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How Cold Feet and Hands Affect Sleep and What To Do About It

May 13, 2022 5:10:50 AM / by Wellcare

 

With the arrival of winter, your cold hands and feet might not be the result of nervousness. You will mostly see people around you rubbing their hands to keep them warm, but no matter how many pairs of socks you might wear, it just wouldn't work.

Our fantasies during such times would generally be to snuggle inside a warm blanket and curl up in front of the fireplace. A book or your favorite movie with a beautifully scented candle and your favorite cup of beverage would be just right. But hardly any of us get to live this fantasy because we need to work, and working is not synonymous with relaxing. 

 

There's nothing to worry, however. You are not alone in this fight against cold feet and hands. In a survey conducted in the Wellcare 2019 Medica Fair Exhibition, 70% of the people confirmed that they or their family members suffered from cold feet and hands.  

 

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While some complained about their children getting cold feet and hands, others have been facing the problem since their childhood.

 

In addition, Lynn Dudley, a certified physician assistant, has confirmed that cold feet and hands are a fairly common issue in the office she works in. 

 

If you have been suffering from this problem for a long time, you must remember that you are not in this alone. And we shouldn't forget the old saying that people with cold feet and hands have the warmest hearts. This blog talks in detail about everything that you might need to know about having cold hands and feet so that you are well-aware of the science behind it. 

 

 

The Science Behind Why Women Are More Sensitive To Cold

 

A study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine found that women tend to have a higher body temperature than men, although body temperatures vary from person to person. 

 

According to a British study, women's skin has been found to lose more heat than males, and they are at a higher risk when exposed to cold objects. While comparing hand temperatures of men and women, a group of researchers at the University of Utah discovered that women's hands are marginally colder than men's. Women's hands have an average temperature of 87.2 degrees Fahrenheit (30.7 degree C), while men's is 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.22 degree C). This is because women have a lower metabolic rate and have more fat than muscle. Due to the low water content of fat combined with fewer blood vessels, the effect of heat transfer in female bodies is less. This makes it difficult for the heat generated in the body to be transferred to every skin surface, and the feet and hands, being the farthest from the body, remain the coldest.

 

While the issue of having warm feet can be easily tackled by either placing your feet inside an ice bath or sticking them out from under the blankets, cold hands and feet can be quite the issue. 

 

 

Challenges faced by people with cold hands and feet

 

Other than feeling uncomfortably cold even when you are snugly wrapped up inside your coziest sweater, here are some of the other challenges faced by people suffering from cold feet and hands.

 

 

Poor Sleep Quality

 

Imagine curled up on your bed while covered with your favorite blanket and still unable to sleep because your hands and feet are freezing. Unless your body warms up, you may find it difficult to sleep comfortably. Having freezing feet and hands leads to sufferers staying up way past their bedtime simply because they are too uncomfortable to fall asleep. People with this condition suffer because they get very less sleep and feel fatigued throughout the day.

 

 

Susceptible to Cough and Cold

 

People with cold feet and hands generally tend to have a lower body temperature. Although this might not be taken seriously by most people, it is, in a way, quite a serious matter. This is because people with lower body temperatures have a lower metabolism rate. This means that they take more time to digest food than others with a higher metabolism rate. This, in turn, also leads to poor immunity, which makes the body susceptible to various microbes. Hence people with cold feet and hands also tend to suffer from frequent colds.

 

 

Stiffness in Shoulders

 

While men can easily adjust to lower air conditioning temperatures in most offices, women seem to have issues adjusting to the same. Most women complain about their hands and feet becoming unbearably cold and the stiffness in their shoulders and necks. Women suffer from cold hands and feet because women have lower body temperatures due to a lower metabolism rate than men.

 

 

Affects the Quality of Life

 

People nowadays are generally swamped with work and stressful situations. Stress to the body results in the constriction of peripheral blood vessels and eventually reduces blood flow to the various body parts. For example, office workers generally need to stand or sit upright for long, strenuous hours, increasing the strain on the shoulders and neck muscles. This further constricts the blood vessels and nerves. 

 

 

Reason For Cold Feet and hands

 

If you have been wondering why your hands and feet always remain cold, we have listed a few reasons for the same.

 

Poor circulation

 

Your blood transports oxygen to the various parts of your body. This oxygen breaks down the food molecules, and the generated energy keeps your body warm uniformly. However, most office workers have to sit in front of their computer screens for long hours, resulting in poor peripheral blood circulation. To break it down, this means that blood flow to your legs is reduced, which in turn reduces the flow of oxygen to your limbs. Hence, poor circulation leads to cold feet and hands, and this problem is rampant in office workers.

 

 

Anemia

 

Approximately 1.6 billion people on this planet suffer from anemia, and it is one of the major causes of cold feet and hands. Heme is an essential protein with an iron content responsible for transporting oxygen to the various parts and organs of the body. However, in anemic patients, the red blood cell count is drastically low, which also means a less quantity of heme. This results in the inability of blood to carry sufficient oxygen to all the parts of the body. As a result, the human body produces less amount of heat, and hence, most anemic patients have cold feet and hands. In addition, such patients will also suffer from other symptoms like dizziness and fatigue. 

 

Smoking

 

Smoking seems to be the root cause for almost all the bad things in our life. This is because smoking constricts the blood vessels, reducing proper blood circulation to all parts of our body. Since blood carries the oxygen necessary to generate heat, low blood circulation results in low body heat. 

 

 

Thyroid Hormone Deficiency

 

If we have anyone to thank for our body's metabolism, it should be our thyroid glands. To correctly regulate the body's metabolic rates, it produces, stores, and releases thyroxine. However, when there is insufficient secretion of thyroid hormones, your body produces less amount of heat, and this condition is known as Hypothyroidism. Although you should not conclude right away that this is what you are suffering from, you might want to visit your doctor if the chills become unbearable. The most common sufferers of Hypothyroidism are women and people older than 60 years.

