Researchers at the Univ. of Texas, Austin have discovered that a hot shower or bath a couple of hours before bedtime can help sleep better. S. Haghayegh, a Ph.D. student of the Dept. of Biomedical Eng., Univ. of Texas, who was leading the research, stated that a circadian rhythm is followed by temperature of the human body, differ throughout the day. One hour and half, before bedtime, the temperature of our bodies slide about 1 to 0.5 degree Fahrenheit lower.
The effect might be resulted due to the hypothalamus regulating temperature of the body and many other functions like the circadian cycle.
The thermoregulatory system of the body could be stimulated by the warm water, which could improve body’s natural cooling system, as said by Haghayegh.
As per the research, issued in the magazine SMR (Sleep Medicine Reviews), 104-109 degrees F can be appropriate to take full advantage of the effect.
The study tell that the total duration of sleep, SW (slow wave) sleep, quality of subjective sleep, efficiency and onset latency of sleep can be enhanced by the passive heating based on water. The analysis depicts that people taking hot baths fell asleep about 10 minutes earlier than those who didn’t take the bath.
The scientists raked across 5,322 researches on temperature and sleep which were issued in science databanks and they focused on 17 records that particularly looked for quantitative information on the outcome of WBPH (Water-Based Passive Heating) on a broad assortment of metrics of sleep, which included onset latency of sleep. A statistical approach was applied to Meta-analyze the data.
It was emphasized by Haghayegh that the best time for the warm showers were in the 2 to 1 hour duration before bedtime, while a warm shower 15 minutes prior to sleeping would be too early to gain the same result.
He further added that there was also a temperature range which has to be maintained between 104- 109 degrees F. A cold bath works opposite to the effect of a hot bath by raising the temperature of our body, making it harder to sleep.
Scientists at the University’s, Engineering School, Austin are applying this data to create a model waterbed, which would, with the help of water regulate a person’s BP and temperature and enhance a good sleep.