Many adults out there will know how relaxing and comforting a hot bath can be, especially after a long day at work. Some may even add some Epsom salts and use this as a form of post-exercise recovery to prevent muscle soreness the next day. But what many people may not fully understand is why this simple task can be so beneficial and what the science behind this suggests.
For example, one study found that men who bathed for an hour in hot water saw that they burned the same amount of calories as a half an hour walk and that their peak blood sugar levels after eating were 10% lower than if they instead exercised. Furthermore, the same study found that there was an anti-inflammatory response which may suggest that baths aid with reducing inflammation which is often present with diseases such as type 2 diabetes. With so much interesting research out there, it only makes sense to start implementing this simple therapy on a regular basis.
How you can use hot baths as a way to promote sleepiness before bed
With so many people out there who have their smart devices glued to them at all times, it isn’t really a surprise that there are so many people who struggle to get to sleep. Not only do they have an easy distraction to stop them from putting the phone down but their body can also easily release stress hormones when people see something distressing online e.g. someone has blocked them or a triggering news article. On top of all of this, studies have shown that blue light interrupts the body’s natural sleep cycle which can lead to ongoing issues such as circadian rhythm disorders.
Thankfully, there are some things that people can do in addition to having healthy sleep hygiene surrounding their phone usage. For instance, when people take a hot bath for a minimum of twenty minutes, this can aid with relaxing the muscles as well as release tension in the muscles which can aid with feeling heavy and sleepy before bed. Furthermore, some research suggests that if some of the body’s heat can be releasing through bathing, then this can help the natural sleep cycle kick in as the body is supposed to naturally cool down a few hours before bed. The body may also begin to associate bathing with bed time and will automatically start to become sleepy.
Hot baths may also be beneficial when it comes to reducing headaches
Some suggest that heat therapy can be beneficial for those who experience headaches and this may be because the majority of headaches are caused by the narrowing of blood vessels in the head which can be combatted by heat. Heat can also aid with increasing blood flow to muscles which may be helpful when it comes to tension headaches. On top of all of this, heat can stimulate nerve endings known as thermoreceptors which may aid with blocking pain.
Be this as it may, it could be a great idea for those who experience chronic headaches to add heat therapy to their routine whether that be through taking a hot bath or perhaps even popping into our clinic to experiment with sauna therapy. Whatever it is that people decide to do, the chances are that they will be able to enjoy many benefits such as decreased stress levels, decreased inflammation and pain, as well as improved sleep when they implement something such as heat therapy. And in such a stressful day and age, introducing small but powerful things such as this is more important now than ever.