WHY YOU SHOULD BE SLEEPING WITH YOUR SOCKS ON…
One of the hardest parts of pregnancy for many women is feeling so tired yet unable to get to sleep.
Whether it’s the restriction of movement from your growing bump, an unfamiliar sleep position or restless legs – sleep can seem like a long distant friend you yearn to reconnect with.
During the winter months especially, placing a water bottle at your feet, tucking them in against your partners, or an extra warm blanket down the end is a common practice. It appears that according to science there is a very good explanation for why we humans gravitate towards this behaviour.
SO WHY IS SLEEPING WITH SOCKS ON GOOD FOR YOU?
Its all about a little old thing called thermoregulation! Lets first explain how this works so you can understand the role of the humble sock for helping you to get a better nights sleep.
Humans are endotherms, which means we regulate our own body temperature, unlike reptiles which rely on the sun.
Our brain works throughout the day to ensure our core temperature stays around 36 degrees. At night it drops deliberately and reaches its lowest point while you are sleeping.
The ideal temperature for sleep is said to be around 18 degrees celcius. Your body responds to this external temperature by dropping your core temperature to trigger sleep.
Maintaining your body temperature while you are sleeping ensures you get a good night sleep.
SO HOW DO THE SOCKS HELP?
Its not actually the socks themselves that create the magic: its the effect they have on our body.
By warming up your feet before bed you stimulate vasodilation, which is the dilation of your blood vessels in your extremities.
When vasodilation occurs in your hands and feet, it opens the blood vessels up so they can redistribute the heat throughout the rest of your body, regulating your body temperature and preparing your brain for sleep. Sleeping with socks on helps to facilitate this process.
Researchers have found that by wearing socks to bed it can shorten the time it takes you to fall asleep by 15 minutes!
OTHER BENEFITS OF WEARING SOCKS TO BED WHILE PREGNANT
Besides helping you get to sleep faster there are a few other cool health benefits these babies can assist with;
1- By helping your body thermoregulate while you sleep you can prevent night sweats and hot flushes.
2- Socks protect the natural moisture in your skin during the dru and cold months of winter. By wearing them to bed you are preventing or minimising dryness and cracked skin, also common because of the extra weight of pregnancy. Try rubbing a little moisturizer in before popping your sock on.
3- According to chinese medicine, wearing socks to bed promotes positive energy flow. Cold feet can drain the body while warmth from socks helps to circulate your blood and qi energy.
4- Not the first outfit that comes to mind when you think of love making, but… wearing socks during sex can increase your chance of orgasm by 30% according to a university of Groningen study.
TIPS TO GETTING IT RIGHT…
1- Avoid socks that are too tight, thick or not breathable. Look for natural materials that allow airflow so your feet don’t get too hot.
2- Always change into clean bed socks before bed. Sweat and activities from the day or previous night can introduce bacteria and dirt to your feet.
3- Shower in warm water before bed. When your body temperature lowers, your brain recognises its time for sleep. When you shower in warm water , the evaporation of warm water from your skin heat makes this decrease in temperature more intense and therefore helping induce sleep.
WHAT IF I JUST CANT DO THE SOCK TO BED THING?
If you really cant get your head around the idea of wearing socks to bed or the thought makes you cringe, there are alternatives that can offer similar benefits of sock wearing.
1- Wear insulated slippers in the hour leading up to sleep.
2- Place a hot water bottle down the end of your bed.
3- Place extra blankets, sheets or throw at the end of your bed covering your feet.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO HELP ME SLEEP?
At MaterniTea we know how hard pregnancy can be and getting enough sleep, although vital for both Mum and Bub can be challenging.
Our Naturopaths created a delicious sleepy time tea for our Mums to-be called SereniTea, designed especially to help calm the central nervous system, relax the muscles and provide a mild sedative effect on the body. Helping you unwind and get a better nights sleep.
Ideal to enjoy around 40 minutes before bed. 100% caffeine free, organic and conveniently available in pyramid tea bags.
Order your SereniTea now and reconnect with that long lost friend – SLEEP.