Reasons and Solutions to Cold Feet in Bed

Cold Feet in Bed: 12 Reasons and Solutions

Laying down or waking up with cold feet can often spark panic. However, there’s no reason to worry. There are different reasons to why your feet may feel cold, but it’s important to identify them and be able to fix them.

It’s extremely important to identify the cause of cold feet if you experience that, especially in bed. Cold feet can also be the effect of an underlying condition which is important to detect and minimize its effects on your feet.

Cold Feet in Bed: 9 Common Reasons and Solutions

1. Cold Temperatures

The cold weather usually leads to cold hands and especially feet. The reason for that is because either we underdress, underestimating the potential of cold, or simply because our feet are the farthest part of the body for blood circulation to reach.

Another reason could be the so-called Raynaud’s phenomenon, which occurs when we’re exposed to cold for an extended time, as well as stress. The body will naturally restrict the blood flow, causing the feeling of cold of feet and toes. Usually, the hands will feel cold too so you’ll have an easier time recognizing the symptoms.

Reasons and Solutions to Cold Feet in Bed raynauds syndrome
Image Source: Terry Cralle, RN

There is research to back this claim. Scientists found that prolonged exposure to cold temperatures will ultimately lead to cold feet and hands.

That said, if your symptoms of cold feet in bed are followed by cold arms too, this phenomenon is likely causing this sensation.

How to Fix It?

The best solution to this issue is that you put a heater nearby to keep your feet toasty. You could wear an extra pair of socks to ensure proper isolation for your toes and feet. Your feet are the farthest part of the body from your vital organs such as lungs or heart. With that in mind, it’ll take some time for blood and oxygen to get to your feet, causing them to feel bluish in color and cold.

If you already have heating at the room, perhaps your bed and mattress aren’t getting enough of those. There are specialized bed cooling systems that can also warm the bed up.

That said, we reviewed some bed cooling systems, with Chilipad and BedJet V3. Also, Eightsleep’s Pod Pro can also help raise the temperature of your bed, they’re all worthwhile solutions.

Lastly, if it’s impossible for you to get an expensive mattress pad or invest in a better heater, try using a water bottle or heat pads, as well as an electrical blanket which is a more affordable option and heats up fast. Electrical blankets had a lot of stories going on in the past about being unreliable, but newer models show much more potential.

2. Stress and Anxiety

Even positive stress is still stress, remember?

Different events make us excited, including trips, birthdays, promotions, good results from an exam, and more.

When stress hormones are released into our bloodstream, they can affect our adrenaline levels. As a result, our feet and hands may feel cold. If you think about something that makes you stressed or anxious before sleep, it can result in your feet feeling cold.

Reasons and Solutions to Cold Feet in Bed stress
Image Source: Terry Cralle, RN

A 2015 study looks at how stress and nervousness affect our body temperature. Researchers found that in some people, stress exposure leads to temperature increase, while in some others, it leads to rapid skin temperature decay.

How to Fix It?

If you’re certain that anxiety and stress make your feet cold, it’s the psychological effect manifesting on your physical health. The same two may prevent you from getting a shut-eye when you need them the most.

You need to find a way to move your thoughts to more positive things. If you’re going on a trip, imagine yourself there. All in all, try to focus on the positive result of what’s to challenge you the next day.

Another way to relax is to try reading a book, listening to a soothing or relaxing music, or even moderate exercises and yoga. Thinking about something else is a way to reduce negative thinking.

3. Smoking And Alcohol

Smoking and alcohol change the way our metabolism functions. Scientists found that there is a clear link between smoking, alcohol, and cold feet, as taking other carbonated drinks on cold weather.

Reasons and Solutions to Cold Feet in Bed no smoking
Image Source: Terry Cralle, RN
How to Fix It?

Smoking and alcohol consumption and abuse are responsible for many changes in the body that we can hardly control. The best way to do it is to quit smoking. Abstinence before bedtime can also help. Since people’s urges to smoke come psychologically, another solution would be to try and distract yourself from negative thinking.

Additionally, another way to reduce the need to smoke or drink is to reduce parties and try to exercise more often. It doesn’t have to be a rigorous workout routine, it’s enough to go for a walk or jog, or try moderate Yoga or aerobic.

If you feel there’s an urge to smoke that’s too high compared to your will, there are a lot of different pills that allow you to control your urges. Still, we recommend the doctor’s assistance in that matter.

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4. Poor Circulation

Poor blood circulation and flow can be associated with cold feet, especially in bed because the movement is minimized and our body is in resting position.

Lifestyle habits like sedentary life and work at offices can be the main reason why our feet feel cold both at the office and at night. It can be a result of poor physical activity and eating habits.

A 2016 study found a clear link because cardiovascular toxicity and smoking, giving clear evidence that smoking can affect the blood flow to the feet.

How to Fix It?

Quitting smoking can fix problems with circulation. Experts say that won’t happen immediately, but it will still come gradually. People report experiencing better blood circulation to feet between two and 12 weeks after they stopped smoking.

Another addition to cardiovascular issues and blood circulation is that high cholesterol can cause the fat to block your bloodstream.

Finally, exercising can also help here. There are proven effects of cholesterol-lowering once we start exercising. High cholesterol is also connected to a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality.

5. Anemia

Anemia is a condition that is a result of a lack of red blood cells and iron in the blood. When there’s anemia. The red blood cells are produced with the help of iron or vitamin B12, so a lack of those materials may well lead to this red blood cell insufficiency too. Another cause of anemia can be chronic kidney or liver disease.

Researchers found an association between a chronic disease like anemia and cold feet in the night.

Reasons and Solutions to Cold Feet in Bed anemia
Image Source: Terry Cralle, RN
How to Fix It?

