Woman in cold plunge pool

The 9 Benefits of Cold Plunging and Cold Water Immersion: Improved Sleep

Do you have trouble sleeping at night and experience poor sleep? Are you tossing and turning for hours in bed before drifting off? You are not alone. Millions of people suffer from sleep issues like insomnia and sleep apnea. Unfortunately, these problems can affect your well-being and your physical and mental health.

As we continue our deep dive into the 9 benefits of cold plunging and cold water immersion, the RENU Therapy team investigates how cold water therapy can assist in improving your sleep and sleep quality. While you may be more inclined to take a hot bath or hot shower before crawling into bed, you may be surprised to learn that practicing cold therapy and immersing yourself in a colder water temperature may aid in helping you to hit the hay faster.

Improved Sleep

If you have been suffering from restless nights, you may be wondering if there are any natural methods that you implement in order to improve your sleep quality. From melatonin to a warm shower, there are countless remedies that you may have tried that have failed to work.

Cold therapy has numerous health benefits – some of which we have already uncovered, such as improved circulation and promoting increased focus. It can initially cause a spike in cortisol, as well as release norepinephrine and adrenaline, which can increase alertness and focus. This is likely why you probably haven't heard the advice to take a icy cold showers right before bed! However, cold baths and cold-water immersion can in fact improve the quality of your sleep despite this as long as you choose the right time to practice do not practice right before your bedtime.

If you are taking a plunge in your cold tub earlier in the day and after a workout, deliberate cold exposure therapy does not affect base levels of melatonin, which is a hormone necessary for regulating your sleep. In fact, cold therapy has been found to shift the body from a sympathetic to a parasympathetic state which promotes relaxation and a slower heart rate. Both relaxation and a slower heart rate are conducive to restful sleep.

Cold Plunging and Your Body Temperature 

If you want to fall asleep faster, it is important that you are setting yourself up with the right conditions. This includes having a darker room, stimulating sleep hormones, and having a cool temperature. A drop in temperature decreases your own body temperature, which helps in allowing you to fall asleep fast and have a restful, and deep sleep.

An icy cold plunge decreases your body temperature and releases hormones like melatonin, which is beneficial for a restful night's sleep. However, your body will warm itself up after stepping out of the cold plunge, and you can feel quite energized and invigorated. If you are looking to try a cold plunge in order to improve the quality of your sleep, remember to give yourself a few hours before preparing for your nightime routine instead of jumping in right before bed. 

Contrast Therapy For Better Sleep 

Contrast therapy is the practice of switching between cold exposure and heat explores. This could be 2-3 minutes in your icy water cold plunge pool and 10 minutes in your sauna, repeated 3-4 times. This practice can promote deep relaxation, aid in muscle recovery, relieve pain and sore muscles, and reduce inflammation – all of which can help to induce a restful and deep sleep.

Tips For Cold Therapy and Improved Sleep

Cold plunging is often practiced in the early morning to wake the body up and prepare yourself physically and mentally for the day. However, if you are looking to try cold plunging to improve your sleep quality, it is important to consider the following:

  • Practice at the right time of the day: Make sure to cold plunge at least 1-2 hours before your bedtime. If you jump into bed right after your ice bath, your body's temperature will not be at the ideal core temperature necessary for a restful night's sleep. Play around with the best time for you – this might be earlier in the day or in the early evening way before your bedtime.
  • Keep your sleep environment ideal: Set your bedroom's temperature to 60-66 degrees and try to eliminate unnecessary sources of light. This temperature will ensure that your body can remain at a cool temperature which is needed for a peaceful sleep.
  • Listen to your body: Whether you are practicing contrast therapy or a cold plunge, remember to take it slowly and at your own pace. Even a short period of time of 2 minutes in the water, 2-3 times per week can allow you to reap the positive effects!

Our Founder’s Thoughts on Cold Plunging and Improved Sleep

RENU Therapy's founder, Bill Bachand is one of the lucky ones who sleeps like a rock! However, he does have experience with cold plunging's effect on sleep. He reports that many RENU Therapy clients have experienced better sleep after plunging 4-5 times a week. In addition, his wife has seen dramatic improvements in her insomnia and sleep quality since starting a regular practice.

While it took some convincing on Bill's part, she got herself on a cold plunging routine of a few minutes 2-3 times per week. She found that the consistency led to not only better sleep, but improved circulation and the ability to enter her cold plunge more often than when she first began.

Interestingly, when the couple went on vacation, she wasn't able to practice cold water exposure and her sleep quality went back to how it used to be. This convinced her that it was in fact, the practice of regularly plunging herself in ice baths that improved her insomnia!

How Renu Therapy Cold Tanks Can Help Improve Your Sleep 

A regular cold plunge practice can in fact help your body become more relaxed and bring it to a state that is more conducive to a relaxed and restful sleep. Interested to try cold therapy to improve your quality of sleep? In order to avoid any negative effects on your cortisol levels, remember to practice at least 1 or 2 hours prior to sleep. The relaxation benefits of ice-cold water and cold water therapy may calm your body and allow you to have better sleep that night. 

If you notice that you feel more energized after your cold plunge, play around with the time of day that you are cold plunging and move it up a little earlier instead of later in the evening right before your bedtime routine.

RENU Therapy Cold Plunge tank

For the best cold plunge tank to practice cold immersion therapy, look no further than RENU Therapy. Our sleek and smartly designed >cold plunge tanks are the #1 choice for professional athletes, celebrities, and anyone with a keen interest in cold water immersion. Interested to learn more about the benefits of cold plunges and ready to try a RENU Therapy tank? Contact >us today!

Next Month’s Cold Plunging Benefit

You may have heard about the importance of the lymphatic system to your overall health and well-being. From lymphatic drainage massage to exercise, there are many ways to stimulate the lymphatic system, including cold water immersion! Next month, we explore the benefits of cold exposure on your lymphatic system and how cold water therapy can be a great way to boost lymphatic circulation.