A hot bath at the end of a long, winter’s day is a surefire way to relax body, mind and soul – consider it a thermal cure for all manner of maladies. A centuries-old wellbeing staple in many cultures (from ancient Egypt to Japan), today the humble bath does not get the credit it deserves for its potential to positively impact our health and wellbeing.

Recent research by the University of Coventry found that taking a hot bath (or sauna) offers similar benefits to the body as exercise does, from lowering blood pressure and inflammation to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. If you were in search of an excuse to submerge yourself in hot water daily, then look no further than actual science.

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“There are so many reasons why we still seek water for relaxation in the 21st century,” says Andrea Trillo, global marketing director at AIRE Ancient Baths, whose bathing destinations can be found around the world, including in London. “You can gain different benefits by experimenting with the temperature of the water. Hot water is wonderful for relaxing muscles, relieving tension and boosting circulation, while cold water is invigorating, can reduce inflammation and stimulates the vagus nerve, a key part of the parasympathetic nervous system, for our rest and digest mode.”

So, how to make bath time the best, most relaxing experience it can be? Here Trillo shares her top tips with Vogue.

Dim the lights

Harsh electric lighting or anything too bright is a big no-no when it comes to bath time. Trillo recommends keeping it low, suggesting candles to maximise on tranquility and help you escape.

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Try: Drowsy Zen Candle, Evermore Smoke Candle, Fairholme Studio Botanical Taper Candles.

Get the temperature right

If relaxation is the aim of the game, seek out a bath that is close to your body temperature: “Around 36-37 degrees,” says Trillo. “It’s important to connect and listen to your body and adjust the temperature if you start to feel too hot or cold.”

Play that soothing music

“Calming music is key to lull you into relaxation,” explains Trillo, who recommends putting a portable speaker in your bathroom (or using your phone), and pressing play on a relaxing playlist to create the ultimate at-home oasis.

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Engage your olfactives

To help you unwind and tap into a state of relaxation, engage your olfactory senses, seeking out scented candles, bath oils or diffusers to add a sensorial touch to your bathing experience. “Choose relaxing and calming scents, like orange blossom, lavender or eucalyptus – you can find beautiful bath oils and salts to stir into the water and scented candles will fill the bathroom.” Her top tip is to light a candle as you run your bath, to allow the scent to fill the room.

Try: De Mamiel Altitude Bath Soak, Susanne Kaufmann Mountain Pine Bath Oil, Mauli Rituals Sleep Dharma Bath & Shower Oil.

Distraction-free zone

The cardinal rule of your home spa session? Keep anything that could distract you from the task at hand (relaxing) away from you. “Pop your phone on do not disturb mode and keep it out of reach so you can fully focus on connecting with your body,” advises Trillo. “If you have a busy household, lock the door and/or let everyone know where you’ll be, so you can enjoy the time without fear of being interrupted.”

Slip into something comfortable

Have an ultra-fluffy dressing gown and sumptuous body creams on hand for when you get out of the bath. “You can also try incorporating some body massage – indulge and use your favourite body cream or oil to treat your skin to a little pampering,” says Trillo.

Try: Soho Home House Robe, Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Body Treatment.