Why does a warm bath before bedtime help you sleep better? The warm bath theory suggests that normal body temperatures play off the body's circadian rhythm. The body temperature is low during sleep and has highest point during the day. In the hours leading up to bedtime, our bodies start to drop in temperature. This is one of the hints for our natural sleep cycle to begin. It is thought that the person begins to get drowsy as the body temperature drops.
When you take a warm bath, your body temperature rises, your tense muscles relax and you can use this time to wind down from your busy day. It is a good idea to take a bath 1-2 hours before bedtime to get the full effect of the rise and drop of the body temperature. As you come out of the bath, your body temperature begins to fall, you feel tired and it makes you easier to fall asleep.
The optimal temperature for most people is between 36 to 38 degrees Celsius (97 to 101 Fahrenheit). Time - 15 to 20 minutes.
To get the full effect of both relaxation and body temperature change from your bath, you can enhance your luxury bath with:
• Deep relaxation music;
• Bath oils that are conducive to sleep like chamomile or lavender essential oils;
• Bath salts like Epsom salt.
If you cannot remember the last time you took a warm bath, or have never done so as an adult – give it a try – you may be pleasantly surprised.