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Sleep Hack: Keep Your Feet Outside Your Covers
New York Magazine ^

Posted on 08/17/2014 10:56:00 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Introducing a slightly odd but potentially very useful sleep hack: Keep one foot, or both feet, outside of your blanket. It could help you both sleep better and fall asleep faster, a sleep researcher explained to Science of Us.

I started thinking about this recently when I was idly chatting with a buddy about how (relatively) nice and cool it had been recently in New York, and how much nicer it is to sleep when it’s cooler outside. He replied with what is apparently his formula for a perfect night’s sleep: “One foot out from under the blanket and a nice breeze coming from the window.”

I do the same thing, I realized — keep my foot outside the covers — but I’ve never known why. A slow news day in August seemed as good as a time as any to find out, so I spoke with Natalie Dautovitch, a spokesperson for the National Sleep Foundation and a psychology professor at the University of Alabama. Dautovitch’s research focuses on chronopsychology — that is, how our routines and biological rhythms fluctuate throughout the day and night, and how that affects our health and well-being. And while she said there’s never been any research specifically looking into my question, she was game to offer up a few theories based on her research.

What it comes down to, she thinks, is the connection between sleep and temperature. Sleep researchers know that right before you fall asleep, your body temperature starts to drop; in the deepest stages of sleep, your body is at its coolest, about one or two degrees below normal. Some scientists believe cooler temperatures cause sleepiness, and although the pre-slumber cooling process happens naturally, there are a few things you can do to help it along, like taking a warm bath right before bed, for example. When you leave the tub, your body temperature rapidly cools, triggering that sleepy feeling. A warm beverage works the same way.

Which brings us back to the foot thing. “I think it’s likely in service of trying to cool our bodies down because we’ve gotten too warm to sleep,” Dautovitch said.

But why the foot, specifically? The skin surfaces of both our hands and feet are unique, Dautovitch explained, both in that they’re hairless and because they contain specialized vascular structures that help with heat loss. Specifically, the hands and feet contain blood vessels called the arteriovenous anastomoses, which — coupled with the lack of hair on the bottoms of your feet — are perfectly designed to help dissipate body heat. So combine that with what scientists know about the decrease in body temperature during sleep, and it’s possible that “sticking your toe out or your foot out could bring you to a more restorative sleep,” Dautovitch said.

In general, people tend to sleep best in colder rooms, between 60 and 67 degrees, she said. So if you’re looking for a more conventional sleepy-time tip, maybe just get an extra fan.


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; Miscellaneous
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1 posted on 08/17/2014 10:56:00 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

A past friend of mine did that...she called it her “breathing foot”. ;o)


2 posted on 08/17/2014 10:58:24 PM PDT by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: nickcarraway

So THAT explains why I usually have slept with one leg under the covers and one leg outside.


3 posted on 08/17/2014 10:58:58 PM PDT by House Atreides (ANOTHER CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN FOR CHILDERS 2014 .... Don't reward bad GOPe behavior.)
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To: nickcarraway

What nonsense!

My temperature always goes up at night. That was always a problem when at hospital - I was kept once for an extra day because of that.

If I go to bed and my feet are cold, sleep will not come. With temps in the 80s outside during the day, if I feel like a nap I cannot get to sleep unless my cold feet are under a heavy down comforter.


4 posted on 08/17/2014 11:01:06 PM PDT by SatinDoll (A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN IS BORN IN THE US OF US CITIZEN PARENTS.)
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To: nickcarraway

Jack Daniels might help.


5 posted on 08/17/2014 11:01:12 PM PDT by Mark (Obama Care is now DEMOCRAT CARE)
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To: nickcarraway

That’s why I don’t understand the American way of sleeping, with the bed clothing tucked in at the bottom of a bed like we are to be slid into the bed as a quarter into a pants pocket.

I sleep the European way, with a duvet that can allow one’s feet to breathe.


6 posted on 08/17/2014 11:02:31 PM PDT by Yaelle
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To: nickcarraway
Keep one foot, or both feet, outside of your blanket. It could help you both sleep better and fall asleep faster

one foot on the ground also helps keep the room from spinning.

7 posted on 08/17/2014 11:07:46 PM PDT by NonValueAdded ("Kerry, as Obama's plenipotentiary, is a paradox - the physical presence of a geopolitical absence")
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To: nickcarraway

I don’t know how or why but a year ago I started sleeping with a pillow under my feet. Now, if I didn’t have that pillow, I would be fairly miserable.

My wife asked me about it. I said I don’t know if it helps or hurts my health but you better make sure I am buried with one or I’ll be back to haunt you.


