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The Science Behind Sticking A Foot Out From Under The Covers

Comfortable sleep is the key to a good morning and health in general. Doctors and scientists never tire of reiterating how crucial quality sleep of adequate duration is. It turns out that sticking a foot out from under the covers has a direct connection to this.

The best temperature for sleeping is around 60.8–64.4 °F (16–18 °C). Low temperature is essential for quality sleep. As you can imagine, this is far from the case in most homes. People rarely ventilate their bedrooms. Therefore, even in winter, many sleep in a stuffy space for fear of losing valuable heat. How ironic that in this situation, excessive warmth only harms us.

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The Science Behind Sticking A Foot Out From Under The Covers

At night, our body temperature cools down, and at 4 in the morning, it is at the lowest point of the entire day. If the temperature of the environment under the blanket exceeds 64.4 °F, we subconsciously seek to cool ourselves.

Therefore, you get an overwhelming urge to stick the feet out from under the covers. Thus, you cool down your body using your feet.

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Why feet? They contain a large number of arteriovenous shunts in which blood can be deposited. When you are too warm, they expand to allow more blood to enter.

Since these small vessels are very close to the surface, they help quickly and effectively regulate heat loss. Moreover, it does not cause discomfort.

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Even in summer, we need a blanket and a thin sheet. Covering our bodies while sleeping makes us feel more secure, reducing anxiety and ensuring better sleep.

Our need to cover ourselves with a blanket sometimes makes us feel slightly too warm even with the appropriate temperature in the room. Hence, we wrap ourselves in a cozy fabric but stick the leg out to achieve the perfect balance.

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Are you in the habit of sticking a foot out from under the covers? Please tell us in the comments. If you’re interested to learn more about the topic of sleep, check out these articles on the pros of waking up at 4:30 am and the science behind twitching before falling asleep.


I am an English major with a love of languages and fiction, and with an incurable travel bug. In my free time, I read fantasy, drink copious amounts of coffee, and like to go see movies. Culinary art means everything to me. My main hypostasis is the taster, though. The music school has taught me to appreciate the symphony of airy meringues, to create harmonious overtures of light snacks, hard rock of meat, fish, and vegetables on the grill. Choir classes have accustomed me to hear and feel the people nearby and create perfect harmonies of sounds.

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Your article helped me a lot, is there any more related content? Thanks!

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