 

 

Raynaud's Phenomenon

 

Around 10 million people in the UK alone suffer from Raynaud's phenomenon, and women between the ages of 20 and 40 are most susceptible to it. It is a kind of vascular disease that results in dramatically less blood flow to the body tissues due to an abnormal constriction of the blood vessels. Numbness and discoloration of body extremities are a few of its symptoms, and it primarily affects people in colder climates.

 

 

Cold Hypersensitivity in the hands and fee(CHHF)

 

According to a 2017 Korean study, genetic factors and stress were the most common causes of CHHF. In contrast to Raynaud's phenomenon, which mostly affects Europeans and Americans, CHHF is found in East Asians. 

 

 

 

Here Are A Few Tips To Stay Warm

 

Dealing with cold hands and feet need not be difficult. There are many things you can do to keep this condition at bay. Read on because we have a few tips and tricks that you might like.

 

 

Benefits of Regular Exercise

 

“You warm up. As a result, your body warms up. When it comes to maintaining a healthy body, exercise is our best friend."

 

Exercising and playing sports are among the best ways to protect your hands and feet from freezing. Exercises like jogging, yoga, cycling enhance blood circulation in the body by increasing cardiopulmonary function. This, in turn, increases the body metabolism and blood flow to your hands and feet, thus keeping you warm.

 

However, the problem arises if you are at work and are unable to perform exercises to keep yourself warm. In that case, the best method is to shake your feet because, according to a 2016 study conducted by Columbia University, shaking the lower body can result in sufficient muscle activity, which increases the blood flow to the legs.

 

In addition to this, carrying a snuggly heating cushion with you at all times will help you tenfold. You can simply pug it in a socket and place it behind your back while working in the office. This will give you added protection from the chills of winter and keep your feet and hands warm enough.

 

 

Maintain a Proper Diet

 

People who suffer from cold feet and hands should avoid chilly products, especially cold beverages, and raw food. For such people, it is essential to consume a balanced diet. In addition, to increase body metabolism and blood circulation, food rich in Omega 3, Vitamin B12, and iron should be consumed. 

 

Iron is an essential ingredient for improving blood circulation because it is one of the most vital components of the blood. On average, adults require anything between 8 to 18mg of iron every day, while pregnant women require an average of 27mg of iron. So you might not be anemic but still suffer from a deficiency of iron. Iron deficiency is the most prominent cause of chilly hands and feet, and you can have liver, spinach, and oysters to make up for it.

 

 

Invest in a Great Blanket

 

Nothing screams comfort more than a blanket. Imagine the perfect blanket- the one that will envelop you in its warmth the moment you wrap it around itself. Forget sleepless nights and fatigued mornings because the right blanket will ensure that you get the best sleep of your life. 

The 2-in-1 electric blanket by Wellcare doubles up as an overblanket when you curl up on your couch and an underblanket to sleep on at night. The moment you plug in the blanket, it slowly gets warm, and there's nothing that can possibly be cozier than this product. Most importantly, this blanket creates a dry and breathable atmosphere around your body, and there is no chance of you waking up in the middle of the night because you feel too stuffy.

 

Hot Water Bags

 

They are another great option to keep your feet adequately warm. Snuggle inside your fluffy blanket with a hot water bag against your feet, and you will be able to feel the bag slowly warming up your body. Couple this with a woolen sock on each foot, and you will be comfortable for the rest of the night.

 

 

Keeping your feet warm

 

To do this, you can immerse your feet in a warm, comforting foot bath. Then, when you have warmed your feet adequately, you can take them out, wipe them delicately but thoroughly with a soft towel and place them inside a warm blanket. 

 

However, if you do not feel like placing your feet underwater in exceptionally cold climates, you can invest in an electric foot warmer. Foot warmers work on the science that when your feet are warm, it circulates the warmth to the entire body. This loosens your tense muscles and keeps you healthy. Electric foot warmers generate dynamic heat that envelopes all the fingers and the entire length of the foot.

 

Here are a few additional tips from our customers. These are real advices from people just like you who have struggled with cold hands and feet for a long time.

 

  • Using VapoRub before bed
  • Drinking a cup of hot fruit tea
  • Playing sports
  • Wearing socks to bed
  • Quitting smoking

 

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As you can, different things work for different people. Find what works for you and stick to it. 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Thanks for staying with us till the end. We received a lot of feedback about women suffering from cold hands and feet. After some thought, we decided to elaborate on the subject.

 

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More than 50 comments by blog visitors from The Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Greece indicated that women mostly suffered from this problem. 

 

Be it drinking a warm beverage before going to sleep or investing in warming equipment for your body; this article should have inspired you to do something about the problem of chilly hands and feet. But, despite the age-old saying, you can safely conclude that you can still have a warm heart without the uncomfortable cold feet and hands.

 

 

Relax with Wellcare

 

Cold hands and feet are a pertinent problem for many people. At Wellcare Global, our aim is to assist everyone suffering from this condition and help them lead a warm and comfortable life.

 

Wellcare has a wide number of choices to help you sleep better and keep your hands and feet warm at all times, including heating pads, heated cushions, foot warmers, and electric blankets. Wellcare is always by your side. Warm feet and warm hands bring you a  warm heart.

 

Click here to buy at Miller Medical

Topics: Better Sleep Tips, Get To Know Wellcare, Winter Season Tips

Wellcare

Written by Wellcare

Wellcare Co., LTD. was established in 1995 with “increasing the value of life and creating family happiness” as the company’s original goal with a focus on delivering better life experience through healthcare products and relaxation technologies.


Original publish date: May 13, 2022, Revision Date: July 13, 2022

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