8 posted on 08/17/2014 11:08:36 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (Boomshakalaka!)
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To: Berlin_Freeper

Because of ankle damage I sleep with my hanging off the end of the bed. I am not comfortable otherwise


9 posted on 08/17/2014 11:16:34 PM PDT by Fai Mao (Genius at Large)
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To: NonValueAdded
One foot on the ground also helps keep the room from spinning.

So do both arms wrapped around the toilet.

Or so I have heard.

10 posted on 08/17/2014 11:17:57 PM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: nickcarraway

Already knew.

Regulates body temp.


11 posted on 08/17/2014 11:19:47 PM PDT by chris37 (heartless)
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To: House Atreides

That makes no sense. How do you keep the monster under your bed from eating your foot?


12 posted on 08/17/2014 11:21:12 PM PDT by Marie (When are they going to take back Obama's peace prize?)
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To: nickcarraway

At home I never tuck the covers in and the first thing I do in a motel room is untuck everything.


13 posted on 08/17/2014 11:22:47 PM PDT by tiki
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To: nickcarraway

If you are 6’5” you pretty much sleep this way anyhow.


14 posted on 08/17/2014 11:24:10 PM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: nickcarraway

“Keep one foot, or both feet, outside of your blanket”

I don’t believe it — my feet get cold if they are not covered.


15 posted on 08/17/2014 11:24:29 PM PDT by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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To: Yaelle
I sleep the European way, with a duvet that can allow one’s feet to breathe.

Feet don't breathe.

16 posted on 08/17/2014 11:25:14 PM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: nickcarraway

Oddly, I’ve always done that. I can’t stand to have my feet under the covers except under very cold nights. Ditto for wearing socks to bed. I just get overheated.

I also like to always have a fan blowing on me, even if I have the A/C on.


17 posted on 08/17/2014 11:31:19 PM PDT by DemforBush (A Repo Man is always intense.)
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To: boatbums
A past friend of mine did that...she called it her “breathing foot”. ;o)

my husband calls his outside foot his regulator...

18 posted on 08/17/2014 11:46:30 PM PDT by latina4dubya
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To: scripter

i wonder if this is the study Beanie was talking about...


19 posted on 08/17/2014 11:47:29 PM PDT by latina4dubya
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To: NonValueAdded

“one foot on the ground also helps keep the room from spinning. “

I feel dizzy just remembering....


20 posted on 08/17/2014 11:54:08 PM PDT by Pelham (California, what happens when you won't deport illegals)
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To: tiki
"the first thing I do in a motel room is untuck everything."

The first thing I do in a motel room is throw the comforter on the floor. They do not wash it.

21 posted on 08/18/2014 12:01:38 AM PDT by UnwashedPeasant (Don't nuke me, bro.)
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To: NonValueAdded
one foot on the ground also helps keep the room from spinning.

Lol! ... Sounds like the voice of experience.

22 posted on 08/18/2014 12:05:16 AM PDT by Bobalu (Neutrality helps the oppressor never the victim silence encourages the tormentor never the tormented)
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To: nickcarraway

Because kitty will pounce on anything that moves underneath the covers. ;-)

23 posted on 08/18/2014 12:07:59 AM PDT by uglybiker (nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-BATMAN!)
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To: DemforBush

Golly, we must be twins!

I am exactly the same..gotta have that fan, gotta have them feet out and I could NEVER sleep with socks on... I’d have to pass out to be asleep with socks on.


24 posted on 08/18/2014 12:08:45 AM PDT by Bobalu (Neutrality helps the oppressor never the victim silence encourages the tormentor never the tormented)
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To: nickcarraway

What’s this ‘sleep’ you’re talking about?


25 posted on 08/18/2014 12:09:18 AM PDT by Bullish (You ever notice that liberalism really just amounts to anti-morality?)
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To: nickcarraway

bookmark


26 posted on 08/18/2014 12:18:19 AM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: nickcarraway; shibumi

27 posted on 08/18/2014 12:23:24 AM PDT by Salamander (People will stare. Might as well make it worth their while.)
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To: Marie

Worcestershire sauce?


28 posted on 08/18/2014 12:23:40 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Yaelle

Hubby tucks the sheets and blanket tightly under the mattress.

It’s like sleeping in a strait jacket.


29 posted on 08/18/2014 12:24:52 AM PDT by Salamander (People will stare. Might as well make it worth their while.)
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To: Marie

See #27.

:)


30 posted on 08/18/2014 12:26:02 AM PDT by Salamander (People will stare. Might as well make it worth their while.)
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To: Salamander
It’s like sleeping in a strait jacket.

