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Benefits of foot bathing and foot soaking before bed. Improve your sleep with night time foot soaks.

Benefits of Soaking Feet in Hot Water Before Sleep

If you’ve been asking yourself, ‘how to get better sleep quality?’ or ‘how to get on a better sleep schedule?’, you’ve come to the right place.  Warm or hot water foot or body baths are the best natural solution to promote a good night sleep.

How to Sleep Fast

We all complain about not getting enough rest and getting to sleep faster can make us all happier and more energetic individuals. On average, most people will fall fast asleep within 15 minutes, but if your mind is racing or if you have night time itches it may take you close to an hour to fall asleep.

The good news is that science has confirmed that foot baths and passive body heating before bed have been proven to encourage deep relaxation and sleep. If you’re looking to get to sleep fast, warm water foot bathing is a natural home remedy that has virtually no side effects when compared to traditional sleep aids. 

Foot bath therapy = sleep therapy. Other benefits to nighttime foot baths include reduced night itching, improved mental health, and sexier feet. With all these benefits one would be crazy not to use a Foot Bath Bomb or Foot Fizzy prior to bed. (Buy 3 foot fizzies and get 15% off right away). Other natural sleep tips include: 

  • Define your sleep schedule and create a protocol or self-care strategy before going to bed.
  • Reduce or eliminate screen time an hour or two before bed. 
  • Pay attention to your gut health and your diet. 
  • Reduce stress
  • Look into trying melatonin or CBD.
  • Use lavender and chamomile essential oils for bedtime aromatherapy. 

The Science: Foot Bath & Sleep Cycle

Everything is connected and if your body is out of homeostasis it’s guaranteed to affect your sleep. Similar to full body bathing, studies have shown that foot bathing prior to bed helps people fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. Below are some of the key takeaways of the most cited medical research in the arena. 

A 2013 study that followed elderly patients found: 

“Out of 15 samples in experimental group, 10(67%) are suffering from severe fatigue and 05(33%) are suffering from moderate fatigue. In control group, 07(46%) are suffering from severe fatigue and 08(54%) are suffering from moderate fatigue. The pre-test mean value of experimental group was 7.3 with 1.1 SD and the post-test mean value was 4.1 with 1.4 S.D. The paired-t test reveals that there is effectiveness of hot water footbath on reducing the level of fatigue among elderly patients at the level.”

A 2016 South Korean study that was following nursing home patients reported that:

Daily, 30-min foot-bathing therapy sessions with water at 40°C were effective in improving sleep quality for older adults. The therapy was more effective for participants with poor sleep quality at baseline assessment than those with relatively good sleep quality. The long-term effects of foot-bathing therapy decreased three weeks after initiation; therefore, it might be desirable to deliver the therapy for two weeks, pause it for a week, and then resume it.” 

A separate 2016 study that followed patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome reported: 

“It can be concluded that the intervention of foot bath and massage are effective in reducing sleep disorders and there was a synergistic effect when used in combination. This complementary care method can be recommended to be implemented by CCU nurses.” - Journal of Caring Sciences

A 2020 study that focused on sleep quality for postmenopausal women concluded:

Footbath intervention enhanced sleep quality in menopausal women. Thus, footbath as a safe, simple, and non-pharmacological application can improve quality of life in postmenopausal women and inhibit problems due to inadequate sleep quality.”

Lastly, a study out of Indonesia found:

“Study results showed that there were statistically significant effect of warm water foot soak to decrease hypertension on elderly (p-value=0.006; p<0.05). It meant that blood pressure before this activity was 124,58 mmHg after conducting the activity. It showed some significant results as it lowers the blood pressure to 114,1 6mmHg and the maximum blood pressure before this activity was 146,66 mmHg and after this activity was 143,33 mmHg. This study indicated that nurses should apply warm water foot soak to reduce hypertension, which is a simple intervention for elderly and without any side effect.”

Analysis & Conclusion

It doesn’t matter where you look, all the research on foot bathing and sleep are very positive. Other studies that have focused on warm foot baths found that sleep stages weren’t increased, but the wakefulness throughout the night was reduced. This suggests that further research needs to be conducted to confirm the exact protocol for bathing to promote sleep, this includes better understanding heat temperature, timing of the foot bath prior to bed, and age differences. However, one thing is for certain, all studies have suggested that foot baths support sleep in one way or another and the majority of the studies suggest hot water baths 1-2 hours prior to sleep.
Tags: Foot Care