Did you know that relaxing in a hot tub can help ease your body into a deeper sleep? The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), a non-profit organization promoting sleep education, advocacy, and research, has declared March 30th National Sleep Awareness Day. According to a recent poll by the NSF, approximately 132 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders more than one a night a week. This number is on the rise as evidenced by the growing number of sleep disorder centers across the nation (approximately 3,000 in the U.S. today).
Sleep researchers believe that many cases of insomnia can be traced to hectic, stressful lifestyles lived by basically healthy people. The results of sleep deprivation are varied and can include battered nerves, grogginess, lapses in memory, depression, and even erratic mood swings. Rather than reaching for over-the-counter sleeping aids, a simple solution to this dilemma may be relaxing in a hot tub before bedtime.
The Pool & Spa News magazine (July 1998) reported that a Gallup poll found bathing to induce sleep common among the 1,000 adults surveyed, and a Consumer Reports survey reported that readers with mild sleep disorders listed a warm bath as one of the most popular remedies.
Studies suggest that immersion in hot water (such as a hot tub which has a constant temperature) before bedtime can ease the transition into a deeper, more restful sleep. This may be due to a temperature shift, since the body’s core internal thermostat drops after leaving the water, which signals the body that it’s time to sleep. Or, the sleep improvement may be related to hot water’s relaxing properties – the buoyancy of water reduces body weight by approximately 90%, relieving pressure on joints and muscles, creating the sensation of weightlessness. The hot, swirling water leaves you feeling both mentally and emotionally relaxed.
In addition, hot tub-induced sleep is a natural remedy, unlike alternative sleeping aids such as prescription drugs, over-the-counter remedies and alcohol – all of which can make you feel groggy and have other adverse side effects.
Just how much can a hot tub enhance your sleep? Researchers are still finding out. And to help their efforts along, Hot Spring Spas has formed a partnership with the National Sleep Foundation to help support sleep research, community education programs and fundraising activities. For more information on the role of a hot tub in enhancing your sleep, check out these resources: