BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne police investigating early morning shooting at Rodeway Inn Full Story

A hot bath 1 or 2 hours before bedtime can significantly improve your sleep, researchers say

Taking a hot bath or shower an hour or two before going to bed can greatly improve your sleep, according to new research from scientists at the...

Posted: Jul 24, 2019 6:54 PM

Taking a hot bath or shower an hour or two before going to bed can greatly improve your sleep, according to new research from scientists at the University of Texas at Austin.

Human body temperatures follow a circadian rhythm that varies throughout the day, said Shahab Haghayegh, a Ph.D. candidate in the university's Department of Biomedical Engineering, who led the research. About an hour and a half before we usually go to sleep, our bodies cool by about 0.5 to 1 degree Fahrenheit.

One reason for the effect is that the hypothalamus in the brain regulates body temperature as well as a number of other functions, including the sleep-wake cycle.

Haghayegh said that warm water could stimulate the body's thermoregulatory system, ensuring or enhancing that natural cooling process.

According to his team's findings, published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews, a temperature of 104 to 109 degrees Fahrenheit can be ideal to maximize the effect.

The analysis shows that water-based passive heating can improve total sleep time, slow wave sleep, subjective sleep quality, sleep efficiency and sleep onset latency, or the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. The data shows that those who took baths were able to fall asleep on average 10 minutes earlier.

Researchers looked at past data through a new lens

The researchers combed through 5,322 studies on sleep and temperature that were published in science databases and then narrowed their scope to 17 papers that specifically sought quantitative data on the effect of water-based passive heating on a wide range of sleep metrics, including sleep onset latency. The team used statistical methods to perform a meta-analysis of the data.

Haghayegh emphasized that the sweet spot for warm baths was in the one-to-two-hour range and that taking a warm bath 15 minutes before bed was too soon to achieve the same effect.

Similarly, he said, the temperature zone of 104 to 109 degrees was important. Just as hot water has the inverse effect of making our bodies cool before sleep, taking a cold shower make our bodies warm up, making sleep more difficult.

Beyond helping us plan our evening routines to help us get the most rest, this science could help engineers design technology that could improve sleep even more.

Haghayegh said that researchers at UT-Austin's School of Engineering are using this data as they work to build a prototype water bed that would use water to help regulate someone's temperature and blood pressure and optimize sleep throughout the night.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 73287

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15701725
Lake7496275
Elkhart480184
Allen3835163
St. Joseph342381
Hamilton2723104
Vanderburgh192213
Hendricks1871108
Cass17869
Johnson1741118
Porter129439
Clark120247
Tippecanoe118911
Madison94365
LaPorte89430
Howard88465
Kosciusko84712
Bartholomew78047
Marshall77422
Floyd77246
Monroe74630
Delaware71452
Dubois68712
Boone67246
Noble66329
Hancock64738
Vigo61910
Jackson5855
Warrick57930
LaGrange55710
Shelby54627
Grant52630
Dearborn49628
Morgan46734
Clinton4303
Henry37620
Wayne36810
White36110
Montgomery35221
Lawrence34227
Decatur33532
Harrison32723
Putnam2868
Miami2692
Scott26610
Daviess26420
Greene24634
Franklin24114
Jasper2342
DeKalb2304
Jennings22412
Gibson2214
Steuben2073
Ripley1997
Fayette1867
Carroll1852
Perry18412
Starke1777
Posey1700
Orange16924
Wabash1653
Fulton1642
Wells1622
Jefferson1602
Knox1510
Whitley1516
Washington1391
Tipton1379
Spencer1313
Huntington1223
Newton11810
Randolph1184
Clay1165
Sullivan1131
Adams962
Jay910
Owen871
Pulaski791
Rush764
Brown731
Fountain732
Blackford632
Ohio635
Benton610
Pike530
Parke511
Vermillion490
Switzerland460
Crawford440
Martin430
Union390
Warren221
Unassigned0202

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 99969

Reported Deaths: 3668
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18182523
Cuyahoga13414499
Hamilton9583255
Lucas5288323
Montgomery431894
Summit3523222
Marion292245
Butler289163
Mahoning2532255
Pickaway238342
Stark1813139
Warren176739
Lorain173678
Columbiana165660
Trumbull1518106
Fairfield136732
Delaware129219
Licking126049
Clark114214
Lake111138
Wood103058
Clermont92111
Medina91435
Miami83238
Tuscarawas78114
Portage75461
Allen73244
Greene68412
Belmont62126
Mercer60513
Richland60012
Erie57027
Ashtabula56246
Geauga55444
Wayne52958
Ross4684
Huron3955
Darke39329
Ottawa37726
Sandusky37316
Hancock3723
Athens3561
Madison35510
Holmes3276
Lawrence2790
Auglaize2506
Union2461
Muskingum2251
Jefferson2242
Scioto2241
Putnam20517
Seneca2043
Knox2037
Washington20222
Preble2012
Coshocton1926
Shelby1904
Crawford1745
Champaign1732
Morrow1682
Hardin16412
Clinton1626
Highland1561
Logan1522
Fulton1471
Wyandot1458
Ashland1433
Defiance1424
Williams1343
Brown1272
Perry1233
Guernsey1167
Henry1162
Hocking1169
Fayette1120
Carroll1115
Monroe9118
Pike760
Jackson740
Van Wert711
Paulding670
Gallia651
Adams592
Meigs380
Vinton312
Harrison261
Morgan250
Noble170
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 79°
Angola
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 79°
Huntington
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 75°
Decatur
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 79°
Van Wert
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 79°
Sunny, Seasonable Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events