Published: 24th February 2015
Socks could help us stop snoring and sleep better, according to a new report.
Long-haul flight socks, worn to prevent blood clots, might provide the solution according to Canadian scientists. They say that flight socks reduce fluid which accumulates in the lower legs in the daytime.
Toronto University researchers are recommending cut-down forms of medical compression socks. These are already in common usage throughout the NHS to help care for varicose veins.
Previous research has shown this fluid can ascend to neck regions, resulting in sleep apnoea.
This condition, which is snoring related, is thought to affect 3 million Britons due to fluid and fatty build-up in the neck.
It causes sufferers' neck muscles to collapse and their breathing to shut off for at least 10 seconds. The snoring sound is produced by air vibrating against soft, fatty tissue which blocks its way.
The socks work by keeping the blood moving, by squeezing the bottom half of the leg to prevent fluid accumulation.
Toronto's study split 50 men into two equal groups. The first wore flight socks for a fortnight at bedtime, the others wore normal socks.
Both sets were monitored for snoring and fluid movement. While the normal sock wearers noticed little change, the compression sock wearers enjoyed less fluid movement, as well as less sleep disruption.
Their disturbances reduced from 30-plus times each hour to just 15.
Sleeping experts believe the socks could complement traditional treatment. The study has been published in Sleep Medicine journal.
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