Sleeping well is difficult to achieve and important to mental and physical health. One out of every three people claims to be sleep deprived. Knowing what to do before bed can drastically increase the quality of rest. A study done by Shahab Hagheyegh explored the effects of how body heat could affect the ability to fall asleep. Taking a warm bath before going to bed can lead to a much more restful night of sleep.
Temperature and Timing
The study was done by Shahab Hagheyegh, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Texas at Austin. The specific technique is called water-based passive body heating. The findings of the study were very simple. Taking a hot bath or shower about 90 minutes before bed helps people fall asleep more quickly. If the bath is at the right temperature and the timing is right, the effects of the hot bath will be noticeable the next morning.
The researchers reviewed over 5,000 studies to verify their findings. Taking a hot shower or a hot bath will have a positive effect on sleep. Taking a hot bath between one and two hours before bed raises the inner body temperature. The body will feel cozier and more relaxed by the time it lays down because of the increased body temperature. Taking a hot bath has a better, longer-lasting effect than taking a hot shower. Even better than a regular bath is a bubble bath. The bubble liquid coats the body, keeping the heat inside for much longer.
The ideal internal temperature of the body is between 104 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit when falling asleep. This temperature is known as the core temperature. When the body reaches this core temperature, it sends signals to the brain to start producing melatonin. Melatonin is the sleep hormone the brain produces. This chemical makes the body feel tired. The melatonin factory has receptors that are stimulated when the core body temperature is high enough.
Sleeping well is more important than most people realize. Taking a hot bubble bath before bed is one of the small steps to a great night’s rest.
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