The Science behind Wearing Socks to Bed

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The Science behind Wearing Socks to Bed

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Sleeping in socks has a lot to do with science and psychology than personal preference. Studies show that donning socks before going to bed can help in balancing body temperature at night. Other advantages mentioned by a host of studies include easing symptoms of menopause and Raynaud’s disease. 

Temperature Regulation 

Because human beings are endotherms, body temperature regulates itself.  During the day, your brain works to maintain your body temperature at 98.6 degree(37°C). However, this temperature may vary throughout the day with a drop at night. While you sleep, the temperature reaches its lowest point, only to begin rising the moment you wake up in the morning.  

The ideal temperature at night is 60F for the facilitation of a natural drop in temperature. Should your body be too cold or too hot, you will most likely wake up. With this in mind, should you sleep in socks? Well, the answer is yes. When your feet are warmed before you fall asleep, vasodilation is facilitated in the lower body extremities. When blood vessel dilation occurs, heat is redistributed in the body leading to temperature regulation. Because of darkness and a lowered core body temperature, melatonin production is increased, instructing the body to sleep.  

Science shows that sleeping in socks also reduces the time it takes for you to fall asleep by 15 minutes. The warming effect offered by the socks causes thermoregulation. This prevents the occurrence of night sweats and hot flashes. The traditional Chinese medicine suggests that sleeping in socks boosts qi, an energy flow that helps in blood circulation. In fact, a study done by the University of Groningen shows that wearing socks to bed increases the chances of orgasm from 50 to 80percent.  

Comfortable Sleep 

According to science, sleeping in socks goes beyond physiology basis. What you wear to bed and how you wear it makes you feel a certain way. Socks add an aspect of warmth and comfort, the key ingredients of a sound sleep. Warmer feet are theorized to cool the blood at night to 35.8 degrees Celsius from the average 37, a process that recreates the temperature patterns in the body. For older people, the onset of sleep can be accelerated with socks.  

Menopause Symptoms Reduced 

Some menopausal women have reported reduced effects of menopausal symptoms. It may seem a counterintuitive theory that trying to get your feet warm when you sleep can reduce the intensity of the symptoms. But; understand that warm feet promote the circulation of blood thereby regulating body temperature. The core body temperature drops as you sleep by a few degrees, and during menopause, the effects can be worse  

As the temperatures drop, the hormones of someone going through menopause are already off-balance and are likely to overreact, telling the body to heat up. When your feet are covered, this temperature is controlled stopping your body from working too hard to maintain a balance. The symptoms of hot flashes include:  

  • Palpitations 
  • Sudden intense warmth 
  • Flushing of the face 
  • Sweating  

Because by wearing socks at night your body is able to regulate temperatures, hot flushes may be prevented. High temperatures tend to counteract hormonal changes likely to give rise to flushes. 

Control of Raynaud’s Symptoms 

If you frequently have cold feet and hands, it could be a sign of Raynaud’s disease. This is a condition known to affect the blood vessels in your skin. When stressed or cold, the symptoms are more likely to show. This is because, during the attack, blood flow to the feet and hands is reduced. Following this, your feet and hands may change color to blue or white and feel numb. With this disease, wearing socks before going to sleep can reduce the symptoms.   

The Drawbacks of Wearing Socks to Bed 

The drawback associated with wearing socks at night is grabbing the wrong type. First, avoid thick socks which could prevent airflow. Natural sock fibers such as cashmere or merino wool are the best.  Ensure they are not tight. Sleeping in tight socks can constrict blood flowsHeated socks should also be avoided because these can quickly lead to overheating.  

Note: sleeping in socks does not mean jumping under your bedding with the pair you have had on all day. Understand that socks worn all day are sweaty even if you don’t feel it and can introduce bacteria to your feet. Always wear a clean pair of socks to bed. Before slipping pair of socks on your feet, dry them first to prevent the buildup of bacteria which could eventually lead to fungal infections.   

Should you Wear Compression Socks at Night? 

As much as compression socks are great at improving circulation, they should not be worn at night. They can be worn all day but remove them before bedtime. Because they are designed to move blood flow from your feet, sleeping in them can lead to blocked blood flow.   

Alternatives to Sleeping in Socks 

If you are averse to sleeping in socks and find them uncomfortable in bed, there are other tricks you can try such as: 

  • Wearing warm slippers before getting to bed 
  • Soaking your feet in a warm foot bath 
  • Placing a hot water bottle next to your feet 
  • Covering your feet with a warm blanket 
  • Showering 1 hour or 2 before sleeping 

If you choose to use heated socks, ensure they are not overheated. Should they have too much heat, they could burn your skin. Wearing socks to bed does not have to be uncomfortable, especially if you choose a pair that is not too tight.  

Every adult should typically sleep for about 7-9 hours each night. Poor sleeping habits can impact mood, concentration, and memory negatively. It could also increase the risk of depression, obesity, and heart disease. Cold feet could be the reason you cannot sleep well. This is because they constrict the blood vessels causing less circulation. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you warm your feet before getting to bed to enable your brain to get the signal that it is bedtime.”  

