Why You Should Sleep With a Sock on Hot Summer Nights

published Jul 5, 2018
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(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

I don’t know about you, but on hot summer nights I don’t want anything remotely close to me, unless it’s the frigid, steady breeze from the AC unit. I’ve been known to draw an invisible boundary line down the center of our bed (not unlike the line that separated my sibling and me in the back of our parents’ car on long trips when we were kids), restricting my husband to “his side” so his body heat stays as far away from me as possible. Yet even with all of my precautions and protocols, it can still be difficult to talk my body into cooling down and drifting off to sleep. Turns out, there’s science to back this up: the body actually needs to cool down to initiate the process of falling asleep, which is why shuteye can feel so elusive in a heat wave. But then I started sleeping with my sock.

I can’t remember where exactly I first read about sticking a sock filled with rice in the freezer to use as a cold pack, but I’d already been using them as heating pads for years so it only made sense. I wouldn’t exactly call it an “ah-ha” moment—probably more of an “Oh-DUH!” moment.

While you’d never think about bringing a frozen ice pack to bed with you because, well, ouch, the rice sock just forms around you, all nice and cool, and keeps your mind off the heat just long enough for you to drift off to la-la land. This is great to do with orphaned dress socks, as they’re usually a bit thinner than a sports sock. If it’s maximum relaxation you’re looking for, mix a few tiny drops of calming lavender essential oils in with the rice before filling the sock and putting it away to chill.

To freeze: Place a sock filled with rice in the freezer every morning when you wake up, or a few hours before you plan to hit the hay. Take it out after you’ve completed your bed time routine and are ready to drift off. Depending on a few variables, like the temp in your room, or whether you’re running an AC unit or a fan, it should stay cold for 20-30 minutes give or take.

Try it, and, if you don’t like it, you’ll at least end up with a nice heating pad come winter. It’s really a win-win.