Water is a basic resource and a primal natural remedy. In all of its states; steam, liquid and ice, water can provide a wide range of treatment for health problems. For example, ice packs can relief pain, while steam can overcome many symptoms of respiratory problems, such as nasal congestion. You can also dip clothes into herbal infusion and place them on cramped or stiff muscles, which can thwart sleep.
Hot water bath can help in giving you a good sleep, because it relaxes your body and mind. It works by slightly raising your body temperature and after 15 minutes, it starts to drop slowly. This can promote sleep indirectly. Gradual drop of body temperature can make us feel drowsy and therefore we feel more prepared for sleep. A hot bath also diverts some blood from the head to lower parts of our body, reduces brain activity and mimics the pre-sleep state.
A proper water treatment can coax a person into a tranquil pre-sleep state. You may inevitably feel refreshed after a friction rub and a hot bath, which can help you to fall asleep much more quickly. This is especially true on children, but unfortunately many adults with insomnia carry a habitual delaying tactics to their bed for years. Those who are often sleepless at night should combine hot water therapy with “sleep mindfulness” meditation to tell your body and mind that it’s time to go to bed.
Water Sponge Bath
It is a very simple friction baths and often used to treat insomnia on children and weak patients who have sleep problem due to their health conditions. Start by splashing the face with some warm water and dry it. When you’re doing it, the body should be enveloped in a large towel or light cotton blanket, only expose a part of the body when you want to sponge it. Choose a soft, large sponge and dip it in warm water, you can also add some apple cider vinegar into it (one part of apple cider vinegar to four part of plain water). You should rub the skin vigorously, starting from the upper part of the body and gradually move to the lower parts. After the body is completely dry, put on the nightclothes, turn out the lights and use a light cotton blanket. In most cases, it will induce a restful, good sleep.
Hot Full Bath
Many people instinctively turn to a full hot bath when they’re fatigued, on the verge of a cold or have over-exercised. Generally, immersing your body in hot water is comparable to taking a mild sedative. The reaction between your body and hot water produces calm and total relaxation. A good hot bath should start at a temperature that is comparable to your body temperature, immerse yourself and slowly increase the water temperature until the highest tolerable limit. It is a good idea to add some mineral or aromatic herbs. Common examples are drops of lavender oil or an aromatic extract of pine oil. To reduce worried state and agitation, add some chamomile tea or a few drops of valerian extract. Many health stores offer bathing capsule made in European states.
Another alternative is Epsom salts, which are obtainable in drug stores. They are very powerful, just add half cup of it and you’ll profuse perspiration significantly. Just like sauna, inducing large amount of sweat production is healthy as it removes toxic materials from your fat layer. The action of dissolved Epsom salts and the heat of water can produce drowsiness and lethargy. Obviously, it is inadvisable to do it in the morning before work as you can feel somewhat sleepy the whole day. A combination of hot bath and Epsom salt shouldn’t be taken by toddlers, pregnant women, weak patients, people with chronic illness and seniors.
Remain in the bathtub from ten to thirty minutes depending on your need and comfort. Before getting out of the hot bath, you should drizzle some cool water into the tub, as the slightly cooler water can offset the declining effect of hot water bath. Make sure you have a dry towel nearby, dry yourself. Some people may already be very sleepy at this point, so if you find it difficult to stay awake, just wrap yourself in a bath sheet and go straight to the bed wrapped in it. If necessary, add a down cover of favorite blanker to keep yourself warm. You’ll feel warm, cozy and drowsy within minutes. You should allow yourself to doze off quietly in to a peaceful and profound sleep. Researches on sleep have proven the favorable effects of full hot water baths on sleep quality and it is most effective when performed within one hour before sleeping time.
Hot Foot Bath
It is simpler than a full hot bath, but can still draw some blood from upper area of your body and make you feel drowsy. For five minutes, dip your feet in a few inches of tepid water. Don’t wait until the water gets cold, dry your feet and hit the sack immediately. If you’re about to have cough or cold, add some mustard powder.
This is the opposite of hot foot bath. Apply a moist, hot compress to your head for a couple of minutes. A compress can be a cloth dipped into an herbal infusion or plain hot water. You can also apply the cloth to your lower spine for five minutes to produce the same level of drowsiness. When the compress cools off, dip it on the water again.