This Morning: Michael Mosley discusses 800 calorie diet
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In his podcast Just One Thing – with Michael Mosley, Dr Mosley sets out to uncover the simple tweaks you can make in your life that can have an outsized impact on your health. From cold showers to simple exercises, Dr Mosley illustrates the effectiveness of daily hacks, drawing on science to support his claims. In his latest episode, he turns his attention to aiding the sleep process, highlighting a novel solution.
Speaking to professor Jason Ellis, professor of psychology and director of the Northumbria Sleep Centre, Dr Mosley found out about the sleep-inducing effects of wearing socks.
According to the Insomnia expert, wearing socks to bed can aid sleep.
According to professor Ellis, it works off the same principle as getting in and out of a bath.
“You’re heating the body temperature up, through the peripheral areas, the hands and the feet,” he explained.
“And then if you take the socks off, it cools the body down, again mimicking that sleep onset.”
Prof Ellis continued: “So it’s more about taking them off after having them on for a period of time.”
Dr Mosley probed further into the science behind how this change in core temperature affects the body.
Prof Ellis explained: “It sends a signal that it’s time for bed.
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“So during the day we’re quite warm, and then as the evening progresses, our body temperature reduces somewhat, and it gets us nice and ready for bed.”
He added: “And that’s exactly what the bath’s doing – it’s getting you ready for bed by mimicking that onset to sleep.”
As prof Ellis explained, this same principle applies to wearing socks and then taking them off.
A hot shower has also been shown to work – probably not as effectively, he pointed out.
“And the reason being is your immersing yourself in hot water,” prof Ellis explained.
“If you’re having some bubble bath, that’s going to create an insulation to keep you warmer.”
The ill-effects of sleep loss
It is important to find ways to remedy sleep loss because it can have adverse consequences on the body.
“In the short term there’s issues around emotion regulation, your performance and how you feel,” explains prof Ellis.
He added: “In the longer term we can see associations between not getting enough good quality sleep, and lots of physical and psychological illnesses.”
In fact, sleep deprivation has been linked to a number of serious chronic diseases.
Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy, warns the NHS.
“It’s now clear that a solid night’s sleep is essential for a long and healthy life.”
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