How can a hot bath help you get to sleep?

A dip in body temperature can help get you off to sleep.

Taking a warm bath just before bed can help you get to sleep. It's not the rise in body temperature, but the subsequent cooling down that tricks the body into thinking you have gone from daytime into night-time.

This promotes a stronger sleep urge.

You may recognise this effect if you have ever sat in a sauna for a long time. When you leave you are exhausted, although you haven’t done any work.

This, in part, is down to the cooling down your body goes through. In these modern, climate controlled times we can be prevented from cooling naturally as day turns to night. A bath can help to simulate this experience.

Last updated Tuesday 26 April 2022

First published on Thursday 10 November 2016