Our grandparents used to lie there counting sheep to switch their minds off and get a good nights sleep. Unfortunately in today's hectic world sheep just don’t cut it.
So, if you are struggling to switch off and find getting to sleep a problem what can you do about it?
You might not be surprised to learn that here at BAVE we recommend getting into the habit of relaxing in a hot bath just before bed. What might surprise you is that there is actually scientific evidence that this really does help you to get a good nights sleep.
A research team led by Shahab Haghayegh, a PhD candidate in the department of biomedical engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, reviewed over 5,000 studies evaluating research that linked bathing, water temperature and sleep quality.
Their results showed that a ten-minute hot bath (40°-43°) taken between one and two hours before bedtime not only delivered the best quality sleep it even helped you to fall asleep up to 36% faster than usual.
Why? Well, our sleep patterns and body core temperature are controlled by a circadian clock and to get a good nights sleep it’s essential that our body temperature drops from its high point in late afternoon and early evening.
Counterintuitively, a hot bath stimulates the body’s thermoregulatory system sending blood from the core out to the surface so that when you get out of the bath, the excess heat is released into the atmosphere, cooling you down and triggering your body temperature to drop and telling your circadian clock that it’s time to snooze.
On top of that, a warm bath also signals the pineal gland in our brain to produce melatonin – the sleep hormone – which also aids a smoother sleep pattern.
Obviously, you can achieve these results with just warm water, but for a good nights sleep that leaves you feeling relaxed, recovered and recharged when you wake up make sure you add your favourite BAVE soaks and salts.