Do you find it hard to fall asleep in the evening? A bath or shower, 1-2 hours before bed, might just help according to this research from UT Health Science Center at Houston and the University of Southern California which reviewed 5,322 studies and extracted pertinent information related to sleep latencies and sleep quality. 

Researchers found that bathing 1-2 hours before bedtime in water of about 40-43 degrees Celsius can significantly improve your sleep.

It’s an interesting approach, using thousands of existing studies but with a different eye.

For me that one is definitely worth a trial! I personally found that taking a bath helps although it is hard to fit it into my routine. It has been mentioned in many articles as part of the ultimate bed routine, as a way to disconnect, prepare you for sleep, so it is interesting to also see a scientific angle which seems to corroborate. 

Science already support the link between water-based body heating and improved sleep. 

Body temperature, which is involved in the regulation of the sleep/wake cycle (circadian cycle), is at the lowest during sleep. It drops gradually to be at its lowest level between middle and later span of the nighttime. It then begins to rise, acting as some kind of biological alarm clock. 

Warm baths and showers stimulate the body’s thermoregulatory system, causing a marked increase in the circulation of blood from the internal core of the body to the peripheral sites of the hands and feet, resulting in efficient removal of body heat and decline in body temperature.

Source: UT Health Science Center at Houston

In other worlds, it helps to lower your body temperature. And the research found that the optimal timing in order to improve sleep quality was about 90min before going to bed

Even better, the research team is now working on a commercially viable bed system to allow thermoregulatory function on demand, ultimately trying to maintain individual’s optimum temperature. #TECH

Meet Chilipad

There are already some tech out there available to help you maintain a cool body temperature. Todd Youngblood, Co-Founder and CEO of Kryo Inc., is the creators of the chiliPAD Sleep System. CHILIPAD helps you to cool down. This is specially useful in the summer or if you live in a hot country. They claim it helps you increase your deep sleep. I haven’t tried it but I am tempted. I especially like the fact that you can adapt the temperature on each side of the bed to no faith with your +1.

Listen to the PODCAST in full if you are interested

I use the OURA ring, which measure my body temperature in the evening and use it as part of its calculation for a sleeping score, and that makes complete sense. Last week we were in Spain during the heat wave, and my nighttime body temperature increased, sometime up to +0.6 degrees, which is a lot, and resulted resulted in really bad sleep quality.

Reference

The paper explaining their method was recently published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews