Trouble sleeping? A hot tub or sauna could be the answer
June 1, 2018 – The world seems to be a 24/7 one more than ever. With the advent of news all the time, social media, “smart” phones and tablets, is it any wonder that we don’t seem to be able to shut ourselves down and get a good night’s sleep? One thing is sure—your body is NOT designed for 24/7!
Here’s a stunning number: 3 MILLION people suffer from either insomnia or have difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. Yikes!
Some reasons for having difficulty getting a night of restful sleep are tied to medical issues: allergies can be the culprit, as well as stomach and gastrointestinal issues like acid reflux. Chronic pain, lower back pain, arthritis and asthma can often contribute to a sleepless night as well.
When you move beyond medical issues, there are still plenty of reasons to be staring at the clock late at night wishing sleep would arrive. Anxiety certainly is one of those reasons. Then, you can move on to food and other stimulants: caffeine too close to bedtime, nicotine, and a heavy meal or spicy food in the evening are not your friends either.
With all those items I just listed, guess what two things can help overcome almost every one of them and help you fall asleep faster, achieve REM sleep quicker, and have long intervals of uninterrupted slumber? A hot tub or sauna session!
Studies have shown that regular hot tub use about 45 minutes to an hour before bedtime is key. A soak at that time elevates your body’s core temperature; when you start to cool down, it signals your body that it’s also time to rest. Because a soak causes endorphin and serotonin production, you’ll find yourself in a relaxed state that will cause anxiety to evaporate. And, of course it’s also well documented that hot tub soaks do wonders for chronic and lower back pain, and help alleviate stiffness and pain associated with arthritis.
Most of these benefits are also found when using a sauna before bedtime. You can encourage the body’s “temp re-set” even more by hopping into a lukewarm shower after a sauna session. It will feel cool to your body and create that trigger for your mind that it’s time to sleep, like the way your body reacts when cooling down from a hot tub soak.
If you’re one of those (like me!) that sometimes has trouble with sleep, turn to a hot tub or sauna to save you. You’ll find it can make a world of difference and you’ll awaken rested, refreshed, and re-energized for what the day ahead holds.