Have you ever punched or kicked him while sleeping?

31 posted on 08/18/2014 12:27:51 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: nickcarraway
I grew up in Iowa and loved to sleep on an old couch on our unheated back porch. I piled on the blankets (+ one quilt) to keep warm, plus the porch stole some heat from the basement during the really cold weather, but I slept very well and always woke up hungry.

Our family doctor back then (late 50's) said, in general, hungry = healthy and I stayed in good health.

To this day I still enjoy sleeping extra cool. Standing order: "turn the A.C. cooler and hand me another blanket."

No trouble trying to fall asleep when you're more anxious about getting warm.

32 posted on 08/18/2014 12:34:41 AM PDT by capt. norm
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To: capt. norm

in general, hungry = healthy

Scientist who study longevity report that the key to long life is Cold + Hungry. Apparently, cells that are seeking heat and nourishment remain more flexible, thus, healthier longer.


33 posted on 08/18/2014 2:44:43 AM PDT by Paisan
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To: Yaelle
That’s why I don’t understand the American way of sleeping, with the bed clothing tucked in at the bottom of a bed like we are to be slid into the bed as a quarter into a pants pocket.

I sleep the European way, with a duvet that can allow one’s feet to breathe.

Us, too.

When I buy new sheets, I buy an extra top sheet to match the set. I sew the two top sheets together on three sides, and add buttons and buttonholes to the fourth side. This becomes the duvet cover.

I put our duvet inside the cover, and we sleep with the bottom sheet, duvet in the cover, and that is it. We have a heavy feather duvet for winter and a light wool-filled duvet for summer.

I change the covers when I wash the sheets. I don't understand the American way at all.

34 posted on 08/18/2014 2:50:05 AM PDT by mountainbunny (Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens ~ J.R.R. Tolkien)
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To: Marie
That makes no sense. How do you keep the monster under your bed from eating your foot?

For your safety, please keep your hands and feet inside the bed at all times.

35 posted on 08/18/2014 3:28:47 AM PDT by Flick Lives ("I can't believe it's not Fascism!")
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To: nickcarraway

I’m sorry, but any time I hear someone use “hack” in these terms, it just sounds so low information, idiot Millenial who can barely do anything for themselves. (And voted for Obama twice, live at home at their parents, and can’t understand why they dont have a job, and why Obamacare is not free, etc.)


36 posted on 08/18/2014 4:13:49 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: nickcarraway
Anything that's not under the cover, the Boogieman can get.

"Now I lay me dow to sleep,
I pray the Lord, my soul, to keep,
If I should die before I wake...wait...what?"

37 posted on 08/18/2014 4:17:52 AM PDT by Sirius Lee (All that is required for evil to advance is for government to do "something")
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To: Marie

“That makes no sense. How do you keep the monster under your bed from eating your foot?”
***************************************************************************************

Yes, the monster under my bed is the reason IT IS IMPERATIVE TO KEEP THE OTHER LEG/FOOT UNDER THE COVERS. That other leg being UNDER the covers serves as an “anchor” to keep the monster from dragging me out of bed using the exposed foot and devouring me.

This is a truth I learned as a small child and have never forgotten it.


38 posted on 08/18/2014 4:31:35 AM PDT by House Atreides (ANOTHER CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN FOR CHILDERS 2014 .... Don't reward bad GOPe behavior.)
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To: nickcarraway

I think the expert is ignoring male/female differences. A study that I read about many, many years ago compared the physiological responses of men and women to cold temperatures. The data indicated that a man’s body temperature will become lower overall, whereas a woman’s
hands and feet will become cold first before the rest of her body will become colder.


39 posted on 08/18/2014 5:20:34 AM PDT by Bigg Red (31 May 2014: Obamugabe officially declares the USA a vanquished subject of the Global Caliphate.)
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To: tiki

The first thing I do in a hotel room is spray and wipe with disinfectant.


40 posted on 08/18/2014 5:22:37 AM PDT by Bigg Red (31 May 2014: Obamugabe officially declares the USA a vanquished subject of the Global Caliphate.)
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To: Innovative

My feet also get cold if not covered. Sometimes, if I am having difficulty falling asleep, I put on socks. Sometime in the night, I take them off, but I usually have no memory of removing them.


