Baths have had a resurgence in the cultural zeitgeist over the last few years. This year in particular, there has been an increase in the amount baths are talked about and in the frequency we take them. However, baths have been around for centuries and have long been a part of a healing ritual within traditional Chinese medicine. Modern day science has discovered that a number of the benefits that Chinese medicine thought baths have are true.
Bathing helps you sleep
Sleep can be an elusive thing sometimes, especially if you’re dealing with high stress levels. Luckily, a bath can help. One systematic review found that a bath an hour or two before bedtime can decrease sleep latency, improve sleep efficiency, and help to cool the body, preparing it for sleep (1). By warming the body up with a bath, it starts the core body temperature drop from the pineal gland, starting the sleep process.
Bathing helps to improve your health
Research has shown that taking a warm bath has a number of benefits that can improve your overall health. Not only can it improve your breathing since the pressure on your chest and the temperature of the water increases your lung capacity and oxygen intake, but new research shows that passive heating, like taking a bath or being in a sauna, can reduce the risk of a heart attack, help to lower your blood pressure, and help your body to control your blood sugar (2,3,4,5).
In light of these incredible benefits of bathing, we’ve put together the perfect bathing experience for you to try before bed.
To start, light a candle in the bathroom to help set the mood and help relax you. Be sure it is a relaxing scent or unscented so you aren’t invigorated after your bath and you’re able to fall asleep easily.
Put on a favorite playlist or a specially tailored playlist for relaxing in the bath. Maybe try a podcast or a guided meditation, or you can even prop up a computer of some sort nearby (be sure to keep it dry!) to watch a comforting movie or tv show.
While the bath is filling up, we recommend dry brushing your skin to exfoliate the skin. Without regular exfoliating, dead skin cells can build up, causing the skin to appear dull, dry and flaky. Exfoliating them away encourages the skin to glow and appear brighter and healthier, plus it helps to prevent blocked pores which can lead to blemishes, breakouts and ingrown hairs. Dry body brushing also encourages blood flow to the skin, delivering essential nutrients and oxygen and stimulates the removal of toxins from the body via lymphatic drainage. It will also help to reduce the appearance of and prevent the development of cellulite, making the skin firmer and more toned.
Once the bath is full of warm water, add in some of your favorite bath salts. We’re fond of our Relax + Sleep Bath Salts, enriched with organic sage, chamomile, lavender and blue cornflower petals, they are ideal for relaxing the body and mind and soothing aching, tired muscles. Plus, it has magnesium flakes and frankincense, peppermint and lavender essential oils to help encourage a deep, restorative sleep.
Soak for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to reap the benefits of a bath. Then dry off with a soft towel and moisturise your body so you can lock the moisture in and continue with the therapeutic process.
Once you’re out of the bath, begin your bedtime routine and start slowing down for the day. Try reading a book with a cup of herbal tea or meditating, or doing something that you find comforting and calming. Be sure you stay up for about an hour after your bath or it could have the reverse effects and keep you awake. You want to ensure you give your body enough time to cool down for sleep.