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Warm feet may help you sleep

Normal or not, wearing socks may be smart if you’re having trouble falling asleep. There may be something to the old advice that warming your feet can speed up your trip to dreamland.

Heating cold feet causes vasodilation—dilation of the blood vessels—which may tell the brain that it is bedtime. After the blood vessels open in the hands and feet, heat is redistributed throughout the body to prepare for sleep.

In fact, some research has shown that the more vasodilation in the hands and feet, the less time it takes to fall asleep. The relationship between warm hands and feet and falling asleep may be what’s behind the age-old belief that placing a hot water bottle at the foot of the bed is good for sleep.

The verdict? Socks in bed may not be sexy, but then again, neither are cold feet!

If you aren’t a sock sleeper, but want to help your body and brain get to sleep faster, try these foot-warming strategies:

  • Layer extra blankets on top of your comforter, over the bottom portion of the bedspread, to create extra warmth for your feet.
  • Invest in a basic hot water bottle ($10 and up at drugstores) or a heating pad ($15 to $85 at drugstores) to use to warm up the foot of your bed before bedtime.
  • Splurge on luxurious plush footwear, such as cashmere, to wear in bed. A pair of cashmere socks start at about $20.
  • Test out slippers: Wear some cozy, insulated ones before bedtime to help prep yourself for sleep.