While it’s relatively easy to stack many blankets and keep our bodies warm, our extremities always seem to stay cold. Fortunately, it’s possible to warm up cold feet once you find the right method.
To keep your feet warm in bed, you need to surround your feet with warm items, like heating pads, or insulate your feet with warm socks. Health problems can also cause cold feet, so treating those issues can prevent your extremities from getting cold.
Room temperature and blood circulation affect how much body heat your extremities keep or lose. By keeping the blood around your legs flowing, you’ll be able to maintain warm feet in bed.
What Causes Cold Feet in Bed at Night?
Cold temperatures or illnesses can cause cold feet.
When we’re cold, our extremities are the first parts of our body that lose heat because our thermal regulation system causes our blood to travel toward the center of our body.
It needs to keep our vital organs, such as our heart and lungs, warm to prevent them from shutting down, leaving our extremities with poor blood circulation.
Certain health conditions like anemia, diabetes, and nerve damage can cause cold feet. According to the Journal of Internal Medicine, cold extremities are common among people that suffer from hypertension, regardless of age or sex.
According to Basel University, young women have cold extremities more often than men and women in other age groups.
Experts have many theories as to why this is, such as:
- Sensitivity to temperature due to high estrogen levels
- Less body fat than men
- Women’s circulatory system focuses on protecting their reproductive organs
Best Ways to Warm Up Cold Feet in Bed
If you struggle with cold feet in bed, you must make changes to keep your feet warm.
According to the Journal of Sleep Research, discomfort caused by cold extremities can lead to difficulty falling asleep and a disturbed sleep cycle.
For a more relaxing time in bed and a healthier lifestyle, you can use the following methods to keep your feet warm:
Wear Warm Socks
The fastest, easiest way to keep your feet warm is by putting on socks. Most of our body heat escapes through our feet because they contain 125,000 sweat glands. While this is useful when temperatures rise significantly, it also involves losing heat through our feet when it’s cold.
By wearing socks, you can insulate your feet and prevent heat loss. Try not to wear tight socks, so you don’t cut off your circulation.
Heating pads are another convenient way to warm your feet in bed. Use them while you read a book before bed, or use one to pre-heat the bottom half of your bed as you prepare for the night. However, leaving a heating pad plugged in is a fire hazard, so don’t use yours while you sleep.
Non-electric heating pads are safe to use the entire night. Depending on the heating pad you buy, it will stay warm for hours. Place one under the covers near your feet. The heating pad and your feet will stay warm longer if you have a blanket that traps heat well enough.
Keep Your Entire Body Warm
When we’re cold, the blood circulation along our extremities slows down to concentrate on keeping our organs warm. To prevent slow blood flow around your feet, you need to keep the rest of your body warm.
Turn the heating up, insulate your bedroom, and use duvets made for sleeping in the cold. Before bed, drink something warm to keep your insides warm as well. It’ll take you longer to get cold, so you will have fewer chances to experience discomfort from cold feet throughout the night.
See a Doctor
Many health conditions cause cold feet. If you frequently have trouble keeping your feet warm regardless of the weather, menstrual cycle, or temperature in your bedroom, you need to see a doctor.
Certain ailments that cause cold extremities are more difficult to treat than others. Nerve disorders and severe anxiety are common health problems that cause cold feet, but treating ailments like these takes a long time.
When talking to your doctor, ask about medication to help open your blood vessels and promote circulation along your extremities. This should diminish the thermal discomfort while you work on improving your health.
Dip Your Feet in Warm Water
Before bed, set your feet down in a large bowl filled with warm water.
It promotes blood circulation around your legs and feet and helps the rest of your body warm up. This promotes sleep onset and helps you feel ready for bed.
For maximum effect, put on warm socks after your feet are dry. This will prevent heat loss and make the sock method far more effective since it’s easier to retain the heat than warm up a part of your body.
Exercising and Massages
Promote proper blood flow to the extremities by exercising.
If you have a morning exercise routine, consider working out at night instead. Alternatively, incorporate a quick, 10-minute leg workout or walk before bed to get the blood flowing.
For some people, this may not be convenient since being active before bed delays your desire to sleep. If you’re one of those people, you can give yourself a relaxing massage instead of exercising.
There are many electronic massagers that you can place on your calves to promote blood flow, and you can use these before bed to diminish the loss of heat from your feet.
Take Supplements and Change Your Diet
If you don’t have an underlying condition causing cold feet, ask your doctor about taking supplements that promote better circulation.
For example, vitamin B3 doesn’t improve blood flow and increases blood vessel function, resulting in a healthier circulatory system.
If taking supplements isn’t convenient, look into changing your diet. There are plenty of foods out there that contain B3, omega-3, and iron, which also improve blood circulation.
Best Socks to Keep Feet Warm in Bed
The best socks for keeping your feet warm in bed are wool.
Wool is a material that insulates heat well and keeps your feet dry. Any wool socks you get should be snug on your feet but not too tight or thick.
Cotton socks are another popular choice, but they retain moisture.
If you have sweaty feet, you don’t want to keep cotton socks on all night.
Why Do My Feet Sweat When They’re Cold?
If your feet sweat despite being cold, it’s either because your body is working too hard to regulate your body temperature or because you have plantar hyperhidrosis.
Sudden temperature changes are always going to mildly shock your system. When outside in the snow or out of your warm bed walking around a cold house, your body is doing all it can to keep you warm.
However, if you suddenly step inside a warm house or jump into bed and immediately put a heating pad on your feet, your body must adjust its handling of thermal regulation.
Your body has to work hard to adjust itself, causing your feet to sweat with the exertion. Your feet will still feel cold to you since the cold reduces blood flow around your extremities, but the sweat glands are still active, so you experience cold sweats on your feet.
Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes people to sweat excessively regardless of physical activity or temperature. Treatment involves topical medication and surgery.
What Are Cold Feet a Sign of?
Cold feet can be a sign of various health conditions, including:
- Raynaud’s disease
Other symptoms usually accompany underlying health conditions that cause cold feet. Monitor your health closely and speak to a doctor if you lack blood flow to your extremities.
If it turns out that you don’t have a health problem but still struggle with cold feet, it could be because of the temperature in your room or your position while in bed.
Certain positions may cut off blood circulation to your feet, so adjust yourself while awake. Use pillows and mattresses to support your body to prevent bad sleeping posture.