Trend: Winter bathing may have a positive effect on sleep quality

By Johan Seistrup

trustpilot image 4,5 Stjerner på Trustpilot

As our modern lifestyles, filled with stress and screen use, many of us have experienced sleep problems at some point in our lives. Finding effective and natural methods to improve sleep quality is important for our well-being. An exciting new study from 2023 conducted by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland brings a surprising possibility to the table: ICE BATHING.

The Study and Its Design

This Finnish study, published in the journal "Sleep," involved 60 healthy adults who were randomly divided into two groups: a winter bathing group and a control group. Over a period of six weeks, the winter bathing group was asked to participate in an activity that many may find daunting: taking ice-cold baths in water with temperatures between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius, three times a week for 10 minutes at a time. In contrast, the control group was not exposed to ice bathing.

Surprising Results: Improved Sleep Quality

The results of this unique study showed that winter bathing had a positive impact on participants' sleep quality. Members of the winter bathing group reported several improvements in their sleep experience compared to the control group.

Extended Sleep Duration:

Participants in the winter bathing group slept an average of 25 minutes longer per night compared to the control group, which can have a significant impact on daily well-being and productivity.

Improved Sleep Depth:

The winter bathing group showed higher sleep depth compared to the control group. This indicates that ice bathing not only helps people sleep longer but also deeper and with higher quality.

Increased Sleep Efficiency:

Participants who braved the ice-cold baths reported higher sleep efficiency, meaning they spent less time lying awake at night and more time getting a good night's sleep.


Mechanisms Behind the Effect

But how can something as extreme as winter bathing have a positive impact on sleep? While the study did not delve deeply into the mechanisms behind the effect, there are some theories that can explain this phenomenon.

1. Melatonin Production:

It is known that exposure to cold water can increase the production of melatonin, a hormone that plays a crucial role in sleep regulation. This increased production can help regulate your circadian rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep.

2. Reduced Stress and Anxiety:

Another theory is that winter bathing can help reduce stress and anxiety. The cold shock you experience during ice bathing can release endorphins, which can help combat stress and improve your overall mental well-being. This, in turn, can contribute to better sleep quality.


What Does This Mean for You?

While this study shows exciting results, it's important to remember that it only involved 60 healthy adults. Further research is needed to determine if winter bathing can also help people with sleep problems or chronic illnesses.

If you're considering trying winter bathing to improve your sleep quality, take into account your health and consult a doctor, especially if you have heart problems or other medical conditions. Ice bathing can be a rigorous experience, and it's important to start gently and gradually increase your exposure to cold water.

In the end, winter bathing is an unusual approach to improving sleep quality, but the results from this study suggest it may be worth considering, especially for those willing to take the plunge into cold water in pursuit of a better night's sleep.

Kom til toppen af siden her!