Sleep might be the most under-rated element of a healthy life. Otherwise healthy humans will die if prevented from sleeping for just a few days. For the 50-70 million Americans who suffer from some sleep deprivation at least two nights each week, or the millions more who sleep enough hours but fail to get the restorative sleep their bodies need, life is a slog from one exhausted state to the next.
Research shows that people with sleep disorders suffer an array of health issues, including depression, high rates of diabetes and heart disease.
Sleep specialists recommend a slew of measures to improve the odds of sleeping, like proper nutrition and exercise, a dark room without distractions, and a calming nighttime ritual.
And here’s another proven method of improving your sleep: soak in a hot tub before bedtime. Hot tubs have been demonstrated to facilitate sleep in these three ways:
The heat, water and massaging jets of a hot tub relax us physically and psychologically. A soothing soak in a hot tub loosens up our muscles and joints and allows us to forget about the day’s stressors. The ability to float takes pressure off all our body parts, deepening the relaxation before bed. Immerse yourself in a hot tub and feel the heat seep into your pores and wash away the tension.
Sleep experts recommend we clear our minds and eliminate distractions, particularly cell phones and other electronics in order to calm ourselves for sleep. That’s a bonus benefit of hot tubs, which allow users to lose themselves in the soothing hot water.
Hot! Hot! Hot!
When we fall asleep, our body temperature drops as most functions slow down or cease. Entering a hot tub 90 minutes before bedtime heats the body, which begins cooling upon exiting. As the body cools, it enters a state similar to sleep, signaling the brain that bedtime is near. A study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropological Applied Human Science found that soaking in warm water an hour or so before bedtime led participants to fall asleep faster, move less during slumber and enter deeper states of REM sleep.
No Pain, No Insomnia
It’s difficult to sleep when you’re in pain. A hot tub’s heat, massage jets and the effect of buoyancy help relieve the body of pain, driving lactic acid out of the muscles. Immersion in a hot tub for just 15 minutes about an hour-and-a-half before bedtime can ease the pain that interferes with comfortable positioning and restful sleep.
A Great Bonus – Morning!
Hot tubs help us sleep. They also help us wake. A quick soak in a hot tub when you rise after a restful night wakes the heart and other muscles. The deep, penetrating heat limbers up muscles, a good preparation for the day ahead.
Americans spend a lot of money on sleep aids and accessories. Some time in a hot tub is a great complement to a firm mattress, a contoured pillow and a sleep mask. To learn more about the benefits of hot tub use, visit Hanson HotSpring Spas’ showroom at 1835 Dublin Blvd in Colorado Springs or see them online at HansonSpa.com .