41 posted on 08/18/2014 5:24:12 AM PDT by Bigg Red (31 May 2014: Obamugabe officially declares the USA a vanquished subject of the Global Caliphate.)
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To: Yaelle
Duvet? Whats the difference between a duvet, comforter, quilt & blanket? A duvet (pronounced /duːveɪ/, from the French duvet /dyvɛ/ "down") is a type of bedding— a soft flat bag traditionally filled with down or feathers, or a combination of both and used on a bed as a blanket. Duvets originally came out of rural Europe and were made of Eider, a type of duck's down, which is well known for its usefulness as an insulator.

A comforter is a type of bedding — a soft flat bag used on a bed as a type of bed cover. It is filled with either an artificial material (such as polyester batting) or a natural material. A comforter usually doesn't cover the pillows or box spring of the bed. It is basically a luxurious thick, fluffy blanket that people put on their bed to achieve a much higher level of comfort and warmth. A similar type covering made from feathers (often including down) is generally referred to as a duvet.

A quilt is a type of bedding— a bed covering composed of a quilt top, a layer of batting, and a layer of fabric for backing, generally combined using the technique of quilting. Another technique for securing the quilt layers is tying. Tying refers to the technique of using thread, yarn or ribbon to pass through all three layers of the quilt at reqular intervals. These "ties" hold the layers together during use and especially when the quilt is washed. This method is easier and more forgiving if the quilt is made by hand. Tied quilts are called, depending on the regional area, "hap", "comfort" or "comforter", among other names. Many quilts are made with decorative designs; indeed, some quilts are not used as bed covering at all, but are rather made to be hung on a wall or otherwise displayed.

A blanket is a type of bedding, generally a large, rectangular piece of cloth, intended to keep the user warm, especially while they sleep. Blankets are distinguished from sheets by their thickness and purpose; the thickest sheet is still thinner than the lightest blanket, because blankets are for warmth, while sheets are for hygiene, comfort and aesthetics. Blankets are subdivided into many types, including quilts, duvets, and comforters, depending on their thickness, construction and/or fill material. Electric blankets are heated by electricity. Blankets were traditionally made of wool, while sheets were made of cotton which is less irritating to the skin. These days, artificial fibers are frequently used for both.

42 posted on 08/18/2014 5:35:30 AM PDT by Brother Cracker ( Mossberg 500 helps me deal with being old and cranky)
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To: Bigg Red
"The first thing I do in a hotel room is spray and wipe with disinfectant."

Same here. We have to clear out to allow the Lysol fumes to dissipate. :)

43 posted on 08/18/2014 6:56:57 AM PDT by CatherineofAragon ((Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization).)
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To: Brother Cracker

I prefer quilts. They’re washable.


44 posted on 08/18/2014 6:57:54 AM PDT by CatherineofAragon ((Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization).)
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To: nickcarraway; Marie

The real reason to keep your feet covered, courtesy of The Three Stooges (start at 4:40).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK8aAyzRsw8


45 posted on 08/18/2014 7:56:11 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: nickcarraway

60-67 deg???? Holy cow, do you know how hard it is to cool our house down to that temp during the OK summers? I would lose my honorary Al Gore Earth Keeper certificate, if I tried to keep the house that cold. Plus, I would have to plant at least 20 more trees in the backyard to offset the damage I was doing the environment.

Not worth it. I guess I will continue to sleep poorly. It’s for the children.


46 posted on 08/18/2014 8:03:55 AM PDT by okkev68
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To: capt. norm

I discovered that like my ADD son I also need a ton of covers to sleep well.

Theory: Less “ADD” in past because people were pressed every night in heavy woolen bedding. And quilts with cotton batting.

Which is mimicked now in special ed classes and by occupational therapists with weighted blankets and vests.


47 posted on 08/18/2014 8:04:41 AM PDT by Chickensoup (Leftist totalitarian fascism is on the move.)
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To: nickcarraway; GeronL; Slings and Arrows

Keep them on your nightstand next to your wife’s false teeth.


48 posted on 08/18/2014 12:20:15 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (ISIS has started up a slave trade in Iraq. Mission accomplshed, Barack, Mission accomplished.)
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To: a fool in paradise

lol


49 posted on 08/18/2014 12:38:45 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Chickensoup

I can’t sleep if there’s a tiny sliver of light: from the A/C, PC, moonsliver, anything. But I can’t use those night eye shades because of my very long hair, no anchor.

In TX, as soon as night temps drop to 60 or below (September), everybody celebrates the ‘sleeping weather’... which means, A/C off and naturally cool weather coming in the window. A full-length body pillow is also imperative to keep bones from knocking into each other.


50 posted on 08/18/2014 12:57:00 PM PDT by txhurl (2014: Stunned Voters do Stunning Things!)
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