Want to do something nice for yourself? Try taking a bath.

You know how you feel calmer and more relaxed after a hot shower or bath? Well it turns out there’s a good reason for that. Baths don’t just get you clean, they can actually benefit your health, too. This is part of the reason taking baths has become more and more popular over the last few years, too. Whether you regularly enjoy baths or want to see what the hype is about, here are some of the benefits you might experience.

Better Mood

Baths offer peace, quiet, and comfort. It turns out that being submerged in warm water is just naturally comforting. Because it makes you feel secure, both your mind and body are able to relax more easily.

Improved Sleep

Our body temperatures naturally dip at night, which is one of the reasons some scientists believe a colder core body temperature helps you fall asleep more easily. When you take a bath, your body temperature rises. When you get out of the bath, your body temperature gets much cooler, which may help you fall asleep more easily. 

Less Muscle and Joint Pain

Heat is one of the best remedies for muscle pain. This is because it improves circulation and gets the blood moving. In turn, this helps increase muscle flexibility and soothe discomfort. Though heat won’t help with inflammation, adding epsom salts to your bath can reduce arthritis-related inflammation.

Relief from Cold and Flu Symptoms

The major benefit of taking a bath when you’re sick is that moist heat like steam can help ease swelling and irritation in your nasal passages. It can also thin out mucus and help stuffy noses drain more easily.

Burning Calories

Okay, so it’s not exactly a workout, but taking a bath does make you sweat. It can even make your body burn as many calories as you would by taking a walk.

Better Heart Health

Some studies report that taking warm baths regularly may help reduce blood pressure. This is because heat dilates the blood vessels, which is why you experience better circulation. Baths are actually a kind of mini-workout for your body. Overall, lower blood pressure can also help prevent serious heart ailments.

Feeling More Awake

A good bath should leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, not drowsy. Adding a few drops of essential oils can even enhance the positive effects you get from a bath. For example, lavender is a popular choice because it’s gentle and people associate it with relaxation. Eucalyptus oil is another popular choice as it can open up your nasal passages.

If you feel drowsy after a bath, you might be dehydrated. When taking a bath, it’s important to make sure the water is warm but not scalding. Ideally, bathwater should be between 10 and 15 degrees (Fahrenheit) warmer than your normal body temperature. Don’t totally submerge yourself, either—keeping your head out of the water keeps your body from overheating.

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