Scientist have evidence that taking a hot bath could help alleviate depression better than exercise.
We can all agree on that taking a hot bath is one of the most relaxing things one could do. The only real reason most people don’t do it more often is because it takes more time than taking a shower, time that one doesn’t always have.
But now you might have an excuse to take a hot bath daily, especially if you’re battling depression. A recent study by scientists at the Freiburg University in Germany asked 45 patients with moderate to severe depression were asked to either exercise or soak in hot water twice a week for eight weeks.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) October 31, 2018
45 patients were split into two groups; the first was asked to exercise for 45 minutes twice a week, and the second to take a 30-minute-long hot bath twice a week.
After the trial period, the researchers checked for depression levels in the patients using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), and the results were intriguing.
The depression index for those who took baths were six points lower on average, whereas the score for those who exercised only witnessed a 3 point drop. This means that hot baths are twice as effective as a treatment for depression.
However, 13 out of the 23 people that were asked to exercise quit midway, making the number of test subjects in the one group lower than the other.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) October 11, 2018
Depressed or not, you could do some hot water soaking yourself. Just like the patients from the experiment, fill a tub with water at 40 degrees Celsius and sit in it for half an hour. Afterwards, you should relax with hot water bottles and warms blankets for 20 minutes.
Soaking in a hot bath also has several other benefits. Scientists have previously suggested that hot baths can help normalize a person’s body temperature and help regulate sleep cycles.
I don’t know about you, but I know how I’m spending the weekend.