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Self-Care: Epsom Salt Baths

by BetterSleep
Jul 4 • 4 min read
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Many people stop taking baths once they become adults, but there are good reasons to make time for one. A bath for stress relief is a great way to unwind, reduce anxiety, and prepare for a good night’s sleep. Add Epsom salts to relieve muscle tension and pain for the perfect self-care indulgence.

What Are Epsom Salts?

Epsom salt is a natural mineral made of magnesium and sulfate. The name Epsom comes from a town in England where it was first discovered. People have long used Epsom salts as a therapeutic tool. Dissolve it in water, soak in it, and your skin absorbs the magnesium and sulfate.

The Benefits of an Epsom Salt Bath

The therapeutic use of Epsom salts has a long history and many proponents. The research is sparse, but most people who use Epsom Salt find that a soak provides significant benefits, relieving:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Muscle pain and tension
  • Inflammation
  • Stiff joints
  • Dry skin and irritation
  • Sprains and strains

Some of the benefits of an Epsom salt bath might come more from the bath itself that the salts. According to a large review of studies, taking a hot bath one to two hours before bedtime helps people fall asleep faster. The reason might be that the hot temperature of the bath triggers your body to drop its internal temperature, a signal that it’s time to sleep.

Another study asked participants to take baths for two weeks followed by two weeks of only showering. The results were significant and indicated better overall physical and mental health during the bathing period: lower stress and anxiety, lower depression, and better emotional and social functioning.

How to Make an Epsom Salt Bath

An Epsom Salt bath for anxiety or stress is one of the best reasons to use this natural mineral. There are essentially no risks, so it’s worth trying. Epsom salts are easy to find in any drug store or the hygiene department of a grocery store. You can also find fancier bath salt products online, but Epsom salts are cost-effective.

A simple recipe for an Epsom salt bath is to dissolve 300 grams in a standard-size tub. This is approximately one and a quarter cups of salt. Swirl the water to let it dissolve and adjust the water temperature until it is comfortable. Soak in the bath for about 15 minutes for the best results.

There are virtually no risks of using this bath, but avoid any kind of salts or bath additives if you have open wounds, a skin infection, or burns. Also, avoid consuming any of the Epsom salts. There is no proof it is effective or safe to take it internally.

Epsom salt is just one ingredient to try for a relaxing bath. You can also find a bath salt recipe with Dead Sea salt and bath salt recipes with essential oils to create your favorite scent. Check out these and other bath salt recipes for self-care and better sleep.

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