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If you are someone who has trouble falling asleep, then you must have already tried many tricks and hacks to fall asleep ASAP. Some use a pillow to cuddle, some take a warm water bath before hitting the bed, and some like to create an ideal sleeping environment. But there’s one thing that almost everyone – mostly unconsciously – does and that is sticking one foot out from under the blanket.
Have you ever experienced this dilemma where you can’t decide whether you want to be under or over the blanket? I certainly have. And I’m pretty sure, so have you! But what’s the deal with pulling out one foot from under the covers?
Well, Dr Pritam Moon, consultant physician at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai, tells Health Shots, “If you always tend to pull out one foot from under the blanket, then you may not be alone. We all have our own ways of falling asleep. So, a majority of people pull out one foot of the sheet to get a sound sleep at night. It is very common, and many people do it.”
Yes, we’re not kidding. Just sticking one foot outside of your blanket is a proven trick. There is proper scientific research behind it. The Science Of Us Sleep Institute says that sticking one of your feet outside of your blankets is a legitimate sleep hack! It all has to do with body temperature. When your body is hot, you are more alert. When your body is cool, you get sleepy.
“The reason behind people pulling one foot out of a blanket is that the foot can help you bring down the temperature of the body. Yes, that’s right, and you will be able to sleep peacefully. Since the foot can lower the body temperature, it has an association between the veins and arteries that expand when your feet are exposed to warmth. So, your feet will be able to cool down faster when compared to the other body parts,” says Dr Moon.
Furthermore, Dr Moon adds, “Your feet are hairless, and the absence of hair makes the heat evaporate faster. Did you know that when the feet are exposed to a cool atmosphere, it helps in cooling off the other body parts equally quickly too? And when the body temperature is regulated, you can sleep well. Pulling out the foot will cool your body, lower temperature, you won’t feel cold, and will be able to sleep without any problem.”
So it’s important to cool the body down, and sticking a foot out of the blanket is one simple trick to do so.
1. Avoid watching TV: Do not expose yourself to blue light just before sleeping. So, no watching TV or using a mobile phone. These things can steal your sleep.
2. Do not have caffeine just before sleeping: It will make you stay alert for a longer period of time, and hinder your sleep by lowering your sleep quality. Even do not smoke just before sleeping.
3. Follow a proper sleep routine: Have the same sleeping and wake up timings. Irregular sleep patterns can lead to poor sleep, and make you cranky.
4. Say no to alcohol: Consuming it can lead to snoring as it can worsen the symptoms of sleep apnoea. Are you aware that alcohol will interfere with your sleep as it tends to alter nighttime melatonin production, which plays a vital role in the body’s circadian rhythm, and aid’s a sound sleep at night.
5. Favourable bedroom environment: You need to have a peaceful bedroom environment in order to get a good night’s sleep of at least 8 hours. Extreme noise, too much light exposure, and wrong bedding can give you a tough time while sleeping. So, choose a proper pillow and a mattress, maintain an appropriate room temperature, pay attention to lighting, and reduce noise. So, the bedroom has to be quiet and clean.
6. Avoid a high-carb meal: Eating late in the evening is a strict no-no. To top it all, make sure that you avoid a high-carb meal that will affect the sleep quality. Eat 3-4 hours before hitting the sack.
7. Take a shower: It will be a good idea to take a relaxing bath before you call it a day.
8. Take short daytime naps: Long daytime naps will interfere with your nighttime sleep.
9. Exercise daily: It will promote better sleep.
Remember that good sleep is paramount if you want to lead a happier life and it has an array of positive health benefits too!