A good bed, like one from your local Sleepys store, is probably the single best things you can do for your sleep, but did you know that when you take your daily bath can make a big difference as well? In Western culture taking a bath in the morning is the most popular routine, but in Eastern culture taking a shower or bath at night is the preferred time.
What’s Difference Does the Time of Day Make?
So what difference could it possibly make to take a bath at a different time of day? Well, it turns out that it can make quite a bit of difference. According to Jessa Gamble, a sleep scientist, because our body temperature naturally drops at night, aiding us in following a normal sleep cycle, taking a hot bath at night can help improve sleep. Heating up the skin seems to be counter-productive to needing to cool down for sleep but according to Gamble our culture doesn’t actually go to sleep as soon as we begin to cool down. Our fast pace and artificially heated and cooled homes change our natural, circadian sleep cycle but a hot bath can provide us with a longer “cool down” period. This gives us the benefit of adjusting our need to relax and unwind with the bodies natural ability to sleep.
A morning shower can make you feel invigorated and ready for the day, but if you’re looking for improved sleep, trying switching up your routine for awhile and see if it makes a difference.
What About Water Temperature?
Some cultures around the world make use of both hot and cold water to promote health and enjoyment. A traditional Swedish bath house utilizes hot steam in a sauna and then a cold plunge into frigid water. What do the different temperatures do to the body?
Here are the benefits of COLD water on the body:
- Increased Alertness
- Liberates the mind (I challenge you to think of anything else distracting while taking a cold shower!)
- Stimulates anti-depression hormones in the body
- Speeds up the metabolism
- Reduces loss of hair (cool!)
- Tightens up the skin (there’s no surprise in this one!)
- Stimulates the immune system
- Helps to prevent colds (probably because you’ve stimulated the immune system…)
Here are the benefits of HOT water on the body:
- Reduces anxiety (Calgon take me away)
- Reduces swelling
- Acts as a nasal decongestant
- Lowers body tension
- Removes toxins from the skin
- Opens the pores and cleans the skin (this is probably how the toxins are removed)
- Relaxes the muscles
- Helps alleviate migraines
If you’re having trouble relaxing at the end of the day, try taking a warm bath and see if it helps to get the tension out of your system. Maybe, if you’re looking for the health benefits of both hot and cold water, you can soak in a tub at night to get to sleep and jump in a cold shower to get you revved up in the morning. It’s worth a try!