A simple hot water bottle can help a baby fall asleep faster, can ease period cramps, and can relieve neck pain. Apparently, this staple for many households has way more uses than we ever knew: from reducing anxiety to curing different types of discomfort in your body.
Bright Side cares about the health of our readers. So, when we found out about these awesome properties of hot water bottles, we couldn’t just hide them from you guys. Small or big, just choose a comfortable size for your hot water bottle and use it whenever your body calls for it!
1. Help your baby fall asleep faster.
Babies are sensitive to temperature changes and they love to sleep in a warm room. This is why they might start crying when they are out of their mother’s hands, in a cold bed. A simple little trick could help your baby fall asleep with comfort and help save your nerves and your time. Fill a hot water bottle with lukewarm water and place it down next to the baby’s legs. Alternatively, you can also use the bottle to warm up the bed and leave it there for the baby to hug.
2. Water your plants.
After water from your hot water bottle cools down to room temperature, it can still be used. No need to hurry and pour it down the drain — your plants will thank you later!
3. Soothe your colon and ease period cramps.
Abdominal pain can be caused by various issues. One of them is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This syndrome is caused by the irregular contractions of the colon muscles while trying to move stool out of the body. This can bring on pain and bloating. This pain that is caused by waste in the colon can be relieved with a heating pad — you just need to put it on your abdominal area, lie in bed, and relax.
Since heat helps soothe pain in the muscles, a hot water bottle can also be used to soothe period cramps. No need to take any medications to stop the pain, when it can be done naturally!
4. Use it while camping.
Camping is mostly a summer activity. Though sometimes it can be hot during the day and rather cold at night. So when going camping and staying up late at night, don’t forget your hot water bottle! You can boil some water on the camp stove or on the open fire, let it cool down to a safe temperature, and fill your bottle. It can then be used to make your sleeping bag warmer.
5. Ease pregnancy aches.
Pregnancy aches can cause a lot of discomfort. While some can handle it, others have to stop all their activities and wait until it’s gone. These pains may occur in different places like the stomach or the pelvis. A hot water bottle will ease this discomfort and fill future moms with relief. If it hurts too much, then you can also try taking a warm bath and try to relax in there.
6. Stay cozy during your evening outdoors.
Warm water bottles are great at keeping you warm while you hang out outside in the evening. They can come handy during late evening BBQs or if you’re just sitting in your backyard socializing with friends. They will just make the whole evening more cozy and pleasant, especially when everyone in the group has one for themselves!
7. Forget about neck pain.
Pain in the neck can occur after working for a long time in front of a computer, reading books, or even sleeping in a weird position! The first thing most of us do is try to stretch and massage the area that hurts. It will have an even better effect if you also apply cold and heat to it. Cold, applied first, will release neck pain by reducing lactic acid build-up. After the muscles relax, you can apply heat to improve blood circulation.
8. Relieve stress and anxiety.
Stress has become a common thing for many of us, and sometimes we need some extra help to relax and calm down from the things that are bothering us. Next time you feel sad or depressed, try hugging a warm water bottle. It can improve your blood circulation, which can help you relax. You can add some essential oils inside or even meditate with it.
9. Soothe back pain.
Back pain can be reduced by alternating hot- and cold-water compresses. First, place a hot water bottle on the affected area, it will help to soothe the pain. Then it’s time for a cold pack. You can use a bag of frozen peas or a cloth soaked in cold water. The most important thing here is to not put a cold compress on top of your bare skin as it can cause a cold burn. Instead you can place it on top of your shirt, for example.
10. Warm up your bed.
Some winter nights can sometimes be extremely cold, to the point that you just can’t warm up in your bed. Turning on a heater can help the situation, but there is a cheaper and safer solution. You can place a hot water bottle in your bed 10-15 minutes before you plan to sleep, or just go to bed with it. In any case, it will fill you with comfort, warmth, and relaxation.
11. Ease muscle cramps after fitness.
Muscle cramps can appear after intense training and physical activity. And, hot water bottles can change this situation for the better. This pain is easily assuaged by applying heat to hurting muscles. Though, sometimes the whole body can feel sore after a hard training session at the gym. In that case, you can also take a hot relaxing bath to treat your muscles all at once.
12. Heal wheezing coughing.
The winter season not only includes Christmas and holiday fun, but also runny noses, coughs, and colds. Being ill gets even more annoying at night. A hot compress can soothe congestion in your chest and help you breathe more freely. All you need to do is put a warm bottle on top of your chest. You can even sleep with it. But make sure you don’t place it right on top of your heart.
Do you have a hot water bottle at home? How do you use it? Let’s share our experience in the comment section!
Illustrated by Anastasiya Glushkova for BrightSide.me