In times of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to find ways to soothe nerves and calm panicked minds. There are various ways to do this, from deep breathing exercises to mindful meditation. However, one of the very best ways to relax lies in the humble bath. A good bath might be seen as a little luxury now and then, but beyond some essential self-care, it has scientifically proven benefits for your mental health.
Why taking a bath can help reduce anxiety?
Research has shown that sleep and our body’s core temperature are regulated by a circadian clock. Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal clock, running in the background to carry out essential functions and processes. As part of this, we experience fluctuations in our core body temperature – your body is about 2-3°C higher in the late afternoon or early evening. During sleep, it is the lowest. When people suffer from anxiety or depression, this temperature rhythm can often be out of sync or delayed by several hours.
Submerging yourself in warm water creates an increase in core body temperature, stimulating the body’s thermoregulatory system, causing blood circulation from the internal core to the peripheral sites of the hands and feet. Additionally, a warm bath is thought to be linked to an increase in serotonin and endorphins, two of the neurotransmitters responsible for wellbeing and happiness. As you soak in the bath, the warm water increases your circulation and draws heat from the core of your body to your fingers and toes. Then, when you step out of the bath, your body cools in the air. This temperature drop is what mimics one of the many cues our body uses to wind down.
Baths have shown to be a respite from the pressures of daily life and to improve sleep. Studies in Germany and Japan suggest that regularly immersing in baths over time can help fight depression symptoms and lower tension anxiety.
Benefits of using Epsom & Himalayan salts
Eases stress and relaxes the body
Stress drains the body of magnesium and increases levels of adrenaline. When dissolved in warm water Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin and replenishes the level of magnesium in the body. The magnesium helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation.
Relieves pain and muscle cramps
Epsom and Himalayan salt baths are known to ease pain and relieve inflammation, making it beneficial in the treatment of sore muscles. Himalayan salts also help to heal skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
Helps muscles and nerves function properly
Studies show that Epsom salt can help regulate electrolytes in your body, ensuring proper functioning of the muscles, nerves, and enzymes. This can help those suffering from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, as an Epsom salt bath will help to reduce swelling and provide pain relief.
Eliminates toxins from the body
The sulphates in Epsom salt help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances. For a detoxifying bath, at least once a week, add one handful of The Z’s bath soak to the water in a bath and soak for 10-15 minutes.
How to make the most of your time in the tub
While a warm bath can boost your body’s natural sleep patterns, it’s also an opportunity to give yourself some tranquillity. As you relax your sense, it becomes easier to disconnect from the stress you’ve built up throughout the day. Soothing music, comforting scents, and bath salts or oils are all therapeutic ways to engage all your senses.
Try adding The Z’s bath salts or Into the Deep bath oil to unwind as part of your evening routine. The Z’s CBD anchoring bath soak is a finely dispersible blend of muscle-relaxing Epsom and Himalayan bath salts, expertly blended with broad-spectrum CBD, calming juniper berry and detoxifying lemongrass essential oils. A handful of these deeply aromatic botanical salts elevates bath waters into a deliciously sleep-prompting therapeutic pool. Prepare to be deeply relaxed and sublimely softened. Into the Deep therapeutic bath oil contains a potent complex of the most effective natural ingredients to induce sleep. The deeply relaxing organic essential oils, finest quality broad-spectrum CBD and soothing arnica of our proprietary Dreem Complex is enhanced with complimentary botanicals to boost its efficacy. The addition of organic sunflower oil disperses throughout the bath, providing skin and senses a luxuriously soft, hydrated finish.
Your bathwater should be around 40-45°C, essentially a little warmer than body temperature, which is about 37°C. consider the temperature of the bathroom as well – if you are taking a bath to promote sleep before bed, the room temperature should be cooler: 18°C is ideal.
If your bathroom has lots of natural light, then consider a daytime bath, as natural light can lead to an improved sense of wellbeing, and better sleep. In the evening, leave the lights off and have a bath by candlelight, as exposure to artificial light at night can suppress melatonin, interfering with your sleep quality.
Many of us are exposed to blue light all day in the form of mobiles and computers, leaving us mentally drained and prone to headaches. Resist bringing any distractions into the bathroom with you, such as technology devices, and allow yourself to completely switch off. Instead, close your eyes and just breathe.
If you struggle to meditate in a normal setting, you can try a few minutes in the bath. Your body is already physically relaxed, which makes it easier to clear your mind and zone out. Simply close your eyes and concentrate on long, deep breaths. Keep your mind quiet and focus on the sound of the water, the smell of essential oils and candles.