Does a Hot Tub Make You Sleep Better?

February 15, 2023

Does a Hot Tub Make You Sleep Better?

If you struggle to fall asleep after a busy, stressful day, you need to install a hot tub to drive your insomnia away. With the rising anxiety levels, and increased stressful lifestyles, more and more people have insomnia and other mild sleep disorders.

A soak in the hot tub can also help you ease into a restful night of deep sleep in no time. Researchers claim that sitting in the hot tub before bedtime reduces insomnia, and promotes deep uninterrupted sleep.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, almost half of the American population suffers from sleep deprivation between three to seven days a week. 35.2% of adults in the USA have reported sleeping less than seven hours per night.

Sleep Patterns and Ways to Improve Them

Sleep might appear as a spontaneous routine, but it has several cycles.

You can broadly divide your entire sleep pattern into Non-REM sleep and REM sleep.

  • Non-REM Rapid Eye Movement Sleep: This is the beginning stage when you slowly drift off to sleep. You fall asleep as your heartbeat slows down, and your muscles relax. Non-Rem sleep happens in three cycles when the body progressively relaxes as you move into a deeper sleep pattern.
  • REM Sleep: In this stage, your brain activity increases with an increase in heartbeat and blood pressure. While your eyes start moving rapidly, the rest of the body maintains a deep rest.

You can typically expect to cover all the stages of the sleep cycle if you get a solid 7-8 hours of sleep in one sleep session. You can lie in a hot tub before bedtime to relax your body, helping you follow a regular sleep pattern.

A relaxed body will help you get into pre-sleep mode faster, and wake you up in a fresh and energized state, rather than feeling the effects of sleep deprivation.

Benefits of Using a Hot Tub to Promote Sleep

To have a good night's sleep, your body needs to wind down into a relaxed state. Using a hot tub can help you get your best sleep in the following ways:

It regulates body temperature.

Your body temperature fluctuates throughout the day. It rises during the daytime, and then lowers as night approaches, making you ready to wind down to sleep. Stimulating the temperature fluctuation can help you ease into a comfortable sleep routine.

Studies suggest that soaking in warm water at least 15 mins before bedtime increases your core body temperature. When out of the tub, your skin cools down, and water evaporates from the body, resulting in a drop in your body temperature. This temperature fluctuation helps you ease into an improved sleep routine.

It helps you relax.

The primary reason for insomnia is the build-up of stress in the body during the day. People leading stressful lives often face difficulty relaxing into a good night’s sleep.

Using a hot tub before bedtime can help with stress reduction to achieve restful sleep.

Sleep researchers claim that soaking in a hot tub helps your body release endorphins that can calm your mind, reduce stress, and improve overall health. Also, the buoyancy of water can relax and decompress your aching muscles, helping you relax.

You can help your body relax by taking the following steps:

  • Dim the lights. Artificial lights are bright lights that can make you more alert, causing difficulty in falling asleep. To make nighttime more relaxing, dim the lights, and play some soothing music as you soak in the hot tub.
  • Add bathing salts. You can add bathing salts to a warm bath to relax and detox your tired muscles, getting you in a sleepy mood, helping you to fall asleep faster.
  • Use aromatherapy. You can use aromatherapy to relax your senses while soaking in hot water. Using essential oils with aromas like lavender, vanilla, and jasmine can reduce stress, and calm your nerves. It also improves your sleep quality.
  • Go outdoors. You can install a hot tub outdoors to get the benefits of the outside environment while soaking in warm water. Installing a hot tub outdoors can bring nature close to you. It can help clear your mind, and provide a natural remedy for sleep loss.
  • Get the timings right. To make the most of your nighttime routine, make sure not to soak in the hot tub too close to bedtime. The idea is to give enough time to the body to cool down, and relax into a comfortable sleep routine.

Bathing too close to bedtime can keep your body temperature high, making it difficult for you to wind down for the night.

It improves blood circulation and heart health.

Daily stress levels can constrict your blood vessels, restricting blood flow throughout your body. Heat therapy with hot tub jets can dilate the blood vessels, improving overall blood circulation.

A study showed that regular soaking in hot water can improve cardiovascular health in people leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Sleep specialists claim that soaking in a hot tub improves blood flow, reduces stiffness in the arteries, and lowers blood pressure, resulting in improved heart health.

It relieves pain.

A recent survey shows that more people are experiencing moderate to severe pain in their everyday lives, making it a serious health issue in the long run.

A hot tub can help relieve tension from your aching muscles and joints, reducing bodily discomforts. A recent study claims that lying in hot water helps people suffering from arthritis and fibromyalgia to get better sleep. It also improves their psychological and physical symptoms.

Soaking in hot water also offers health benefits to athletes by helping to reduce muscle fatigue, and improve post-exercise recovery in athletes.

