Can hot tubs and saunas improve depression? This is what science says

People who suffer from depression have Body temperatures Higher, suggesting that there may be a benefit to Psychological health By lowering the temperature of people with the disorder, a new study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco, found.

The study published in Scientific reportsIt does not indicate whether depression raises body temperature or whether high temperature causes it depression. It is also unknown whether increased body temperature in depressed people reflects a decreased ability to cool, increased heat generation from metabolic processes, or a combination of both.

The researchers analyzed data from more than 20,000 international participants who wore a device that measured body temperature and also reported daily on their body temperature and symptoms of depression. The seven-month study began in early 2020 and included data from 106 countries.

The results showed that with each increasing level of severity of depression symptoms, the participants' body temperatures were higher. Body temperature data also showed a trend toward higher depression scores in people whose temperatures were less variable over 24 hours, but this finding did not reach significance.

Treating depression

He said the results shed light on how a new way to treat depression could work. Ashley Mason, lead author of the study and an associate professor of psychiatry at the Weill Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, San Francisco. A small group of existing causal studies have found that using hot tubs or saunas can reduce depression, perhaps by causing the body to cool itself, for example through sweating.

Using hot tubs or saunas can reduce depression by making the body cool itself

“Ironically, warming people can actually lead to a drop in body temperature that lasts longer than simply cooling people directly, say through an ice bath,” said Mason, who is also a clinical psychologist at the center. . “What if we could track the body temperature of people with depression to properly schedule heat-based treatments?” “Given the rising rates of depression, we're excited about the prospects for this,” he adds New treatment path», concludes Mason.

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