Why wearing socks in bed may help your menopause symptoms
Wearing socks in bed may not only help reduce hot flushes, it might benefit your sex life too.
Yup, according to research carried out by the Netherland’s Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) and published in the journal Physiology & Behaviour back in 2007, wearing socks in bed could help people get to sleep quicker.
The study found that throughout the day, our sleep and waking times are linked to changes in body temperature. The researchers went on to look at: how temperature changes in skin may affect how we induce sleep and stay asleep, the benefits of warming the skin before bed by having foot baths and the benefits of wearing bed socks before, or after, lights-out. Bingo! Sleep was enhanced for those who wore warm, neutral bed socks to increase foot temperature. Interestingly, other methods such as hot water bottles, or heated blankets weren't thought not to be as effective, as they may cause overheating which will wake you up!
Why wearing bed socks might help menopause night sweats?
Warming our feet before bedtime gives our brain a clear signal that it’s time to switch-off and sleep, helps blood vessels to dilate and increases circulation allowing our central body temperature to fall which may translate into fewer incidences of those nightmare, night-sweats.
The average body temperature whilst awake is 37 degrees Celsius. During sleep our core temperature drops to 35.8. This lowering in temperature is thought to conserve energy and it’s why we’re advised to keep our bedrooms cool.
Sleep is so important in helping to regulate our hormones but ironically in perimenopause, our sleep is often disrupted by the very symptoms that are caused by hormonal changes. Therefore, the more we can do to try to help regulate and cool our core body temperature to avoid those night sweats, the better!
What socks to wear to induce menopause sleep?
It’s thought that socks made of natural fibre such as merino wool or cashmere are the best. Yes, they’re expensive compared to cotton or artificial fibres, but they’ll get less wear & tear, so should last longer. If it means you improve your sleep it may well be worth the investment. Whatever you wear, make sure the socks aren’t too tight, you don’t want to constrict circulation and stop your feet warming up.
Why wearing bed socks could improve menopause sexual experience
Who’d have thought it? A small study carried out by the University of Groningen in 2005, found that wearing socks in bed improved couples sexual experience! The results presented at the European Society for Human Reproduction and Development in Copenhagen, found that of the 13 couples involved, those who wore socks were more likely to orgasm.
The study noted that only 50 per cent of the women achieved orgasm without socks, compared to the 80 per cent of women who wore socks. It was thought that women had reacted negatively to feeling their partner’s cold feet. Can you relate to this? It may also be due to the increase of blood flow throughout the body that affects ALL of our body’s organs. As orgasms are a result of an increased blood flow to our sexual organs, if wearing bed socks is going to improve your sexual experience then pull them on, snuggle up and test out this study.
You might think this an odd study to carry out? In fact, the results were accidental: the study was actually looking at what happens to our brains during sex!
A cautionary word of warning: don’t be tempted to continue wearing the socks you’ve been wearing all day, as bacteria builds up, making your feet a bit whiffy. Invest in a soft, comfortable and cosy pair of socks.
For more info and advice about solving your sleep issues during menopause, check out our symptoms section on Sleepless Nights & Insomnia or watch Hot Flush Sleep talking: How to get a good nights sleep during menopause