Cold showers have their benefits, like making you more alert, hydrating your hair and skin, and burning fat, so it's good for you to have them regularly. But hot baths also have their pros, even if they open your pores and dry your skin and hair—good thing there are beauty products for those, right?
1. A hot shower helps relieve colds and cough. It's a natural decongestant since the heat will soften the mucus and the steam that'll hang around you will moisturize your clogged nasal passages.
2. It's sleep-inducing. The hot water will slightly raise your body temperature and then let it drop gradually. This drop will make you feel drowsy, hence more ready to sleep. It also reduces brain activity (in a good way) by directing the blood in your head to other parts of your body, putting you in a calm state.
3. It eases anxiety. A hot shower (warmth in general) increases your level of oxytocin (the love hormone), and that combats stress by elevating feelings of attachment and trust. Looks like you know what to do if you got a big meeting tomorrow!
4. It relaxes your muscles. It lets the blood flow to your skin so it soothes your muscles in the process. It can then treat muscle and joint pains since the joints, tissues, and muscles will be loosened. It's not a permanent cure to muscle stiffness, but it can definitely make you feel better.
5. It can reduce sugar levels in your body. People with type 2 diabetes are advised to bathe in hot water (there's such a thing as a hot tub therapy) because it decreases blood sugar, helps them lose weight, and improves their sleep patterns. The heat dilates blood vessels, improves blood flow, and helps the body make better use of insulin, the hormone that converts blood sugar to energy.
While a hot tub therapy is different from a hot water bath and tests still have to be made on the effects of a hot shower on a healthy person, some doctors think that sugar levels can still be brought down for those without diabetes.
Follow Stephanie on Twitter.