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We all know sleep is important. Not only do we feel and function better on a good night’s rest, but our long-term health can also be significantly impacted by lack of sleep. And we aren’t just talking dark circles under your eyes — no, we’re talking an increased risk of major health problems like diabetes, heart attack and stroke.  

Because of this, people will try almost anything to get more sleep. Perhaps you’ve stopped looking at screens for at least an hour before bed. Or, you could swear by a mug of sleepy time tea. Maybe you take a melatonin supplement each night. Maybe,maybe, you even went so far as to buy a new mattress.

If that’s the case, we almost hate to tell you the one hidden culprit that could be causing your poor night’s sleep: your feet. Specifically, your sockless feet.

When your feet are cold, your overall body temperature drops, causing your body to have to work a little harder to warm you up. This can make it challenging for your body to fully settle into a deep sleep, which could be why you’re waking up still feeling tired.

However, beyond cold feet keeping you awake, some research even suggests that warm feet can both help you to sleep better overall and fall asleep faster. You see, when your feet are warm, your blood vessels dilate. This process, called vasodilation, signals your brain that it’s bedtime.

So, you know all that tossing and turning you’ve been doing trying to fall asleep? You might just need to put on some socks. While there are other solutions for cold feet at night — hot water bottles, warm rice socks, heated blankets — socks are surely the easiest and safest option. And for the absolute best blood flow to your feet before you fall asleep, add these steps to your nighttime routine:

  1. Spend a few minutes rubbing your favorite moisturizer into your feet. Alternative: trade foot massages with your partner.

  2. Warm your socks up in the dryer or with a hair dryer.

  3. Put on socks, get super cozy, fall asleep extra fast.

We’re getting sleepy even thinking about how nice that sounds. If you’re a committed no socks sleeper, all we have to say is this: don’t knock it ‘til you try it!

Amarin Cannon