Want a better night’s sleep? Wear SOCKS to bed, expert claims
It may sound like your worst nightmare.
But wearing socks to bed can be the key to a good night’s sleep.
That’s according to MattressNextDay boss Martin Seeley, who said it can “help you fall asleep faster and experience deeper sleep.”
The simple trick lends a helping hand to our internal master clock, or circadian rhythm.
Leading up to bed, the body slowly winds down its factories and conserves energy – helping the core temperature.
But according to one expert, wearing socks to bed may be the key to deep sleep. With the power to warm up your feet, this can signal your body that it’s time to sleep, explained Martin Seeley, CEO of MattressNextDay, also known as the sleep expert.
To do this, the body sends heat from the core to the hands and feet at night.
But having cold feet disrupts this process and ultimately disrupts the sleep/wake cycle.
This is because blood vessels constrict when it’s cold, meaning the body has to work a little harder to cool down because blood pressure rises.
But warming the feet dilates the narrowed blood vessels, allowing more heat to escape through the skin, which lowers the temperature.
Mr Seeley said: ‘Wearing socks to bed can help warm up your feet which can signal to your body that it’s time to sleep.
“However, whether wearing socks to bed actually leads to deeper sleep may depend on the individual.
“Some people may find it uncomfortable to wear socks to bed, while others may not notice a difference in the quality of their sleep.”
Deep sleep, also known as slow-wave sleep or stage 3 of non-rapid eye movements (NREM), is an important phase of the cycle.
Each sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes, moving from lighter stages of sleep to deep sleep.
Experts suggest that we should spend 10 to 15 percent of each night in deep sleep — the recommended amount.
But many people don’t reach that important REM sleep stage long enough, experts say.
Getting enough deep sleep can prevent hormonal imbalances, improve cognitive function and repair and regenerate tissues, muscles and bones, studies suggest.
Deep sleep also plays a role in regulating emotions, mood and behavior.
A 2007 study from the Netherlands Institute of Neurosciences (NIN), published in the journal Physiology & Behaviorfound that people who wore socks to bed fell asleep faster.
If you spend less time tossing and turning trying to fall asleep, you’re more likely to experience deeper, high-quality sleep, experts say.
But wearing socks to bed isn’t the only secret Mr. Seeley recommends for a good night’s sleep.
Investing in a weighted blanket can help you wake up energized and in a better mood.
He said: ‘Weighted blankets provide gentle pressure that can promote relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety.
“This can help improve the quality of your sleep and increase the amount of deep sleep you get.”
A 2015 study in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders also found that a weighted blanket helped people with insomnia sleep better simply because it helped them feel more comfortable before going to bed.
Evening sleep-inducing routines should also begin hours before bedtime.
Mr Seeley added: ‘Develop a calming bedtime routine to help relax your mind and body.
“This could be taking a warm bath, practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing, or reading a book.”
Other tips include sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
This helps regulate your body’s internal clock.
Moving more can also help you sleep better.
Regular exercise is not only good for your physical health and mind, it can also help improve the quality of your sleep, says Mr Seeley.
However, it’s important to avoid vigorous or strenuous exercise right before bed if it affects your sleep, he noted.