There is nothing like a wonderfully warm bath before snuggling up in bed and going to sleep. Do you ever wonder why you feel so ready for sleep as you lay in bed after a lovely bath? The truth is that there is much more science to your pre-sleep bath than meets the eye. Bath temperature affects your sleep more than you know.
Understanding how bath temperature affects your sleep can be of great value. In an age of rampant insomnia, the search for sleep can feel like mission impossible. However, using the correct bath temperature can make all the difference.
Let’s start with a simple comparison that many South Africans will relate to. Load shedding does not always make sense. However, the impact on your bath temperature is simple to understand. The colder the bath water, the more alert you feel. Therefore, it makes sense that the opposite also applies. You can be sure that a warm bath temperature affects your sleep positively.
Relaxing in a warm bath before going to bed has a direct effect on your sleep patterns. Warm baths relax your muscles, reduce anxiety and lower body tension. The warmth helps you fall asleep sooner and stay asleep for longer. In addition, scientific research proves that increasing your skin temperature shortens sleep onset time. Consequently, it is logical that bath temperature affects your sleep.
Warm Skin Promotes Sleep
The moment before you fall asleep, your skin temperature increases. Consequently, for you to be able to fall asleep your skin has to be warm. Furthermore, with your skin feeling cosily warm all night, you are more likely to remain asleep. Immerse your entire body in a warm bath. Alternatively, have a footbath just before bed.
How Does Bath Temperature Make Such a Difference To Your Sleep?
The Optimal Bath Temperature Is Vital
Bathing either warms you up or cools you down for hours afterwards. Therefore, if you bathe before sleep, bath temperature must affect sleep. Simply put, applying the optimal bath temperature is vital.
There are scientific reasons as to why your bath temperature affects sleep. These relate to your circadian rhythms. Your circadian rhythm governs your patterns of sleep, wakefulness and hunger. Moreover, circadian rhythm works hand in hand with core and skin temperatures.
Cool Down After Your Bath
Surprisingly, the real key in bathing before sleep lies elsewhere. The secret is in the cooling-down period afterwards. The cooling process post-bath, triggers the circadian rhythm for sleep. As your heart rate, breathing rate and digestive activities decrease, your entire system slows down and you begin to feel sleepy.
Furthermore, a slightly lower core temperature in combination with a higher skin temperature favours deep rest. A warm bath temperature affects sleep by giving your core the opportunity to cool down. Afterwards, cuddling up under a sheet or duvet raises your skin temperature enough to fall asleep with ease. For the elderly, handicapped or infirm, a warm footbath may be preferable.
Give Your Body Time To Cool Down
In addition, during REM sleep, your brain does not manage your body temperature. Therefore, your environment dictates your temperature. In summer, give your body sufficient time to cool down after bathing. Thereafter, add a light covering. Keep skin temperature optimal for a deep slumber. In this manner, you can be certain that bath temperature affects your sleep positively.
Why bath temperature affects your sleep becomes more clear when you observe body temperature tendencies. Everyone’s core temperature fluctuates during a 24 hour period. The optimal daytime core temperature is 36.1 to 37.2 degrees Celsius. However, body heat changes by a degree or two during the day.
Your highest temperature is when you are at your most active. Core temperature is at its highest, early morning to mid-afternoon. Thereafter, there is a decrease until two hours or so before you wake up the next morning. A higher core temperature leads to greater wakefulness. Consequently, if you become active after your bath, you start to feel more awake.
Timing Is Crucial
Arrange a time for bathing that optimizes its effect on your sleep. Dusk is nature’s way of telling you to slow down. Thus, indulging in a bath as the sun is setting is ideal. In addition, an earlier bath gives you time to cool down before bedtime. This is vital, as a slightly lower core temperature is ideal for sleep. Furthermore, ensuring you are going to be comfortable for the duration of the night is as important. Colder climates make it easier to fall asleep if you have warm bedding. Core temperature is easier to keep cool in the cold. Cuddling up under a duvet beautifully raises skin temperature.
The Effects Of Bathing In Combination With Other Elements
Climate Control For Comfort
Long, warm baths in winter are a great way to raise core temperature. This allows for enough of a body temperature drop before sleep. However, do keep warm afterwards. Skin temperature should decrease minimally in winter. Moreover, extremely cold climates may require an old- fashioned hot water bottle. Keeping your skin temperature cosy all night long is crucial. In addition, scientists state that weight on your body at night increases serotonin and melatonin. Use top quality winter bedding. You will fall asleep sooner and remain asleep for longer.
During summer, a cooling fan during the night is useful to aid sleep. Ideally, cover up with a bamboo or cotton sheet to retain the correct skin temperature during the night. Using the appropriate bedding ensures your bath temperature affects your sleep positively.
The Magic Of Mattresses
After your bath, ensure your mattress provides you with an airy sleep. Having a bath to influence sleep quality is a great habit to develop. However, without a breathable mattress your bath may be in vain. In warmer weather, you may wake in the middle of the night. Being over-heated and perspiring disrupts sleep. In colder weather, synthetic mattresses may still lead to sweating. Bamboo wicks moisture, meaning your skin remains sweat-free.
Consequently, in addition to bathing, choosing the right bed is vital. Furthermore, waterproof bamboo and cotton mattress covers and mattresses, are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-dust mite. Ensuring you remain clean after your bath gives you peace of mind.
Regardless of the weather, prolonged melatonin secretion requires a cooler core temperature. Moreover, melatonin production dictates whether or not you are able to sleep at all.
In addition, cortisol decreases when you have a warm bath. The lower this stress hormone is, the better you sleep. Furthermore, low cortisol allows for a bigger increase in melatonin. Particularly as core temperature drops again after bathing. Bath temperature affects your sleep because it optimizes hormonal levels.
Be Picky With Pyjamas
You may believe pyjamas are for the birds or you may be a pyjama-fashionista. Truthfully, fashion is the least consequential role that pyjamas play. The clothing you wear to bed can enhance the effects of bath temperature on your sleep. Alternatively, it can negate them.
As with bedding, pyjama fabric can ensure bath temperature effects your sleep positively. Rather keep them natural. The environmental impact of synthetic fabric production is extremely unfashionable. In additon, synthetics do not have the magical qualities of hemp or bamboo. These two fabrics are naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Plus, bamboo naturally prevents dust mites. Do you prefer to remain fresh and clean after your warm evening bath? Hemp or bamboo pyjamas are in vogue.
Enjoy a lovely soak every evening as the sun starts to set. Remember, bathing temperature can drastically affect your sleep quality. However, to get the best results it is crucial to take other factors into consideration. Room temperature, bedding and pyjamas all play a role in retaining the benefits of your bedtime bath. Furthermore, the timing of your bath makes a difference. See to all aspects and your bath temperature will affect your sleep favourably.