Many people enjoy soaking in a warm bath after a long day. It soothes tense muscles, relieves stress, and helps you sleep better.
Besides these benefits, it also increases your blood circulation and improves your immune system. However, if the water is too hot, it can dehydrate your skin.
Increases Blood Circulation
Soaking in a warm bath, especially with some epsom salts added, helps get the blood moving. This is good for muscle and joint health as well, and may help with metabolic diseases like diabetes. The heat in the bath also opens up pores and helps you get rid of all the dirt from a long day.
Studies have shown that people who soak in hot baths are less likely to suffer from fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions. This is probably due to the fact that the warm water relaxes tense muscles, while the solitude and peaceful environment can reduce stress levels and improve mental health.
While a warm bath isn’t as effective as regular exercise, it can still give your body a workout. Research suggests that soaking in a warm bath increases your heart rate, and an hour-long soak can deliver benefits similar to 30 minutes of light exercise. This can help improve cardiovascular health, glycemic control and chronic low-grade inflammation.
The heat from a warm bath reduces low-grade inflammation, which can cause pain and hinder your day-to-day activities. This is because the warmth causes your blood vessels to dilate and improves your circulation, removing waste from your body and helping you fight inflammation.
Another benefit of a warm bath is that it can help clear your nasal passages from congestion when you have a cold or the flu. It does this by warming your muscles and loosening the mucus blockage that can be caused by inflammation.
One study found that hot water immersion can also have a similar effect on your metabolism and inflammation levels as exercise, even for those who are sedentary or otherwise unable to exercise. However, it’s important to keep in mind that if you have any health conditions like psoriasis or eczema, you should avoid bathing with extremely hot water, as it can dry out your skin and increase your risk of infections.
The warm water of a bath can help relieve tension by increasing the blood circulation and releasing endorphins, which can improve mood and make you feel invigorated. It can also soothe aching muscles, which can be especially beneficial for people with back pain or other injuries. Baths can also help alleviate stress and depression by lowering cortisol levels.
In addition, baths can be a time to practice some form of meditation, which can have great benefits for mental health and reduce negative emotions. This is often done in the bathtub, where the flowing water can mimic massage pressure and help improve relaxation.
So, the next time you are feeling stressed out, instead of turning to a bottle of wine or an over-the-counter medication, try taking a hot bath. It may just be the thing you need to rebalance your life! The ideal temperature for a warm bath is between 40-45C, which is close to your body temperature.
Helps You Sleep Better
A warm bath before bed may help you sleep better, as long as it’s the right temperature. A study published in Sleep Medicine Reviews analyzed data on bathing, water temperature and sleep quality to discover that bathing 1-2 hours before bed with water between 104 and 109 degrees can improve both objective measures of sleep and your subjective experience with falling asleep.
The reason is that a hot bath raises your core temperature, which is linked to circadian rhythm and a natural bedtime process. When you get out of the tub, your body temperature decreases to mimic a normal drop at night, helping the body transition into sleeping mode.
Plus, the warmth of the water relaxes tense muscles and the quiet time can give you a chance to mentally shift from the stresses of the day into a more restful state. It’s also the perfect opportunity to indulge in some self-care, which is important to overall health.