We’ve all felt the much-needed relief of sticking a foot or two out of our blankets in the middle of a hot, stuffy night. And while it’s a great temporary solution to hot feet, what if it’s happening every single night?
If you’re tired of the struggle, here’s why your feet might be feeling so hot, and what you can do to optimize your comfort for a great night’s sleep.
Your room’s temperature is more than just a comfort issue -- it can actually strongly influence your ability to get a good night’s sleep on a biological level! As it turns out, many scientists and sleep experts believe that our bodies are naturally programmed to get our best night’s sleep when the temperature is cool. More specifically, the recommended range for your best night’s sleep is somewhere between 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit.
So when your feet are feeling hot and stuffy, it can really mess with your ability to get quality zzz’s throughout the night.
But why would your feet feel so hot in the first place? One of the first things to check is your room temperature. If it’s not an issue with your room’s temperature, you may need to look a little closer to pinpoint the exact cause of your elevated temperature. Certain medications, hormonal imbalances, illnesses, or other lifestyle factors could also be causing you to run at a higher temperature than normal, which can translate to hot feet and uncomfortable nights. In cases like this, it might be worth checking in with your healthcare provider to see if there’s something else that’s causing those hot nighttime feet - or it might be as simple as the kinds of materials that are dressing your bed.
With all that said and done, how can you optimize your bedroom environment for your best night’s sleep?
Your bedding can make or break your comfort level at night, especially when it comes to temperature control. Some fabrics and weaves are meant to keep you nice and cool, but there are definitely some other options that could retain a ton of the heat that your body generates (flannel is a great example of this). And while this can definitely be a perk if you’re living in a cooler climate or getting through the winter, it can make it a lot harder to find that cool, comfortable temperature at night.
So if you tend to be a pretty hot sleeper, investing in more breathable bed sheets is a major game-changer. Percale cotton, which is used to make a variety of QuickZip bedding, is specifically designed to be crisp, cool, and breathable, which means it’s an ideal choice for someone whose feet always seem to be burning up at night.
Alcohol consumption too close to bed generally isn’t a great idea anyway since it can mess with your sleep cycle and lead to more tossing and turning. In addition, alcohol can also cause temporary flushing, which can make you feel hot and uncomfortable. If you find that your sleepless nights coincide with your alcoholic nightcaps, consider limiting them or saving them for earlier on in the day to help your body better regulate temperature.
Remember, a decently cold room is one of the most important factors that many people need to get a good night’s sleep. If your room feels stuffy and hot, try setting your thermostat to a lower temperature and/or running a fan during the night to try circulating some cool air. If you can, opening a window to let in some fresh air and a night breeze is also a great option here.
It might sound a little counterintuitive, but there’s evidence that taking a warm shower or soaking in a hot bath right before you hit the hay can actually lead to a cooler body temperature later! This is because the hot water seems to help lower your core body temperature by helping heat escape through your palms and the soles of your feet. Try taking your bath about an hour or so before you get into bed to see if it helps keep you a little cooler later.
The kind of sheets and bedding you use can play a huge role in your overall comfort at night; the same idea applies to the clothes that you’re wearing! If you find yourself running hot when you’re going to bed, consider making a switch to pajamas made of natural, breathable materials for better results. Cotton is a great option here, just like with your bedding, but you can also go for other moisture-wicking materials like bamboo. Look for loose-fitting silhouettes for extra breathability as well.
Also, this is probably a given but just in case: if hot feet are getting in the way of your bedtime, make sure that you aren’t wearing socks that are making the issue worse.
It’s also worth taking a look at your physical activity habits if you constantly find that you’re running on high heat at night. While hitting the gym late in the night might be more convenient for some schedules, working out does make your body temperature rise temporarily. It also may not be a great idea for some people anyways since many people find that the physical exertion so close to bedtime actually backfires and interferes with their ability to fall asleep. If this is the case for you, try scheduling your gym sesh for earlier on in the day to see if it makes a difference.
While you can control many of the factors that get in the way of your sleep quality, medical issues are not always among those. Check in with your doctor if your hot-feet issues aren’t solved by tweaking your sleeping environment to rule out medical conditions.
Dealing with hot feet is a frustrating issue that can stop you from getting some much-needed rest at night; but, there are plenty of actions that you can take to mitigate the issue. Invest in better sheets and bedding and tweak your room environment to get that blissfully cold sleep that you deserve.
Featured image: Photo by Pixabay