Most people today take showers more than baths. But if you have trouble sleeping, you might want to reconsider. Researchers at the University of Texas looked at over 5,000 previous studies that linked water-based activities with sleep quality. And they found a lot of evidence that a hot bath before bed can help you fall asleep faster.
It works because it improves circulation, which starts moving heat away from your core. In the long run, a hot bath actually LOWERS your body temperature.
And that's good for sleep, because our bodies naturally run a little cooler at night . . . about 1 or 2 degrees lower than when we're awake. So taking a bath essentially just gives you a head start on that.
According to the study, it can help you fall asleep an average of 10 minutes faster. But not all baths are created equal. Here are two things to remember . . .
1. Take your bath about 90 minutes before bed. Between 1 and 2 hours is the sweet spot. Any earlier leaves too much time for your temperature to go back up. And if you take a bath RIGHT before bed, it won't have a chance to dip down at all.
2. The water should be hot, but not too hot. The perfect temperature is between 104 and 109 degrees. So it should be more than lukewarm, but not feel like it's burning you.