You may have noticed that if you fall asleep without a blanket, it’s your feet that feel the cold first. Conversely, keep your feet covered and you might just stay warm and toasty, regardless of what’s happening with the rest of your body. It may seem odd, but these simple facts do have some science behind them, and they just might make it easier to help you get the sleep you need (https://longevity.technology/lifestyle/how-a-simple-trick-of-warming-your-feet-can-improve-your-sleep/).
There’s probably no need to tell you that sleep is vitally important. It’s right up there with diet and exercise on the list of lifestyle factors that we need to manage if we want to maintain both physical and mental health. You can find lots of advice out there for how to improve your sleep quality, some of it strange and complicated-sounding. It would be easy to miss something as simple as keeping your feet warm.
No, warm feet won’t solve all your problems, like removing the stress from your life or curing your other health issues, but there is a scientific basis for their importance. It starts with your circulation. If you want your blood vessels to expand so the blood can flow more easily, which in turn should help you relax, you need to make sure your feet aren’t too cold.
Preparing for sleep naturally makes your core temperature start to cool down, but keeping your feet warm helps keep this process under control. Your body will feel safer and more protected, which means it will hopefully be able to release some of the hormones that make sleep possible, let go of the waking world, and fall asleep.
Warming your feet is generally a soothing activity for most people. It increases your physical comfort, which leads to mental relaxation and makes it easier to sleep. You might do this with some blankets or a heating pad. Maybe you’d prefer a hot drink or a particularly comfy pair of wooly socks that make you feel toasty just looking at them. Maybe you’ll even have a foot bath just before bed!
Different people will find different methods more effective when trying to ensure their feet stay warm. What is important is that you don’t dismiss this apparently innocuous step, which has such great implications for how you sleep and, by extension, your overall physical and mental wellbeing.