How to create the perfect bath to unwind and destress before bed


You don’t need to wait for a cold winter night to indulge in a stress relieving bath. In fact, researchers from the Cockrell School of Engineering found that bathing 1-2 hours before bedtime can significantly improve your sleep – all the more reason to make a bath a year-round addition to your beauty and wellbeing routine.

Before you start running the water, there’s actually a fair amount of science behind creating the perfect bath. From getting the temperature exactly right to the time of day to promote sleep, here’s exactly how to run the perfect destressing bath, according to the experts…

Temperature control

Taking a warm bath an hour or two before bedtime can help improve sleep quality. “Scheduling a soak in the tub 1.5 hours before sleep and setting the water temperature to 104-109 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s around 40-45°C) can hasten the speed of falling asleep by, on average, ten minutes in addition to improving sleep quality,” say the experts at Cockrell School of Engineering.

Time it up

We’ve already mentioned that the best time to have a bath is 1-2 hours before you go to bed, but the reason for this, according to researchers, is that this allows time for the body to cool down, improving the blood circulation from the core of the body to its extremities: the hands and feet. 

Since the heart, body circulation, and sleep can affect one another, an improved blood circulation is beneficial for a restful night.

Add in the extras

Now for the fun part. Is a bath really a bath without sleep-inducing smells, bubbles and lather? There is slightly more to the science of bathtime scents than you might think – some herbal extracts are known to improve sleep quality and aid a deep slumber. The most common de-stressing and sleep-promoting product addition is lavender, hence why it’s so commonly associated with bedtime.

If you’re looking for a before bed product rich in lavender oils, we recommend Baylis & Harding, from just  £4.95 in this month’s Best of British OK! Beauty Box. It’s formulated with 98% natural ingredients and scented with notes of lavender, bergamot, chamomile and sage to help encourage a more restful night’s sleep. It’s a big bottle in the box too (500ml), so you’ll get plenty of bedtime bubbles out of it.

One last thing: don’t forget to moisturise as soon as you come out of the bath. The hot water can take the moisture out of you skin, so make sure to replenish it with a nourishing body cream or butter for silky-soft skin.