How To Keep Your Feet Cool At Night
One of the biggest concerns people face, especially during the hotter months of the year, is how to keep feet cool in bed. You know the feeling – you're getting ready for a nice sleep, the rest of your body feels just fine, but your feet… your feet just can't seem to reach the ideal temperature to get you in the mood for some rest. So what can you do?
In the past, we've discussed why your foam mattress is getting too hot at night and what you can do to cool it. We've also talked about the relationship between head cooling and getting a good night's sleep. For example, did you know that studies have actually shown that using a head cooling device (usually a pillow) can decrease your overall body temperature and reduce night sweats for the whole body? Pretty neat, huh?
So in today's article, we'll try and see if we can't find something similar for your feet.
First of All, What's Causing Your Hot Feet at Night?
There are several reasons why your feet are extra sweaty in the night. Naturally, one explanation could be the fabric of your bed linen. Materials like polyester, for example, can restrict space and absorb moisture, making your skin feel extra hot.
Another issue to consider, albeit a somewhat obvious one, is whether or not you wear socks to bed. If you do, consider stopping or at least switching to a breathable, light fabric, such as cotton. Also, make sure the elastic of the socks isn't too tight around your ankles and restricting blood circulation.
Lastly, the reason why your feet get hot at night may well be due to an unknown medical condition. Pregnancy is a prevalent cause for nightly hots, but that's not the only one – anything from menopause to fungal infection, even to hypothyroidism can cause your feet to feel hot at night. So, if you suspect an underlying medical condition may be at the root of your troubles, you should visit a medical professional.
But Why Do My Feet Get Hotter Than the Rest Of My Body?
That's an excellent question. I mean, we have skin everywhere, so why don't I suffer from an extra hot belly or forearm?
You see, the extremities (e.g., the hands and feet) have always been the most affected by changes in temperature. I'm sure you've noticed this, even during the daytime, when your body may feel perfectly fine, but your hands are extra hot or super cold for no apparent reason.
Well, this is because your extremities mark the connection between your body and the outside world. As such, extremities are a hotspot (literally!) for releasing temperature. So when you sleep, your body is trying to disperse heat and cool down, and it does that through your hands and feet. But if you've covered your feet with a blanket, your body can't cool off properly, which is why you get hot feet at night. This is why we feel better with one foot (or even both feet) outside of the blanket – it allows our bodies to "breathe".
Seven Ways to Cool Your Feet in Bed
Unfortunately, it's not always sufficient to just kick one foot out from underneath your blanket. Luckily for you, I've got the answer right here. If you suffer from hot feet at night, try one (or more) of these solutions, and you're pretty much guaranteed to find something that works for you.
1. Use a Water Bottle
Sure, you run the risk of kicking the bottle out of bed in the middle of the night, in which case, you might wake from the noise, and that would defeat the whole purpose. But if you can, place a bottle or pad filled with cold water near your feet to help them cool off.
2. Wear Frozen Socks
Wait, what? But I'm serious, people actually do that one. By leaving a pair of socks in the freezer for an hour before bed, you will get the perfect icy night-wear for your feet that will help your body cool off faster and reach that temperature sweet spot ideal for hitting the sack. It might sound a bit loopy, but it sure beats losing sleep. If you like, you can opt for a specially-designed product, like these Cold Therapy Socks.
3. Go the Egyptian Route
No, I don't mean sleep with a dead beetle or paint your eyes Cleopatra-style (though that could be pretty cool, too). The Egyptians used a very interesting method for keeping cool in the night heat, and since they slept in the desert, I'm sure they knew a thing or two about being too hot.
What they used to do was dampen a piece of cloth (you can use a towel or a sheet) and place it underneath their body, to cool them off while they slept. If you're worried about getting your mattress all soggy, feel free to layer it with a dry towel underneath.
Alternatively, if you just want to get the feet, you can simply use the same method, but only for the feet area, and you've got DIY feet coolers. It should get you the same result as it did for the Egyptians - a peaceful night of restful dreaming!
4. Wash your Feet
I mean, I'm sure you've showered already, but that was hours ago now, and chances are, your feet are all clammy when you get into bed. But there are quite a few reasons why people wash their feet right before bedtime (and why you might want to do the same).
You see, in Ayurvedic medicine, the feet are associated with the fire symbol. They are referred to as a "fire part of the body", which naturally implies they can get extra heated. What it also means is that they are the fire that's heating up the rest of the body. By watering that fire, you're not only cooling down the feet but the rest of the body, also.
Now, this obviously creates a very appropriate image in your head. The scientific reason why you should be washing your feet before bed is the one we discussed earlier in the article – feet need to cool off so that the rest of the body can, also. They accumulate heat, so by washing them, you are dispersing not only their warmth but also the extra degrees gathered inside the rest of your body.
5. Get a Foot Fan
There is such a thing – a specially-designed cooling fan that will gently blow cold air over your feet as you sleep. It can be set low enough so as not to bother the rest of your body or make you feel too cold, yet provide your feet with the ideal temperature.
6 …. Or a Cooling Pad
Alternatively, you can invest in a special mattress cooling pad, which you simply add over your mattress and program it to provide the perfect temperature for your body during sleep. There is no device targeted specifically at feet. But, these bed cooling devices can be used to regulate the temperature of your bed effectively and to provide a cool sleeping experience all through the night.
7. Spray Deo on Your Feet
This is a pretty good idea, actually – if your feet tend to sweat a lot at night, why not spray a little deodorant on them, to prevent that? Mind you, it won't keep you cool, except for a very brief period, so only useful if you're extra sweaty.
Dealing with feet that are too hot at night has been a plague on humanity's shoulders since the dawn of time. Thankfully, people have come up with quite a few smart ways to keep your feet cool in the long dark hours, and hopefully, one of those methods turned out to be the right one for you!