What happens if you take a hot bath at night before going to sleep?

Taking a hot bath before going to sleep is a recommended technique to sleep better. This is corroborated by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, who point out that taking a bath before going to bed can improve the quality of our sleep.

But, in addition to improving the quality of sleep, a warm bath before going to sleep will help us induce rest and reduce the average time it takes to fall asleep in about 10 minutes.

The optimal time for this technique to take effect is 90 minutes before going to sleep and the water must be between 40ºC and 42ºC.

What happens to our body with hot water?

This is because hot water stimulates our body’s thermoregulation system by changing our internal temperature and facilitating this change to our circadian clock, which understands that it is time to sleep.

Why is it good to take a warm bath before going to sleep?  Photo: bigstock

Why does temperature affect sleep?

Our body temperature rises 2 or 3 degrees in the late afternoon or evening, while during sleep it is lower.

When night falls, we suffer an average drop in temperature of 3 to 6 degrees, being a progressive decrease that reaches its minimum once it is time to wake up, at which time, our temperature begins to reestablish itself.

Paradoxically, it seems that Taking a hot bath cools the body by stimulating blood circulation from the inner core to the periphery, that is, the hands and feet. When this happens, the pineal gland signals the production of melatonin and that is when it induces sleep.

If the bath were with cold water, our body would react, as a defense, the other way around, raising the temperature and therefore, it would not favor our rest.

The same happens when we sleep in socks. ANDThe heat they provide us will help us to dilate the blood vessels, a process that helps to release heat through the skin, helping to reduce body temperature and facilitating our sleep. If we are cold, a vasoconstriction occurs which is the opposite process to that necessary to sleep.

Excess hot water

Baths with excessively hot water can cause various side effects on our body and can even be dangerous for our health such as blood pressure problems, vasodilation, reduced blood supply to the brain and heart, among others.