The soothing warmth and calming ingredients will have you ready for lights out in no time.

There may be nothing more satisfying than sinking into a tub at the end of a long, stressful day. The therapeutic ritual of washing away your worries combined with some relaxing alone time is a winning combination.

Even better, a bath is the perfect pre-bed remedy if you’re struggling to drift off.

“Warm water relaxes your body and elevates your temperature. When you get out, the drop in temperature triggers a natural hibernating response and feeling of sleepiness,” says Dr. Barbara Kubicka, CIME/ICAM, MBCAM, and author of The Bath Project.

Some research may support this claim: One small study from the University of Texas at Austin found that taking a bath 1 to 2 hours before bed aids the natural circadian system, with participants falling asleep on average 10 minutes faster.

Beyond this, baths have additional benefits. They release endorphins, which are a hormone that increases feelings of happiness.

A hot bath is one thing, but add sleep-inducing ingredients to create a bathroom sanctuary and you’re well on your way to dreamland.

Temperature warning

Research shows that an optimum bath temperature for healthy adults is somewhere between 104 to 109°F (40 to 43°C). If you are pregnant, an older adult, or have a health condition, talk to your doctor before taking a hot bath.

1. Resilience Bath Soak

The recipe below was created by Annee de Mamiel, an acupuncturist, aromatherapist, and healing holistic facialist, for calming and grounding.


  • unscented candles
  • incense stick
  • 1 cup bath salts of your choice
  • muslin cloth
  • 1 cup colloidal oats or jumbo rolled oats
  • sprig of rosemary


  1. Create the mood by lighting candles (unscented won’t interfere with other aromas).
  2. Light nontoxic incense of your choice in a fire-safe incense burner.
  3. Run the bath at a safe temperature.
  4. Add the bath salts.
  5. Wrap the oats in a muslin cloth and tie with string and a sprig of rosemary. Place in the water and swish around to make it milky.
  6. Spend 20 to 30 minutes in the bath.
  7. Practice a gentle breathing exercise.
  8. After lightly towel drying, apply massage oil to the skin.

2. Chamomile Heaven Bath Soak

You might be familiar with chamomile tea, but you may not know that this daisy can do wonders in a bath. Plus, chamomile may help digestion, calm the mind, promote sleep, and reduce anxiety.

“Chamomile is also cooling and soothing to the skin and is very useful for calming irritated, tired eyes. Plus, drinking a cup while you’re in the bath will give your brain a dose of apigenin, which binds to receptors that reduce anxiety and promote sleep,” says herbalist Pamela Spence.

“The best part is that a lot of the chemicals in chamomile are present in the aroma, which makes it a great candidate for using in the bath,” adds Spence.


  • 3 chamomile tea bags


  1. Place two chamomile tea bags in a cup of hot water and leave for 10 minutes to infuse.
  2. Run the bath at a safe temperature.
  3. Pour the infusion of hot water and chamomile into your bathwater.
  4. Once the chamomile tea bags have cooled, place on your eyes.
  5. Use the third tea bag to create a cup of chamomile tea to sip while in the bath.

3. Petal Pink Bath Soak

For a soothing, sweet, and visually stunning bath experience, try this almost desert-like combination of beet juice, milk, honey, and vanilla. “Vanilla aids sleep and cinnamon reduces blood pressure,” says Kubicka.


  • 1/2 cup milk or a milk alternative like oat milk
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 cup Epsom or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup beetroot juice
  • 1/2 tsp. natural vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • handful of flower petals


  1. Run the bath at a safe temperature.
  2. Add the honey, salt, beet juice, vanilla extract, and coconut oil.
  3. Drop in the petals.
  4. Lie back for 25 minutes with relaxing music.

4. Summer Garden Bath Soak

A bit of chamomile, mint, lavender, and orange smell like a garden party on a summer afternoon. “The purpose of this bath is to reduce tension in the body and mind. Lavender is a relaxing aroma that may help reduce stress and insomnia,” says Kubicka.


  • 2 chamomile tea bags
  • 2 mint tea bags
  • 1/2 cup Epsom salt or sea salt
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 tsp. carrier oil of your choice
  • mint leaves


  1. Run the bath at a safe temperature.
  2. Light a relaxing scented candle of your choice.
  3. Add the lavender essential oil diluted in 1 tsp. carrier oil. Be careful — this will make the bath slippery.
  4. Add the tea bags, salt, and sliced orange.
  5. Lie back for 25 minutes in silence.
  6. Meditate.

5. Oat and Lavender Bath Soak

To keep it simple but luxurious at the same time, a combination of oat and lavender does the trick.

“Oats are a great addition to a bath, making it instantly feel indulgent and leave your skin feeling silky smooth. Oats also help reduce itchy, irritated skin that can so often feel much worse at night, helping you to get a better sleep,” says Spence.


  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 tsp. carrier oil of your choice
  • clean sock


  1. Add 1/2 cup oats to a clean sock.
  2. Tie the sock around the tap, letting the oats hang in the water.
  3. Run the bath at a safe temperature.
  4. Mix 5 drops lavender essential oil to 2 tsp. carrier oil and add to the bath.
  5. Once the bath is full, squeeze out the sock until you see the water turning slightly milky.
  6. Lie back and relax.

6. Woodland Flower Bath Soak

Created by Niko Dafkos and Paul Firmin, founders of candle, fragrance and homeware brand, Earl of East, this soak blends the floral scent of lavender with woody frankincense for a well-rounded aroma and calming experience.


  • 1/4 cup Epsom salt
  • 1 tbsp. dead sea salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 drop lavender and 1 drop frankincense essential oils
  • 1 tsp. carrier oil of your choice


  1. Mix the salts and baking soda together with a spoon using a large mixing bowl.
  2. Run the bath at a safe temperature.
  3. Mix the essential oils in 1 tsp. carrier oil.
  4. Add the salts and mix well.
  5. Pour mixture into your bath.

While research suggests there are health benefits, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider before you begin using essential oils. Be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

For those tricky periods when sleep doesn’t come easily, a slumber-inducing soak is an ideal ritual to have in your wellness toolbox. The soothing heat coupled with these calming ingredients will have you ready for lights out in no time.

Once you’ve mastered a few recipes, you can freestyle your own concoctions by combining your favorite salts, oils, and scents. You can also store your salts in an airtight glass container to use for later.

Create your own bathroom sanctuary and get soaking!

Elizabeth Bennett is a British journalist covering beauty, health, and wellness. Her work has appeared in ELLE, Refinery 29, Marie Claire, and Women’s Health.