Each of us, sometime or the other, face difficulty in getting off to sleep, especially after an intense and a stressful day. Often though, all it takes to soothe away fatigue and sleep better is a hot shower in the evening. Let’s find out why and look at some tips on how to make this remedy even more effective.
That enjoying a hot shower in the evening brings all sorts of benefits has been proven by the results of research by Japanese E.J. Sung and J. Tochihara, as published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology and Applied Human Science. Based on meticulous medical tests on the sample of volunteers taking part in the survey, the study in fact showed that a hot shower before going to bed can help:
- ease muscular tension;
- decongest the respiratory tract;
- regulate heartbeat;
- normalize the nervous system.
Choosing the right moment
For a hot shower to really help you sleep better it’s important to choose the right time in the evening: neither just before going to bed nor not too early, as experts at the Center for Sleep Medicine at the NewYork-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center have determined. This is because body temperature plays an important role in defining our biorhythm. In normal conditions, in fact, the body tends to gradually store heat till late afternoon, then it starts to release it later and cool down in preparation for sleep. A hot shower just before going to bed would risk interrupting this natural cycle and partially neutralize the benefits described above.
So Dr Dianne Augelli of the Center for Sleep Medicine advises us to have our hot shower around 90 minutes before going to bed, thus giving the body time to naturally disperse heat.
The right temperature of the water
The research quoted above has shown that for someone without any particular health problems the ideal water temperature for full relaxation is generally between 30° and 37°. To have this available on a daily basis without sending your gas/electricity bills through the roof we could choose a heat pump water heater like Ariston’s Nuos Evo A+ , which can save us around 70% in energy costs compared to an electric one.
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