You know you’re supposed to keep your thirst quenched to reach optimum health, but now beauty and wellness companies are proclaiming the importance not only of drinking water, but also soaking in it. And, of course, they’re offering a new crop of bath products to help you accomplish this goal.

Three pricey salt mixtures were recently profiled in The New York Times: one spiked with clay from the Loire Valley and wild seaweed from Brittany, another sparkling with powdered amethyst crystals (it’s been called “organic valium”) and a third consisting of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry: mustard and baking soda. But do you really need these specialized blends to reap the benefits of a nice evening steep?

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If you’re not into spending upwards of $50 on a few cups of salt, you can spend about three bucks instead. Epsom salts, available at any drugstore or supermarket, help the body absorb magnesium, which relaxes muscles, soothes aches and promotes restful sleep. According to Elle magazine, Gwyneth Paltrow takes an Epsom salt bath every single night.

To really benefit from an end-of-the-night hot bath, though, you don’t need anything but water. On top of being a natural alternative to pain relief, water can also be a sleep inducer: Multiple studies have shown that a steep drop in body temperature—the kind that occurs when you leave a steamy tub and enter a cool bedroom—is more effective at promoting shut-eye than a prescription sleep aid. 

Good to know that added costs to bath time are optional.

 

Sources:

  1. New York Times: 3 Products to Make You Take Your Bath Seriously
  2. Elle: You Can Have the Same Nightly Ritual As Gwyneth Paltrow
  3. Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology: Nighttime Sleep EEG Changes Following Body Heating in a Warm Bath
  4. Lifehacker: Take a Warm Shower Before Bed to Get to Sleep Faster