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Find out the latest from the world of hot tubs and spas

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I am the MD here at WhatSpa Magazine and spend most of my time either working on the Magazine and website or travelling throughout the UK and abroad working with hot tub manufacturers, importers and showroom based retailers. I try to get onto the blog as often as possible so feel free to drop me a question or suggestion and I'll answer it as quickly as possible. Cheers Nick

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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If you’re looking to buy a quality hot tub that will give you years of good service, avoid Internet-only websites like the plague!

Websites are now popping up by the dozen, flaunting glitzy hot tubs with all the ‘mod cons’ at rock bottom prices, supposedly discounted down from sky high RRPs.

Little do you know, that behind the facia of glamour lies a web of deceit that has caught out thousands of unsuspecting UK families, leaving them with either no hot tub at all or a poor quality grey import stuck in their back garden that has no value and cannot be fixed.

Websites such as Trade Price Hot Tubs, SpaServe, Danz Spas and Hot Price Tubs have left thousands of customers high and dry with no support, or even no hot tub at all despite paying deposits and even final balances in some cases. Some of the people behind these companies have been convicted and gone to prison whilst others have moved on without punishment.

Social media platforms are not without blame, allowing these companies to manipulate reviews and customer feedback and delete or block negative feedback, giving the false impression of a delighted client base.

So here is WhatSpa?’s 10 point checklist to ensure that you don’t fall victim to a hot tub web cowboy:

  1. Buy from a company that has a showroom that you can visit.
  2. Look for credentials such as WhatSpa? Approval and BISHTA membership.
  3. Ask where the hot tub on offer is manufactured.
  4. Look for reliable reviews from TrustPilot, Feefo etc.
  5. Ask to see a written copy of the Manufacturers Warranty before you buy.
  6. Ask what is covered under warranty and for how long.
  7. Are just parts covered or are labour/call out charges covered too?
  8. Try the model (wet test it) before you buy.
  9. Look for credible product awards such as WhatSpa? Best Buy Awards.
  10. Always pay at least £100 by credit card as this gives you joint cover from your card company if anything goes wrong.

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WhatSpa? has been joined by swimming pool consumer magazine WhatSwimmingPool? this summer to provide specialist independent advice and guidance on a wide range of topics and products for current and prospective pool owners.

Packed full of expert guidance, the inaugural issue of WhatSwimmingPool? has dedicated features for prospective pool owners to gain an insight into the health benefits of swimming and the types of pools and related products currently available in the market. There is also a feature on how to add a dedicated hot tub or spa area to your pool installation project, as well as a sauna in the ‘Sauna & Steam section.

Similar to its established WhatSpa? and WhatSwimSpa? wet leisure stable mates, the debut edition of the magazine also provides comprehensive information in the ‘Buyers Guide’ and ‘Masterclass’ sections to help readers become a knowledgeable pool buyer and owner.

As part of the magazine’s strategy to further enhance the promotion of the pool industry, a ‘Grand Designs’ section also highlights stunning examples of award-winning projects. The ten-page feature puts the spotlight on Gold Award installations by SPATA (Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association) members, who have been reporting strong order books this year, and provides inspiration to those who are currently in the process of planning their own pool designs.

The Grand Designs feature includes the SPATA 2015 Pool of the Year, pictured, by Letts Swimming Pools, which incorporates a hidden underground plant room and perfectly sewn York edging stones. The SPATA judges were looking for something different, when comparing to previous winners of the prestigious accolade, and were very impressed with the pool project by the Ipswich-based company that specialises in tiled and vinyl lined swimming pools.

Multi-award-winning pool specialist XL Pools, which supplies the Watkins Manufacturing range of Caldera Spas from exclusive UK distributor Certikin, achieved the prestigious Dick Millward Trophy for Swimming Pool Constructor of the Year status at the 2015 SPATA Awards ceremony and has a number of installations featured in the Grand Designs section of WhatSwimmingPool?. These include the Gold Award-winning entries in the Residential Outdoor Pools £40,000 to £60,000 category; Residential Pools up to £40,000; and Residential Pools between £60,000 and under £80,000 categories.

Leading wet leisure product company Deep End Pools, which distributes the Saratoga Spas range of hot tubs and has several showrooms including sites in Devon and Henley-On-Thames, is also among the industry’s top representatives showcased in the debut Grand Designs section of the new consumer magazine for its 2014 Gold Award pool project in the Liner Pools upto £45,000 category.

