Now more than ever, a relaxing bath probably sounds like a good idea — and as it turns out, it actually is. Last month, medical journal Heart published a study that found daily hot baths are associaed with a 28 percent lower risk of heart disease, and a 26 percent lower risk of stroke. A fun fact about me is that I take baths daily, and someone once referred to it as my "serial killer trait"— jokes on them, because researchers also found that bathing lowers the risk of hypertension.
While past studies have found baths help sleep quality, it wasn't clear what the long-term impact was on cardiovascular disease risk. To find out, these researchers tracked bathing habits and heart disease risk on middle-aged Japenese participants for 20 years. "At the start of the study in 1990, some 43,000 participants completed a detailed questionnaire on their bathing habits and potentially influential factors: lifestyle, to include exercise, diet, alcohol intake, weight (BMI); average sleep duration; and medical history and current medicines use," explains the press release. After that, participants were monitored until death or the completion of the study in December 2009, with the final analysis being based on 30,076 people.
"We found that frequent tub bathing was significantly associated with a lower risk of hypertension, suggesting that a beneficial effect of tub bathing on risk of [cardiovascular disease] may in part be due to a reduced risk of developing hypertension," wrote researchers in the release. So, there you have it — a perfectly good reason for why you have to take a bath tonight.