Do hot tubs improve your sleep?
Are you suffering from insomnia or broken sleep?
If so you’re in good company as millions of people around the UK are suffering from the negative effects of restless sleep patterns which can affect your mood, energy levels, ability to concentrate, or even your memory.
The good news is that there might just be a solution at your fingertips without reaching for the dreaded medicine cupboard!
Just 20 minutes immersed in the warm, soothing water of a hot tub set at around 37 degrees Celsius is clinically proven to relax mind and body, which can provide a major boost to your feeling of physical and mental wellbeing, and most importantly if you time it right, can help you to drop off and get a restful night’s sleep.
Unlike daytime gym memberships and spa hotel indulgences, owning your very own hot tub allows you to enjoy a hot tub soak at any time of morning, day or evening to suit your wellness needs, all in the comfort of your very own home surroundings. By timing these restorative hot tub soaks to a few hours before your bedtime, you can benefit from what is termed as good ‘sleep hygiene’.
The term ‘sleep hygiene’ is used to describe the behavioural and environmental factors that influence our capability to benefit from the ability to fall asleep and gain a good quality of sleep. Once you begin a regular routine of using your hot tub on a daily basis an hour or two before bedtime you will alert your body that you are preparing for bed and improve the quality and quantity of sleep.
Here are WhatSpa?’s Top 12 Tips for a more restful night’s sleep:
- Enjoy a soak
Enjoy a relaxing hot tub soak at around 37 degrees Celsius for at least 20 minutes every day and at least two hours before you want to go to sleep to allow your body to cool down again. This will induce powerful sleep-enhancing endorphins.
- Get a workout
Research shows that undertaking at least 20 minutes a day of cardiovascular exercise like walking, cycling, running or swimming strengthens circadian rhythms, stimulates the release of endorphins and may stimulate longer periods of slow-wave sleep, the deepest and most restorative phase of sleep.
- Make lists
If you tend to lie in bed thinking about everything you have to do tomorrow, set aside time in the evening to make plans for the next day. Writing them down will help you to clear your mind before bedtime.
- Cut caffeine
If you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s important to reduce, if not eliminate, caffeine in your diet. If you can’t give it up entirely, at least try to stay away from caffeine within four to six hours of bedtime. Instead, have a warm, milky drink or opt for decaf version instead.
- Limit alcohol
Whilst alcohol can help you to drop off, it also alters your sleep patterns and the quality of your sleep. When the alcohol level in your body drops a few hours later, it wakes you up, making it difficult to sleep peacefully for the rest of the night.
- Butt out
Nicotine is a stimulant, just like caffeine and can disrupt your sleep. Avoid smoking in the hours directly before bedtime.
- Eat lightly
A heavy meal just before bed isn’t good for your sleep. Eat lightly, if at all, before bed, and avoid foods that might cause stomach trouble—like anything that’s spicy, fatty, or fried.
- Set a schedule
Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day will programme your body to sleep better. Choose a time when you’re likely to feel tired and sleepy.
- Put away that tablet
If you want to read before bed, don’t use a smartphone, tablet or other light-emitting e-reader. Studies have found that people who use these devices at bedtime take longer to fall asleep and have disrupted circadian rhythms.
- Cool it down
You don’t want Arctic temperatures, but a cool bedroom – around 19-21 degrees Celsius is best for sleep, research suggests.
- Clear the clutter
Many people relax more easily when their bedrooms aren’t cluttered and full of distractions, so try going minimalist in your bedroom, or at the very least, keep things tidy.
- Get up
If you’re tossing and turning and getting more and more frustrated with your inability to drop off , staying in bed may just make it worse. Get up and do something relaxing, like reading a book, until you feel drowsy.
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