Why Do I Feel Dizzy During a Hot Shower or Bath?
There are several reasons why you may become dizzy during a hot bath or shower.
As a general rule, hot showers and hot baths can cause dizziness due to a drop in blood pressure caused by the hot water dilating your blood vessels. The hot water increases your blood supply to your legs, arms, feet and hands, and reduces the amount of blood your heart has to pump; less pressure on your vessels and circulatory system.
Why do I get lightheaded or dizzy when I have a hot bath or shower?
Many factors come into play that may increase your risk of feeling dizzy or faint after having a hot shower or bath. These include:
- Having the bath or shower too hot
- Dehydration can increase your risk of feeling dizzy or faint while taking a hot shower or bath. When you are dehydrated, you have less blood volume for your heart to pump around the body. Given this and the diversion of blood to your peripheries, this can cause this drop in blood pressure.
- Stress and exhaustion. When we are stressed, our blood pressure rises. It is very relaxing getting into a hot bath or shower; not only does your body and mind relax, but so does your blood vessels, decreasing your blood pressure. As your stress fades away as you bathe, your muscles relax, you have increased blood flow to your outer extremities, decreasing the overall resistance on your blood vessels, reducing your blood pressure.
- Less workload on the heart- as the hot water warms up your muscles and skin (one of the jobs of your heart), the heart does not have to work as hard to keep these parts of the body warm.
All of these factors combined can make for an unpleasant experience when showering or having a bath. The good news is that when you get out of the hot bath or shower, your peripheral blood vessels will constrict, increasing your blood pressure and reduce the signs and symptoms of low blood pressure. You may experience some rebound blood pressure symptoms such as pulsating headache, shortness of breath, chest pain or irregular heartbeat, confusion and fatigue.
Tips to avoid getting dizzy and faint while having a hot shower or bath
- Do not have the water too hot
- Limit the amount of time in the bath or shower
- Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. It is too common to get too busy with life and work and forget to look after yourself and drink plenty of water
- If you are having a bath, ensure it is not too hot. But if you are feeling dizzy, make sure you get out of the bath slowly, give your body time to adjust to the changes in pressure.
Blood pressure is a silent killer, and I recommend everyone monitors their blood pressure regularly. This can be done easily from home by purchasing a blood pressure monitor.
If you are concerned about your symptoms or experience a new occurrence of dizziness, it is always best to seek advice from a medical professional.
Registered Nurse and Clinical Nurse Consultant.
Bachelor of Nursing
Masters in Advanced Nursing Practice
Masters in Wound Management