A lot of people with fibromyalgia say that a hot bath helps them sleep, and now we have a study backing that up.
Researchers decided to see what sleep-related physiological changes happened in women with fibromyalgia when they regularly immersed themselves in warm water. For three weeks, five evenings a week, the women went in and soaked for half an hour. They had polysomnographies (sleep studies) done before the study began, after the first and last days of the warm-water soaks, and at a follow-up time.
The polysomnographies showed that the women:
- Got to sleep faster,
- Entered REM sleep sooner,
- Had increased sleep efficiency
- Woke up less often.
Most of us know that when we sleep better, we feel better. Having proof that a warm bath actually improves sleep quality - when so little else does - shows us the true value of a nice long bath.
I typically take baths early in the day, but I'm thinking maybe I should try to move that to later. It's hard, because my husband generally goes to sleep several hours before I do and taking a late bath would wake him up. However, the women in the study soaked as early as 6 p.m. sometimes, so it looks like the benefit is there even when the bath isn't right before bed.
Do you use baths as part of your management strategy? Do you feel like they improve your sleep? Take the poll, and leave your comments below!
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