Follow these simple steps to improve your pain management while soaking in the tub:

  • Use warm water: Make sure to use warm water, as soaking in very hot water can increase your anxiety and cause stress. Hot water can also dehydrate your body, causing itchiness, making you too tired to fall asleep quickly. That’s why a warm bath is often preferable to a hot bath.
  • Move your body: Gentle stretching exercises in the hot tub can improve blood flow in stiff joints, helping you relax for deep sleep afterward.

Potential Adverse Effects

Although a hot tub has many benefits, and can help you relieve your tensions and pains, it has certain health risks if not used correctly.

Some of the adverse effects of using hot tubs are:

Skin Problems, Including Rashes

  • Using a hot tub can give you skin rashes and other skin problems, especially if you are an older adult, and have sensitive skin.
  • Spending an extended time in the hot tub can increase the risk of bacterial infections. It can cause rashes or pus-filled blisters that are itchy and painful. To prevent this, avoid soaking in hot tubs for a long time. Always make sure to shower and wash thoroughly afterward, to clean yourself of germs.
  • Soaking in water contaminated with legionella bacteria can cause Legionnaires disease. It can cause pneumonia, and symptoms like headache, fever, and muscle pain. People 50 years and older who smoke regularly, and suffer from lung problems, are more sensitive to this disease.
  • Using hot tubs can cause chloramine when bodily fluids like urine and sweat react with the chlorine present in the hot tub water. It can cause severe skin problems for people with sensitive skin.

Illness from Bacteria and Parasites

Some bacteria and parasites can live in water of hot tubs, even when disinfected with chlorine. Soaking in such water can make you fall sick, causing symptoms like diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, vomiting, and dehydration. To avoid falling ill, you need to change the tub water frequently.

A Sudden Change in Blood Pressure

People who have blood pressure concerns and take beta-blockers must exercise caution when dipping in a hot water tub. When soaking in a hot water tub, your blood vessels dilate, causing a sudden drop in blood pressure.

Avoid suddenly exiting the hot tub to give your body enough time to adjust to the temperature change.

Dehydration and Vomiting Issues

As the hot tub has a higher temperature than your body, staying for more than 15 to 20 mins in the tub can cause certain health issues like nausea, headache, or a bout of dizziness.

The sudden change of temperature can cause a fluctuation in your blood pressure.

To prevent such health issues, maintain a warm temperature in the hot tub, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Limit time spent in hot tubs as well.

Concerns of Burning

Hot water, while soaking, can burn your skin, causing red painful blisters. Before soaking in a hot tub, use your discretion, and use warm water to provide relaxation without burning your skin.

Older adults must make sure the water temperature is below 104 degrees F before soaking in it.

Who Should Avoid Using the Hot Tub?

Hot Tubs and Older Adults

When using hot tubs, older adults suffering from high or low blood pressure, chronic lung or heart problems, and those who take certain medications can face certain health risks.

Also, people with a weak immune system might be more prone to infections from bacteria or parasites in the water of hot tubs.

Hot Tub Use by Pregnant Women

Because of a higher risk of infections, pregnant women must avoid hot tubs in their first trimester, and always consult a doctor before soaking in the hot tub during pregnancy.

Other Ways to Improve Your Sleep Routine

While soaking in a hot tub can make you feel wonderfully relaxed, here are some ways you can improve your overall sleep routine.

Set a Fixed Sleep Schedule

Maintaining a fixed sleep routine can help your body set to a regular sleeping pattern to avoid minor sleep disorders and sleep deprivation to get a good night’s sleep.

Invest in a Comfortable Mattress

You can sleep comfortably in your bed by investing in a high-quality mattress that allows your body to breathe while providing the best support for uninterrupted sleep. To get the mattress that helps you get the sleep you deserve, try Eco Terra mattresses.

Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

Alcohol and caffeine make you alert, and may induce insomnia, making it difficult to fall asleep. Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake to get a good night's sleep.

Reduce the Use of Electronics

Laptops, mobile phones, and other electronics emit blue light that can prevent you from getting good sleep. Limit their use at least two hours before bedtime to reduce exposure to artificial light, and improve sleep quality.

Invest in Natural Sleep-Aids

People suffering from sleep disorders often resort to sleeping pills to get a good night’s sleep. You can increase the use of natural supplements like chamomile tea, ashwagandha to help you fall asleep without any side effects.

You need a regular sleep routine to maintain a healthy life. Invest in a hot tub to relax and rejuvenate your tired muscles to get the sleep you deserve. You can also improve your sleep habits by making your home ambiance relaxing and peaceful. Try getting an eco-friendly mattress from Eco Terra to support your body, and ease into a comfortable sleep routine.

Patrick Gunther

Patrick is an accomplished writer. He has been in the retail mattress space for the past 13 years, and more specifically in the natural mattress niche. He blogs on the subjects of natural mattresses, sleep, health, fitness, and green living.