Cold feet might usually just be an annoyance, but in some cases can be a real problem—such as when it keeps you from having restful sleep. In bed, as elsewhere, cold feet can be caused by a mix of cold exposure and poor microcirculation. When considering how to keep warm in bed, most solutions focus on the reducing cold exposure, but it’s important not to forget about circulation, too.
Reducing cold exposure usually means covering up and trapping heat, but it can also mean providing a source of heat—in this case, a portable one that you can bring with you into bed. Here, we’ll take a look at some ideas on how to keep warm in bed, in winter, or in other situations, as well as the things to remember when following each method.
Pointers on how to keep feet warm in winter
1) Cover Up: Blankets and Socks
The simplest way to combat cold exposure is, of course, to be less exposed to it. Here are affordable ways to cover yourself up:
- Fleece or wool sweaters
- Flannel shirts that can double as pajamas
- Thick trousers
Blankets are any sleeper’s first line of defence, and when those aren’t enough, socks are the obvious backup plan.
To get the best results, though, you should consider the socks’ cut, fit, and material. Cut is largely up to personal preference: do you prefer socks that end at the ankle or those that run up to the knees? But whichever your choice, be sure that they’re not so tight that they impede blood flow.
If you want to take a step further, you can visit your local pharmacy to purchase toe warmers. These are little packets that you could place in between your socks. If you encounter a brand that specifies that the pack shouldn’t touch your skin, you may opt to place the toe warmer in between the layers of your sock.
Normally, it is our toes that experience the cold faster than the rest of our body. This could mean low blood circulation to your feet. Using toe warmers and extra layers of socks not only protect your feet from the cold, but it also increases blood circulation.
It’s also important to remember that thicker is not always better; material is a much better indicator of how well a pair of socks will warm you. Wool is a good choice. Certain kinds, like merino wool, are especially prized because they can trap heat even when woven in thin layers and don’t absorb sweat; wet socks, after all, are liable to make cold feet colder. When wearing cotton in bed, the material’s breathable quality prevents it from keeping heat.
2) Heat Sources: Heat Packs, Hot Water Bottles, and More
It’s also possible to counter cold exposure through, well, heat exposure. Bringing warm items into bed to place near your feet can provide immediate relief, while proving more comfortable for those who don’t like the feel of socks clinging to them all night.
Good blood circulation facilitates healthy blood and oxygen flow throughout your body, allowing your body to function properly and lowering the risk of diseases.
Wearing socks at night is also not an ideal way to keep your feet warm because you might feel too hot and wake up in middle of the night, interrupting your sleep.
The most common choices for this method are:
- Heat packs
- Gel packs
- Hot water bottles
- Do-it-yourself fixes also include heated bricks and rice bags
The most common choices for this method are heat packs or gel packs and hot water bottles. More do-it-yourself fixes include heated bricks and rice bags. Typically, these items are warmed in a kitchen appliance and brought into bed when they’re hot, but not too hot.
If this is your method of choice, you would do well to either buy a case for them or sew one yourself. This will make them more comfortable to the touch and can help them retain their heat, though they may be a little less warm to the touch. Even with a case, though, don’t expect these items to stay warm for too long—though they should last long enough for you to fall asleep.
3) Warm Liquids: Sipping or Soaking
Hot drinks and hot baths - especially footbaths in this case - are another way people choose to keep themselves warm at night. Footbaths, especially paired with massages to stimulate blood flow, can be effective, especially if you work them into your before-bed routine; just be sure to dry thoroughly. But if your routines don’t have time for them, this probably won’t work for you in the long run.
Warm beverages can also help, though their warming effects may not last as long. And a word of warning: caffeinated drinks may backfire, as caffeine can restrict the flow of blood, leaving you less capable of regulating temperature in the long run. Here are some drinks you can drink around an hour or 30 minutes before you go to sleep:
- Warm Milk: Used by parents and guardians as the traditional way to help their children sleep, milk contains an amino acid called tryptophan. When ingested, it becomes a hormone called melatonin, which is used to regulate sleep in our body.
- Oat or Almond Milk: If you may be lactose intolerant or in search of a plant-based alternative, you can try warming up your oat or almond milk. Just like cow’s milk, both beverages have tryptophan, filling your brain with serotonin, an important factor of healthy sleep.
- Malted Milk: Another kind of milk, this beverage has a combination of vitamin B, zinc, iron, phosphorous and magnesium to help the body relax before bedtime.
- Chamomile Tea: One of the more commonly known sleeping solutions for insomnia, chamomile tea is very calming and soothing.
4) Electric Blankets
Combining the first two solutions, electric blankets both generate heat and trap it. Many models come with temperature control and timers, allowing you to adjust the blanket to what you find most comfortable. There are two main kinds of electric blankets to choose from: overblankets, which go over the body just like normal blankets; and underblankets, which are fitted to cling to the mattress.
Wellcare electric underblankets are a great way to keep your body warm in bed, and they provide extra heat around your feet, helping you get warm quicker and stay warm. Wellcare 4D DWF electric underblankets provides a warm, natural, breathable and super comfortable experience. According to ancient Eastern philosophies, foot is the second heart of mankind. Keeping your feet warm will help making your entire body warm. This shows that having warm feet are critical to help you stay warm.
If you want to learn more about why Wellcare’s electric blanket products offer maximum comfort, read this article on 4D DWF technology - a new innovation that infuses electric blankets with the perfect combination of warmth, comfort, and breathability.
Self-care is a way of life. Wellcare came up with BBC design to create the perfect sleep environment that will help you to relax and sleep using non-pharmacological methods. Feel the power of good sleep. After all, the one-third of your life spent sleeping has a profound effect on the other two-thirds of your life.
References: Age and Ageing