Curing Insomnia the Hot Tub Way

So many people suffer from insomnia. There are several cures, and often it is best to combine more than one. A hot tub can be a very enjoyable means of curing insomnia.

Just how prevalent is insomnia?

  • 3.3 million Canadians
  • 60 million Americans
  • 10 million British

stress and sleep hot tubsModern life is full of stress. There are time-related stresses, trying to fit too much into a day – even just trying to keep track of everything scheduled or on our to-do lists. There are performance-related stresses, trying to fulfill the expectations of our employers, our families and society in general. Of course, there are also physical stresses, if your job requires a lot of physical work. And there are stresses we place on ourselves – fears, worries, finances.

It’s a wonder that any of us get any sleep at all.

Fortunately, there are ways to manage insomnia, and one of those is a soak in a hot tub before bedtime. In an earlier post, we wrote about some of the health benefits of a hot tub, but we mentioned sleep only in passing. Today we look in detail at how hot tubs can cure our insomnia.

When I lived in Toronto, in a high-rise condo apartment, we had a swimming pool and a hot tub at our beck and call. Almost every night before turning in, we went down to the pool and did some exercising, then popped into the hot tub for 10-20 minutes. I cannot remember a time in my life when I slept nearly so well.

Most people I know try to de-stress in front of a TV. This won’t work. Try shutting your eyes and listen to what your ears are hearing from the shows you watch. In most cases, the sounds are sharp and grating – and stress-inducing. Now open your eyes and count how many times in a minute modern TV shows change camera frames. This rapid succession of visuals has been linked with creating stress in people.

On the other hand, hot tubs offer the following qualities…

Five Hot Tub Characteristics to Help You Sleep Better

Buoyancy. When you put your body in water, you tend to float. This removes much of the tension in your muscles, so right away you are reducing the physical stress your body has accumulated over the day.

Warmth. There is no denying that the warmth has a soothing, calming effect on our bodies and probably also on our spirits.

Steam. Breathing in steam has been known to lift a person’s mood and calm a person’s anxieties.

Water. People have known for eons that water soothes and relaxes. Listening to water flow is soothing. Watching water flow is soothing. Dipping out feet in water is soothing (as long as the water isn’t too cold, of course). Hot tubs offer all these features.

Massage. The water jets on your back can further reduce muscle aches and tension. Many long-term insomniacs have discovered that a hot tub gives them the first good night’s sleep in years. And regular use has been known to permanently cure some of them.

The trick is to give time for your body to cool itself down between hot tub and bed – this gives your body the evolutionary signal that the sun is set and it’s time to sleep. Generally, a 90-minute wait is recommended, but I waited 30-60 minutes when I was a regular user, and I slept like a baby.

SAFETY TIP: Never swim alone….and especially never hot tub alone. If your hot tub works too well, you might even fall asleep in the water. And that could be deadly.

SLEEP TIP: Sleep better at night knowing your hot tub is protected. Get a hot tub cover to keep animals, things and neighbourhood kids from falling in.