sleep.
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