There are two types of people in this world: people who sleep with their feet covered by a blanket, and people who think the members of the aforementioned group are monsters, or—at the very least—misinformed. For many people, a night without those little piggies covered conjures images of tossing and turning, the uncomfortable breeze between their toes preventing them from getting the rest they so need and deserve. But is keeping your feet covered really the key to a more restful and relaxing night?
Not so, according to science. In fact, keeping those feet free from the confines of your covers might just be the easiest way to improve your sleep and your overall health. While our body temperature tends to dip while we’re sleeping, many people tend to find themselves too hot when they’re under a blanket at night. In fact, numerous conditions, including pregnancy, menopause, and thyroid disorders, can make it difficult to regulate our temperatures, leaving us waking up hot and uncomfortable during the night.
Unfortunately, for many people, simply sleeping blanket-free isn’t the solution. Not only are many people so accustomed to sleeping with a blanket that forgoing one makes it more difficult to sleep, research actually suggests that blankets may help us sleep better. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders, a weighted blanket in particular was effective at helping reduce the effects of insomnia.
So, what’s the solution for someone who can’t sleep without a blanket, but doesn’t relish the thought of snoozing in a pool of their own sweat? Keeping those feet uncovered. According to research published in Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, cooling the feet is a particularly effective way of lowering total body temperature, making it easy to stay comfortable, even when you’ve got a heavy blanket covering the rest of you.
Better yet, keeping a little bit cooler than you’re used to may actually keep you healthier in the long run. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests that acclimation to cold temperatures can increase nonshivering thermogenesis, which can help you shed pounds of unwanted fat, and can increase the amount of brown, or healthy fat, on the body. So, cast off those blankets and save the socks for when you’re heading outside: bare feet and the bedroom are a perfect match. And when you want to get more rest tonight, start with the 20 Nighttime Habits Guaranteed to Help You Sleep Better.
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