It may sound like the last thing you'd want to do on a scorching day but taking a hot bath is the key to cooling you down during a heatwave, according to research.
A hot bath is something most of us usually indulge in on dark winter nights, cozying into the best bubble bath products with our bath trays kitted out with lit candles and maybe even a nice glass of red wine, if we're really embracing the self-care practice. However, turns out we should be doing more of this in the summer months, too, especially when temperatures reach their peak.
According to bathroom expert Dominic Lees-Bell from Drench.co.uk, a hot bath will instantly cool you down if you're struggling to sleep in a heatwave. "We recommend taking a hot shower to cool down during this UK heatwave," he explains. "Many are looking at buying expensive fans or freezing hot water bottles, but one of the simplest ways to cool down is to actually take a hot bath."
His comments come after a report in the Sleep Medical Reviews journal revealed the science behind it all. Both your sleep and body core temperature are regulated by the brain’s circadian clock, which drives the 24-hour patterns of sleep and wakefulness. When you're sleeping, your body temperature is at its lowest—this same drop in body temperature also occurs after a bath, ultimately gearing us up for a good night's sleep.
One thing you should keep clear of is a cold shower, no matter how enticing it may seem when you're hot and bothered. "Taking a cold shower or bath can actually be counterproductive, as when our body is submerged in extremely cold conditions it tries to regulate our core temperature. This means you could actually feel hotter than you did before you tried to cool down," admits Lees-Bell.
"By taking a hot bath we are able to drop our body temperature, as it stimulates our bodies' thermoregulatory system. This increases the circulation of blood throughout our body and results in the removal of body heat and therefore a decreased body temperature."
So there it is: Hot Bath Summer, here we come!
Sagal is a journalist, specialising in lifestyle, pop culture, fashion and beauty. She has written for a number of publications including Vogue, Glamour, Stylist, Evening Standard, Bustle, You Magazine, Dazed and Wonderland to name a few.
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