Why a Hot Water Bottle Is the Key to Staying Cozy—And Easing Period Cramps—This Winter

The simple accessory can help you relax, ease stress, and relieve period symptoms.

From beauty secrets to home remedies for everyday ailments, our grandmothers have passed on many wise tips for moving through life. Among the top? Always have a hot water bottle at the ready, to help you with everything from relieving period cramps to warming your feet before bed on a chilly night.

To menstruate is to know that period symptoms are always in flux, and that even the change of season can have a dramatic impact on them. Come fall, we tend to exercise less and eat richer, heartier foods, which can exacerbate PMS symptoms, especially cramps. To ease aches and pains, one of the most tried-and-true remedies is applying heat to the lower abdomen with a hot water bottle. "It helps soothe the tense muscles associated with cramping," explains Sherry Ross, M.D., a Santa Monica OB-GYN. "Heat works by relaxing the muscles of the uterus, which increases blood flow and ultimately helps ease the pain."

And it’s not just helpful for abdominal cramps, but for other parts of the body under stress, too. “Many women also get neck pain during their period due to the general muscle cramping and drop in magnesium and progesterone before their cycle, so a hot water bottle is a great home remedy for this,” explains integrative medicine physician Taz Bhatia, M.D. “There is also the psychological impact of warmth giving us a feeling of relief,” adds Bhatia, citing findings that show that exposure to warm temperature can elevate a person’s mood. (Hence the enduring appeal of using a hot water bottle to keep your feet toasty on a nippy night by placing it at the foot of the bed.)

To up the cozy factor of your hot water bottle session, there are also a variety of covers to accessorize—and snuggle up with—during the colder months. There are sumptuous classics made from cable knits or faux fur, as well as even more elevated designs, like the silk chinoiserie print offerings from The Beauty Sleeper. Shop the most practical and stylish options below.

Attmu Rubber Hot Water Bottle

$12ATTMUShop Now

HomeTop Classic 2 Liters Rubber Hot Water Bottle

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Naked Cashmere Helen Hot Water Bottle

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Cash Ca Cashmere Cover Hot Water Bottle

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Uncommon Goods Faux Fur Hot Water Bottle

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Lapuan Kankurit Katti Hot Water Bottle

$50LAPUAN KANKURITShop Now

Celtic and Co Hot Water Bottle Cover

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HomeTop Large 2 Liter Soft Knit Heart Pattern Hot Water

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Lambland Sheepskin Water Bottle Cover

$35LAMBALANDShop Now

GeweYeeli Hot Water Bottle

$18GEWEYEELIShop NowVogue’s Favorites

This story originally appeared on: Vogue - Author:Lauren Valenti

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