Ice Baths for Sleep Improvement: How Cold Therapy Influences Rest
Have you ever felt utterly exhausted after a week of intense workouts, navigating ferocious office politics, and draining social interactions?
We all go through these harrowing weeks where we wish we could simply press "Ctrl+Alt+Delete" and start over on a clean slate.
In most cases, we end up having to sacrifice precious sleep to juggle our responsibilities and meet expectations without letting anyone down.
But what if I told you there’s a better way?
Cold therapy is an extraordinary biohacking technique that allows you to regulate your sleep cycle, reduce your stress levels, and store reservoirs of energy that you can later tap into to navigate the maze that is our digital lives.
Today, we're delving into the world of ice baths for sale and their remarkable ability to optimise our sleep cycles by tapping into our deepest physiological functions. We’re also going to discuss:
- A fascinating breakdown of how your body would react if you were suddenly teleported to the coldest place on Earth wearing nothing but pyjamas
- The astounding benefits of cold therapy and its profound influence on your sleep quality
- A comprehensive beginner’s guide to a cleansing evening ice bath that will have you catching ZZZs the second your head hits the pillow.
Shall we embark on this chilly adventure?
1 - The Magic of Cold Exposure Through Ice Baths For Sale
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you were suddenly dropped in the middle of Antarctica in your pyjamas?
Well, at the first blast of bone-chilling Antarctic air, your body springs into action, initiating a series of physiological responses to warm you up.
First of all, the blood vessels that are closest to your skin will become narrow and constricted, conserving the precious warmth you will otherwise lose to the frigid environment.
Consequently, you’ll go as pale as a ghost as blood circulation is retracted from your fingers and toes to keep the centre of your body warm.
Secondly, as your core body temperature continues to drop significantly, you’ll immediately start shivering. Now, here’s where the real magic happens.
Your body knows that it needs to generate heat for you immediately, so it rapidly contracts and relaxes your muscles making them move very quickly.
However, if you’re exposed to the piercing winds of Antarctica for too long, your core body temperature will become unstable, leading to a variety of adverse effects, including the shutting down of your vital organs.
Ice baths are a safe form of cold exposure that afford you a number of benefits while keeping your core body temperature stable.
In contrast to the extreme temperatures of Antarctica, which can plummet as low as -49°C (-56°F), ice baths typically maintain a temperature range of 10-15°C (50 to 60°F).
At Peak Athletics, we have a curation of cutting-edge chillers equipped with awesome features and revolutionary designs that allow you to control how cold your ice baths will be at your convenience.
For example, our Iced Tub Pro Chiller has the ability to heat water from 3°C to 42°C in little to no time. Additionally, you can control the chiller remotely through the app.
This means that when you’re at work during a stressful day, you can put the chiller to work and find your ice bath ready and waiting for you when you get home.
These temperature settings are optimal, as they facilitate the release of specific neurotransmitters and hormones that contribute to promoting restful sleep. These include:
Commonly known as the “sleep hormone,” melatonin regulates your sleep cycle by signalling to your body that it’s time to hit the hay.
As the sun sets and temperatures drop, your body naturally initiates melatonin production.
Taking an ice bath two to three hours before bedtime accelerates melatonin production by simulating a temperature drop to prepare you for sleep.
In the whirlwind of modern life, where you have to answer emails, take care of your health, and socialise, you’re bound to experience mood swings and stress that disrupt your sleep cycle.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates your mood. Over time as you take more ice baths, your body will produce more serotonin and help you balance your mood enough to catch some ZZZs.
Ever heard of a phenomenon known as the “runner’s high?” This is where your body enters a euphoric state after an intense workout.
The high is actually due to the release of endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers and mood enhancers. Cold exposure through ice baths triggers an endorphin rush that reduces fatigue and creates a sense of relaxation and well-being.
In the table below, we socialise the roles and functions of hormones produced during an ice bath and their impact on sleep.
|Role and function
|Impact of ice baths on sleep
|Regulates the sleep-wake cycle and promotes sleep
|Ice baths, taken 2-3 hours before bedtime, simulate a drop in temperature, signalling the body to prepare for sleep and aiding in melatonin production
|Regulates mood and can influence sleep quality
|Regular ice bath usage over time may increase serotonin production, helping to balance mood and reduce stress, potentially improving sleep patterns
|Natural painkillers and mood enhancers
|Cold exposure through ice baths triggers the release of endorphins, inducing relaxation and a sense of well-being. This can contribute to improved sleep quality and overall relaxation
2 - The Incredible Benefits of Ice Baths for Sleep Improvement
Picture this: It’s a hot summer night and the air hangs heavy with humidity. You find yourself tossing and turning, sleep slipping through your fingers as the relentless heat wraps around you like a suffocating blanket.
The worst part is your ceiling fan is merely circulating the warm air in your room without cooling the oppressive heat.
The reason you struggle to find slumber on such nights is that your body naturally seeks to cool down as you prepare for rest, a process essential for melatonin production. Yet, the high temperature hinders this vital cooling process.
Consequently, you’ll have a hard time falling asleep and sustaining a healthy sleep cycle.
Taking an ice bath is a controlled method of lowering your body temperature and offsetting the necessary cooldown process that’s more conducive to sleep.
After a quick 5-minute cold therapy session, you may find yourself dozing off within one to two hours, regardless of whether the night is hot or cold.
