Rub a dub dub, there are more reasons then ever to head to the tub: Science reveals the blissful benefits of a good soak .
It doesn’t get much better than a sudsy soak in the tub—but now what you’ve always known about a bath’s power to relax body and mind is borne out by science. Research from the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine found that soaking in warm water daily for 8 weeks is more effective at easing anxiety than a prescription drug.
Other reasons to indulge in a good soak session:
1. Soothe dry winter skin:
Although oatmeal is a centuries-old skin soother, researchers only recently recognized the avenanthramides in oats as the key compounds that calm inflamed, itchy skin. Put whole oats in a clean, dry sock. Seal the open end with a rubber band, and then drop the sock into a warm or hot bath. Soak yourself for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Boost your brain:
Adding essential oils gives you even more bath time bang for your buck: Sage sharpens memory, and bergamot relieves stress, according to the journal Alternative and Complementary Therapies.
3. Ward off a cold:
A hot bath can soothe stuffy nasal passages and erase body aches. Plus, relaxation releases painkilling endorphine in the brain.
4. Score a great night’s sleep:
Slipping between cool sheets helps trigger a drop in your body temperature, and that shift signals the body to produce melatonin, which induces sleep. That’s why taking a warm bath before going to bed is a good call—it temporarily raises your body temperature, after which it gradually lowers in the cooler air, cueing your body to feel sleepy.
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