Sleepless, With Wet Socks

If you can’t sleep because you are worrying about the economy, the state of the country, or anything else, try wet socks: a seemingly magical solution to insomnia! Integrative physician and expert in European Natural Medicine Alexa Fleckenstein, M.D., explains:

Of all the weird alternative cures, this must be the weirdest – wet socks against insomnia. No sane person would believe in witchcraft like this. Yet everyone who tries it declares, “But it works like a charm!”  Including me.
This is how it goes: You need a thick towel or two, and two pairs of socks, preferably one woolen, one of cotton.
You wet the cotton socks with cold water (just as it comes from the faucet). You wring them lightly and put them on. Over the wet socks, you pull the dry woolen socks. You go to bed and wrap your feet in one or two towels. You switch off your light.
Quite probably, the next time you look up, it is morning – and you slept like a baby. The swaddling might be part of why the Wet Socks work so well against sleeplessness: They return you instantly to your pampered childhood and blissful sleep.
There is another factor, too: Scientists tried to find out which parameter was linked to good sleep. As many as they tried – like empty stomach, dark room, white noise, milk as a night cap, counting sheep, and so on – one factor was consistently linked to NOT sleeping: cold feet. And the Wet Socks, as cold and uncomfortable as they sound, really turn your feet toasty warm in no time.
No, I didn’t invent it. Credit Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897) with finding this solution to insomnia long before modern science proved him right. Give it a try!

If you want more details, check out Fleckenstein’s book.


Filed under Insomnia, Sebastian Kneipp, Water, wet socks

6 responses to “Sleepless, With Wet Socks

  1. Margaret Read-Weiss

    Well, I tried the wet socks – with- the- wool -socks over them- technique this week.Although I admittedly, dubious , I have to report that this is an OUTSTANDING method for achieving a sound sleep.I am now a total convert!
    N.B.Amazing to say, when you awake, refreshed, in the am- your socks are completely dry! Way to go!


  2. I rarely have trouble sleeping, but will certainly add this to my list of things for my clients to try when they have the spinny brains and can’t get sleep.


  3. Hmmm? I haven’t heard this one before. Sounds a bit strange, but I’ll keep this in mind if I ever get desperate. Some of these “out there” remedies end up being the best. I’d definitely try this before sleeping pills. Thanks for the tip.


  4. let me know if you try it and whether it works!


  5. It works.
    In Switzerland, where I grew up this was pretty well known.
    If you have a stuffed nose, a heavy head and/or a sore throat use Apple Vinegar instead of water. Next morning you will believe in another miracle. It works too.
    Just wash your feet properly in the morning. You might be in a business meeting, as it happened to me, and wonder from were this odor of vinegar might come.

    I do the Kneipp cold water rinse every morning. Starting from he outside of my left foot (small toe) pour the cold water to the heel then on the outside up the lower leg and up the thigh, cross to the inside of the thigh and move on the inside downward to the heel and finally to the big toe. Do the same with your right leg and with your arms. The water should cover the skin like a blanket, that means it should not have any pressure. You do this, you will grasp for oxygen and probably have a smile like a kid in your face. It is so refreshing and healthy.


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