High-profile hot tub and pool specialist Home Counties Pools & Hot Tubs, which supplies Beachcomber and Elite Spas hot tubs and Endless Pools at the Hillier Garden Centre in Horsham, is also featured for its 2015 Above Ground Pools Gold Award-winning entry.

WhatSpa? Editor-in-Chief Nick Clamp believes the latest addition to join the WhatSpa?, and WhatSwimSpa? consumer magazine stable will provide a further boost for the wet leisure industry market.

“Our intention with all of our wet leisure consumer magazines is to provide our readers with an independent and comprehensive guide to enable them to make an informed and stress-free choice while selecting their respective products and services from trusted companies,” said Nick.

“As is the case with WhatSpa? and WhatSwimSpa?, we want to help prospective pool owners to understand the various elements of the market and gain invaluable knowledge from our Buyers Guide and Masterclass sections in our inaugural issue of WhatSwimmingPool?

“They will then hopefully gain inspiration from our Grand Designs section ahead of making the final decision to purchase the pool of their dreams and help to further boost order books of the many thriving pool companies and product supply specialists in the UK.”



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If you are in the process of buying a hot tub, hot tub reviews and third party advice will form an essential part of your research. By all means, chat to colleagues, friends and family if they own a hot tub already, but don’t assume that their needs will be exactly the same as yours.

This is exactly why our expert team at WhatSpa? reviews hundreds of hot tubs every year, and shortlists the very best hot tubs on the market for our coveted WhatSpa? Best Buy Awards across a range of price brackets. So if you are looking for the very latest hot tub reviews by the UK experts, request a copy of WhatSpa? today and read the 24 page Best Buy Award section from page 74 to page 98.

Our hot tub reviews assess the merits of the top 36 hot tub models in the UK today, including overhead photography to show the seating plan and layout, full technical specification and the final 200 word verdict of our hot tub review team for each and every model. WhatSpa? is recognised as the UK’s leading authority on hot tubs from all corners of the globe so get your free copy now by filling in the short Magazine Request form.

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Underlining the importance of the company’s milestone 50th anniversary, Witney-based Certikin International was today delighted to welcome the Prime Minister David Cameron.

The visit is the first in a series of planned events that will run throughout 2013 to mark the anniversary of the UK’s largest manufacturer and supplier of pool and spa equipment.  Certikin has come a long way since it started life in a basement in East Grinstead and has since grown to become a key player in the global leisure market. Employing well over 100 people at its Witney and Leeds operations, its thriving export division services over 50 countries throughout the world and supplies Certikin’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and India.

The Prime Minister was given a tour of Certikin’s impressive manufacturing and warehouse   facilities in Witney’s Station Lane Industrial Estate. He was able to see the cutting-edge technology and innovative thinking behind the development of products such as the telescopic Endless Summer enclosure and Certikin’s unique swimming pool grating. During the visit, he met the Managing Director Neil Murray, Chairman Patrick Thorpe, Sales Director Richard Way and Operations Director Tim Wilson as well as a number of the factory staff.

Prime Minister, David Cameron says: “I am delighted to be able to join Certikin International in their celebrations of the company’s 50th anniversary.  Not only does Certikin International bring jobs and a real boost to our local economy here in West Oxfordshire but the company also brings business and manufacturing to Britain.   It is businesses like this  which are helping to lift our economy out of a very difficult time and making sure that Britain thrives in the global race.   I wish them every success for the future.”

Certikin has long been recognized as a leading innovator in many key product areas. Such is the extent of the company’s penetration of the marketplace, that many of the key components of a pool, (wherever it is in the world) will invariably incorporate Certikin manufactured products, such as underwater lights, liners, main drains, skimmers, water circulation pumps and heaters. It is also a major distributor of market leading brands such as Calorex, Roldeck, Coverstar and Dolphin.

MD, Neil Murray, said: “Certikin bears testament to the fact that from acorns, oak trees grow. Thanks to a dedicated and conscientious workforce (many of whom have worked at Certikin for 25 years plus) we have gone from strength to strength. Both on the domestic and commercial front, Certikin has earned itself a reputation for delivering market leading, premium quality products backed by superb technical support.

“We are delighted and honoured to play host to the Prime Minister in order that he can see for himself the high calibre of the company and its staff in a local setting. We are celebrating our heritage but standing, as we do, at the forefront of innovation and development, our focus is also on the future.”

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