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How a hot tub can help with disturbed sleep patterns

How a hot tub can help with disturbed sleep patterns

A study conducted by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated a growing trend in disturbed sleep patterns in North America. The study has confirmed that many people are sleeping less and the sleep they are getting isn’t as effective as it could be. They report that at least 70 million American suffer from chronic sleep conditions, and many more suffer from occasional sleeplessness.

Furthermore, BBC reports that a study from the University of Surrey has determined that poor or disturbed sleep patterns, if untreated, can have a serious negative impact on overall health. This study has indicated that heart disease, diabetes, obesity and poor brain function are some of the most serious health effects. Those who received ten hours of sleep every night were far better protected against illness than those who only received six.

There are many prescribed medications and over-the-counter drugs available to help with disturbed sleep patterns. Although over-the-counter and prescription medications can be effective in helping you sleep, they can also become habit forming.

Is there a simple and effective natural solution to assist people in achieving better sleep patterns?

A study at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil tested the effectiveness of passive body heating (immersion in hot water) for better sleep in women with fibromyalgia. The results indicated that the patients showed a decrease in the time it took for them to fall asleep and that they reached ‘Rapid Eye Movement Sleep’, or ‘REM’ sleep more quickly. They also spent less time tossing and turning ‘half-asleep’, and woke up fewer times throughout the night.

What is the science behind immersion in hot water and better sleep?

Immersing the human body in warm water raises core body temperature. A soak in a Jacuzzi hot tub raises your core body temperature and the following cool-down period immediately afterward relaxes the body and emulates what happens naturally during sleep.

“Your temperature naturally dips at night, starting two hours before sleep and reaching a minimum at 4:00 or 5:00 AM,” according to a 1997 study conducted by New York Hospital , Cornell Medical Center.

"Two hours before bed, soak in the tub for 20-30 minutes", recommends Joyce Walsleben, PhD, associate professor at New York University School of Medicine. “If you raise your body temperature a degree or two with a bath, the steeper drop at bedtime is more likely to put you in a deep sleep,” she says.

This research concludes that immersing yourself in a Jacuzzi with warm water can be an effective and natural method of developing and maintaining a healthy sleep routine without the use of prescribed and over-the-counter sleeping medication