Everyday Wellness

Here Are 7 Ways Your Feet Can Mess with Your Sleep

If your feet aren’t happy, you won’t sleep well. Here are the potential foot issues that could be keeping you awake.

By Jamie Elizabeth Schmid

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You have restless leg syndromeistock/Thomas_EyeDesignRestless leg syndrome (RLS) causes a throbbing sensation in your feet and legs that triggers a desperate urge to move them, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The National Institutes of Health estimates that nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population has RLS. Ask your doctor about lifestyle changes—including decreasing coffee or increasing iron—that can help minimize symptoms. If your case is very severe, your doctor may also recommend a number of medications. Try these home remedies for restless leg syndrome first.

Your feet need some airistock/Alex_DoubovitskyDo you ever feel abnormally warm and uncomfortable at night? Then kick your foot outside that fluffy duvet cover. According to New York, the act of putting your foot in the cool air helps decrease your overall body temperature. A cooler body temperature is essential to a healthy night of sleep, according to these tips from sleep doctors.

You need to chillaxistock/_PeopleImagesJust when you want to go to sleep, stress and anxiety always seem to crawl under the covers and prevent you from drifting off. Thinking about the events of the next day, clenching your jaw, and tensing your feet can all be signs of nighttime stress. In order to push these thoughts away, try meditating before bedtime. According to Health, techniques such as abdominal breathing, guided imagery, mindful mediation, and counting down numbers can all help relax your body. Check out these other benefits of meditation for your body.

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Your feet are numbistock/AlexRathsIf your feet become numb and/or painful at night, it could be a symptom of peripheral neuropathy. According to the Mayo Clinic, diabetes, alcoholism, toxins and poisons, medications, and certain cancers can cause this uncomfortable sensation. If you notice numbness and/or a tingling feeling spreading up your arms or legs, you should notify your doctor. Treatments can include topical ointments, pain relievers, or other medications.

You live in high heelsistock/Paolo_ToffaninDo you have a hard time sleeping because of foot pain? Are you a fan of high-heeled shoes? Well, sorry to break the bad news, but high-heeled shoes can result in foot pain at night. Once you take off your heels and climb into bed, you feet might begin to protest the day’s abuse. Make sure to invest in fashionable and comfortable shoes that you can wear to work. Check out a podiatrist’s tricks for wearing high-heels comfortably.

You need cozy socksistock/ArtfoliophotoInstead of overheating at night, you may be one of many people who get extremely cold feet. According to the Harvard Health newsletter, cold feet at night can be a sign of decreased circulation in the extremities or simply a genetic trait. The solution to cold feet—warm socks! Pull on a pair of thick, wool or cashmere socks to keep your feet toasty. Or try a microwavable hot pack that stays warm all night (we like the 10×13 inch CorPak Soft Comfort Hot & Cold pad.) In fact, heating cold feet causes vasodilation—dilation of the blood vessels, which may signal to the brain that it’s bedtime, according to the National Sleep Foundation. After the blood vessels expand in the hands and feet, heat is redistributed throughout the body to prepare for sleep.

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Your feet stinkistock/rudigobboBelieve or not, an odd-smelling body odor at night might be keeping your brain awake and alert. Don’t fret. There are easy solutions to this stinky problem. Men’s Health recommends wearing breathable cotton socks during the day, using deodorizing power, or even washing your feet a couple of times a day. You can also try these home remedies to get rid of foot odor. Your nose will thank you later. We promise.

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