Skin Problems Linked to Insulin Resistance and Diabetes

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Skin Problems Linked to Insulin Resistance and Diabetes

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Skin complications occur when blood sugar levels are too high. This could mean that you have pre-diabetes or undiagnosed diabetes. For example, if you have a diabetic condition that is causing facial or skin rash, this could be a sign that the current treatment of your illness needs to be adjusted.

Most skin conditions developed by diabetes patients can affect anyone. Examples of some of them include fungal and bacterial infections. However, there are some which are more pronounced in diabetes patients such as eruptive xanthomatosis, skin rash, and necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum.

Skin Problems in Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes with hyperglycemia may have poor blood circulation, which in turn reduces the flow of blood to the skin. It can also result in damaged nerves and blood vessels. The poor flow of blood can also change the skin’s collagen and decrease the ability of the white blood cells to fight infections. Skin texture and ability to heal are thus limited.

What to Look out for

Studies show that at least one-third of people with diabetes will at some point experience skin conditions linked to the disease. It is therefore crucial that diabetes sufferers watch out for the following signs.

  • Wounds that are slow to heal
  • Skin changes such as an eruption of a rash
  • Cuts that appear infected
  • Skin Conditions Associated with Diabetes

There are several complications associated with diabetes type 2, most of which are harmless. Some, however, are persistent and painful requiring the attention of a health professional. For most of the conditions, the management of blood sugar levels is all that is needed. Creams and steroids may be recommended in critical conditions. Some of the conditions common in diabetes type 2 include:

Bacterial Infections

Although bacterial infections are common in everyone, they can be problematic in people with diabetes. These are characterized by a rash, swelling that can be painful to the touch, and redness. Should the blood glucose level be elevated, they are likely to increase in number and size. Staphylococcus and Streptococcus are the two common bacteria responsible for skin infections.

Fungal Infections

These are caused by the spread of yeast around the skin when there is poor control of the blood glucose. When you have yeast infection, particularly candida albicans, you will notice red itchy patches in certain parts of your body such as the legs, feet, chest, stomach, underarm, among others. These patches may be swollen and itchy. You are also likely to notice dry scales and blisters around them especially in the feet.

Fungus thrives best under the breasts in diabetes patients, warm folds of the skin, underarms, the groin, and the foreskin of the penis. It is also commonly noticeable on the corners of the mouth. You might feel as if the corners of your mouth have cuts, known as angular cheilitis. Yeast infection such as thrush and athlete’s foot are common among people with diabetes. Fungal infection is also referred to as ringworm, deriving its name from the ring-like rash that is formed around the skin. Seek treatment immediately to prevent the occurrence of frequent infections.

Allergic Reactions

Bug bites, diabetes medication, and certain foods can cause allergic reactions on the skin. It is essential that you check the area in which you inject insulin, for bumps or rash.

Diabetic Dermopathy

Also known as shin spots, diabetic dermopathy is marked by light-brown or red circular patches appearing on the shins and other parts of the body that are bony such as the ankles. Damage to the small blood vessels is responsible for this condition. These vessels transport oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. Although it does not require medication, it does not disappear even after blood sugars have been stabilized.

Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum

NLD is a skin condition that can result from changes in the blood vessels. It is characterized by a rash similar to that if diabetic dermopathy, but here they are fewer and larger. Before becoming completely visible, you will notice a rash-like bump forming on the surface of your skin. The bump is often red and dull. After a while, the blood vessels under the affected area may be clear. NLD can be painful and itchy.

Bullosis Diabeticorum

Simply, these are blisters common in diabetes patients. They are more likely to form on the legs, fingers, hands, feet, neck, and arms. They appear as some form of burn and can be large but painless. Within three weeks, the blisters do clear once blood sugar is controlled. They are common among people with chronic diabetes and those with diabetic neuropathy.

Disseminated Granuloma Annulare

This is a skin condition characterized by ring-like raised shapes on the skin. The rash is mostly noticeable on the ears and the fingers. It can also occur on the stomach and the chest. This rash is mostly red-brown, red, or skin colored. There are multiple online images and pictures you can refer to linked to diabetes type 2.

Eruptive Xanthomatosis

With uncontrolled diabetes, you are at risk of developing eruptive xanthomatosis. These are yellow, firm rash-like growths that mostly form on the back of your arms, your foot, and hands. You will notice a red formation around them with an itchy feeling. These sores can be quickly treated through the control of blood glucose.

Preventing the Skin Conditions

The first line of defense against these skin conditions is to keep your blood glucose levels in check. You must also follow your doctor’s guideline on nutrition, exercise, and medication. A regular skin care routine can also come in handy in reducing the occurrence of these skin problems.

Each time you notice any skin problem such as rash, it is important to discuss with a dermatologist before purchasing over the counter medication. Some skin conditions can lead to severe complications if left untreated. Take a diabetes test if you have not been diagnosed and work closely with a medical professional to learn how to control your condition with medications, exercise, and diet. You can get a photo or a picture of each condition online for more information.