Additionally, according to a study by BMC Research Notes, a short ice bath session may cause you to enter the third stage of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep known as deep sleep—a phase that’s closely connected with our body’s healing process.
Deep sleep is that “knocked out” rest where you barely toss or turn. When you enter a deep sleep state, your body is finally able to recover from the regular tear and wear of your daily endeavours.
While in this state, your body repairs damaged tissue, fuels muscle growth, and organises and catalogues your memories and newly acquired information.
As a result, you wake up recharged and ready to conquer the day with a full battery.
Ice baths are also amazing for tricking your body into becoming less stressed.
Let’s imagine you’re about to take an ice bath in our state-of-the-art Iced Tub iCed41 barrel. As you lower yourself from the step stool into the barrel, your body undergoes an incredible amount of stress.
Naturally, it triggers the fight or flight stress response system, leading to a release of the stress hormone cortisol.
On your first cold therapy session, your body will produce a high amount of the “stress hormone,” cortisol. With time, that initial spike will see a downward trend as your body gets better at regulating the hormone.
Gradually, as your body adapts and you become a pro ice bath biohacker, your cortisol levels are going to be so low that the things that previously kept you up at night will seem fleeting and easy to handle.
3 - Step-by-Step Evening Ice Bath Protocol
"The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow."
Consistency is key in most aspects of life.
Let's be candid—stepping into that ice bath for the first time might feel like the hardest thing you’ll ever do. However, with time, it’ll get easier.
Gradually, you’ll build a tolerance and persevere longer cold therapy sessions effortlessly.
In return, you'll experience improved sleep, year-round rejuvenation, and an exceptional work-life balance, all thanks to being fully rested.
All you need to do is take the first step. And then the next one. And the one after that…
You get the gist.
Our main objective at The Peak Athletics is to make biohacking accessible to everyone. We understand how watching a person take an ice bath may make them appear superhuman and intimidating.
We promise it’s not as hard as it looks and all you need to get where these biohackers are is a comprehensive guide that helps you form the habit.
This is exactly why we’ve meticulously curated a step-by-step guide to help you build your tolerance and cultivate the discipline necessary to achieve your sleep improvement goals. Let’s dive right into it.
Step 1 - Pre-Bath Preparations
First, set the mood by dimming the lights or lighting a few candles. Put on your favourite music to create a serene and soothing vibe. By doing this you signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
Secondly, ensure that your environment is clutter and distraction-free to minimise mental chatter and remain present for your cold therapy session.
For example, if you’re taking your ice bath in your bathroom, put away any toiletries, electronic devices, and clothing items that may try and snag your attention.
Step 2 - The Main Event
Now, you want to ensure that the water is the right temperature for you. If you’re a beginner, we recommend starting out with a one or two-minute session set at 15°C (60°F).
It helps to have a chiller that adjusts and measures temperatures instantly. For example, our Avantopool Cooling & Heating Unit features a quick connector hose that can be plugged into your water and provide a direct temperature readout.
Next, you want to lower yourself slowly into the ice bath while maintaining a controlled breathing pattern.
Inhale through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for another four seconds, and let it all out through your mouth for six seconds. Maintain the same breathing cycle for the whole cold therapy session to make it easy to focus.
Remember to set a timer for how long you’re supposed to be in the bath, or better yet, have someone in the room with you to assist you in case of any emergencies.
Step 3 - Post Ice Bath Activities
When the timer goes off, stand up and slowly make your way out of the ice bath. Wrap yourself in a dry towel or blanket to warm your body.
Your blood may be coursing with endorphins and you might feel extremely refreshed and alive. Take advantage of this sensation to transition into your nighttime routine.
We recommend sipping on a non-caffeinated drink such as some herbal tea, to relax and rehydrate your body.
Lastly, simply engage in your typical bedtime rituals, such as brushing your teeth, wearing your pyjamas, or reading a book.
4 - Additional Resources and Articles To Biohack Your Sleep Cycle
As a parting gift, here are a few of our favourite articles on how you can leverage cold therapy to improve your quality of sleep:
- The Best Temperature for Sleep: Advice & Tips
- 10 Natural Sleep Aids for Better Sleep
- A Comprehensive Analysis and Optimization Strategies for Improving Deep Sleep
- 4 Biohacks For A Better Night’s Sleep
- Biohacking Sleep And Insomnia: 9 Lifestyle And Diet Tricks
Embark on Your Chilly Journey to Better Sleep
While there’s certainly a lot of buzz going around about cold therapy, especially ice baths, it’s important that we move beyond the hype and take the time to educate ourselves on the exact benefits this rejuvenating biohacking practice can offer.
As we have discussed, ice baths are instrumental in improving our sleep quality by:
- Boosting the production of the “sleep hormone,” Melatonin
- Building up our stress tolerance and promoting relaxation
- Ensuring we have longer deep sleep sessions that allow our bodies to recover from regular wear and tear
At The Peak Athletics, we are avid believers in the power of education. The biohacking space is filled with people who make this ancient and outstanding practice controversial and intimidating.
Our mission is to make information, technology, and resources on the best biohacking techniques, such as ice baths for sleep improvement, readily accessible to everyone.
Ready to embark on your cold therapy journey? Go to our website and browse our premium selection of ice baths for sale today.