Mild cases of anemia may be hard to notice unless you check iron and oxygen saturation regularly. As such, there are not many changes that you need to take. However, more severe cases of anemia may expose the symptom of cold feet, especially when you lay down in bed ready to sleep.

Fortunately, while there are iron and B12 supplements like the red vegetables and other forms of medications to treat anemia, small changes in diet and lifestyle could lead to drastic health changes and decreasing of the cold feet symptom.

Still, if you suspect that you have anemia, make an appointment with a doctor who can help you with choosing the right therapy.

6. You Could be Catching Cold

Sometimes, the cold feet could be affected by blocked blood vessels and circulation when you catch a cold. Common cold, and flu can be accompanied by fever. Fever ranges from mild for common cold patients to extremely high for flu patients.

In both situations, your feet may be getting cold and you need to find a way to break the fever and keep your feet warm. Additionally, you could visit a doctor so you could work out the solution together.

How to Fix It?

Resting, drinking a lot of water and avoiding contacts can help you get better in no time. Take baths regularly, drink Tylenol or ibuprofen are some regulative when it comes to treating common cold.

Using rice bags, which are two pairs of socks filled in rice can help you create good insulation and help your feet get warmer. Additionally, extra clothing and heat pads can be a lot of help.

7. Type 1 And 2 Diabetes

Both types of diabetes can result in nerve damage that may find it difficult to detect that your feet are cold. Other symptoms that suggest diabetes also include tingling and numbness.

Reasons and Solutions to Cold Feet in Bed diabetes
Image Source: Terry Cralle, RN
How to Fix It?

Diabetes is a serious disease and if you suspect you have it, you should immediately visit your doctor and do the necessary blood tests.

If you already have diabetes, it’s important to protect yourself with an extra pair of slippers or socks, take regular walks to relax your muscles, and more. Electrical blanket, heat pads, and rice pads are a good idea, but you need to make sure that they are sufficiently hot and not just too hot.

Diabetes leads to nerve damage, so you may not even notice that what you put on your foot can add extra nerve damage.

8. Your Thyroid May Be Underperforming

Hypothyroidism can occur as an autoimmune response and describes as a condition when there are not enough thyroid hormones that provide hormonal balance in the body.  Hypothyroidism can also be followed by additional autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s.

Not enough hormones mean poorer metabolism and a plethora of health issues. Researchers found several links before drastic temperature changes associated to underperforming thyroid.

How to Fix It?

Similarly to poor blood circulation and anemia, lifestyle changes, in addition to hormones should help you regulate your cold feet at night. Dietary changes include eating more protein-rich food, and cut it down on carbs and sometimes even lactose.

Again, we recommend, the bed warming systems and even heating floor are good to help you warm up with ease.

9. Nerve Condition

Diabetes is usually the culprit behind nerve damage, but it can have other causes. Even a situation like frostbite can result in severe nerve damage if you’re out in the cold too long. Other nerve-related diseases may be sitting undiscovered yet.

For example, some people may have an underlying kidney or liver disease that can result in nerve damage or peripheral neuropathy.

Nervous damage can be a result of family history with the disease or a simple viral or bacterial infection. If your feet are cold as a result of nerve damage, you may also feel tingling and numbness in the feet.

How to Fix It?

There are a lot of portable machines for feet massage that can help, and have shown to be extremely helpful. Still, try not to overdo it as your feet may get damage and you won’t even feel it because of the existing damage.

Cold Feet in Bed: 3 Uncommon Reasons and Solutions

10. One Foot Colder Than The Other

When one foot is colder than the other in the evening, that may indicate nerve damage, or a result of a recent procedure and surgery. Additionally, it can happen after an injury. In one study, researchers pinpointed possible reasons of cold foot, while the other one manifests to be warmer, finding it’s mostly an injury or nerve damage that causes it.

Reasons and Solutions to Cold Feet in Bed ice
Image Source: Terry Cralle, RN
How to Fix It?

The solution to this problem may hide in the cause. For example, if you injured your foot or undergone surgery a rest would be appropriate. If it’s the cause of nerve damage, you first need to identify that with your doctor before you can take any actions. However, we warmly embrace foot baths, plenty of rest, and doing regular foot massage.

11. Feet Are Feeling Sweaty

It could also be a result of an injury or a reaction to stress and anxiety you may feel over upcoming events or something else. However, in some cases, it could be a sign of hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is a condition where the sympathetic nervous system becomes overly active.

How to Fix It?

One of the ways to treat hyperhidrosis is Iontophoresis. Iontophoresis is a technique that is used to treat people who have cold and sweaty feet. It works by laying feet in the water and using electrical current to run through the skin. It can help block out the sweat emerging out from the sweat glands. Even the American Podiatric Medical Association recommends this technique as it’s shown itself successful in multiple trials and studies.

Even though professionals recommend this option, it’s still important to consult with your doctor to find the optimal solution.

12. Cold Feet and Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant, there is also a chance that you may experience cold feet at rest every now and then. However, unless you have an underlying health problem there’s no reason to worry. The reason this happens is that the female body is exposed to a number of hormonal changes that prepare the baby for the arrival. Pregnant women are also prone to anemia, so it’s what can cause cold feet.

A lot of women use iron supplements to keep their iron levels and red blood cell levels satisfactory.

When to See the Doctor and Outlook?

If your feet are persistently cold and the mentioned methods don’t help, you can ask your doctor to help you detect the underlying issue that’s causing it. Another reason to see the doctor is when none of the mentioned methods we offered helps you solve your problem. Sometimes, cold feet are followed by other symptoms.

Other reasons to see the doctor due to cold feet include:

  • Sores, cuts, and scratches that take forever to heal.
  • Weight fluctuation
  • Fever
  • Muscular and joint pain
  • Exhaustion
  • Your feet are cold, but not your skin

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