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Evening or Morning Showers – What’s Best for Your Sleep Routine?

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SOME PEOPLE TREAT their morning shower like others treat their coffee – it’s an automatic part of their early-day routine, and they may not feel alert and ready for the day without it.

Others cannot fathom slipping between the sheets at the end of a long day without washing the day away by showering at night. For them, the refreshing sensation of stepping out of a shower squeaky clean is a prerequisite to relaxing and winding down for sleep.

There are also some people who shower in the middle of the day, and others who may shower both morning and night. The question is whether any of this matters at all, or if science has established a clear time of day that is better for your health.

Whether you’re dedicated to your shower time or you’re flexible, it’s important to think about what your shower is doing for your body, your mind, your sleep schedule, and your life in general.

The Case for the Morning Shower

Whether you had a restful night of restorative sleep, or you tossed and turned until daylight, there are many advantages to throwing back the covers and heading right for the shower:

    • One questionnaire completed by the shampoo brand Herbal Essence found that morning showers make many people feel relaxed, pretty, and ready for a productive day. While this study is by no means authoritative science, there’s a good chance that you’ll have the same experience as the women interviewed.
    •  A well-respected dermatologist reports that the body actively repairs damaged skin cells while we sleep, eliminating toxins through dead skin cells. A brisk morning shower eliminates those dead skin cells, which leads to healthier skin.
    • A blast of cold water at the end of a morning shower has the power to arouse your mind so that you’re more alert for the rest of the day. You can even learn to use a blend of hot and cold water to create a therapeutic shower strategy believed to improve circulation and relieve pain in addition to increasing physical and mental energy.
    • Showering in the morning gives you the opportunity to shave your legs, underarms, and/or face so that you’re freshly groomed for the day. Your skin is soft and ready to release the hair after exposure to warm water and steam.

Those are some strong arguments in favor of showering in the morning, but there are also some lifestyle cons to consider. For instance, washing your hair in the morning requires an earlier wake-up time so that you have time to dry and style before heading out the door. Wake up late one day, and you could find yourself running behind schedule or hitting your day feeling unwashed.

The Case for Showering at Night

Remember that well-respected dermatologist mentioned in the morning-shower pros above? Well, it turns out they also advocate showering at night because it can lower your blood pressure and your mind in a relaxed state. This may help you fight insomnia, turning this into a powerful argument for night showers.

Perhaps the biggest advantage to showering before bed is the opportunity to wash away the sweat and grime from the day. You feel refreshed and squeaky clean, and that’s always how you want to feel when slipping between the sheets.

You also wash away a lot of environmental toxins that may cling to your skin during the day. You don’t want to transfer that to your pillow.

The downside to showering at night is that you may zap yourself with a splash of cold water, which can wake you up and make it more difficult to sleep. If you stick with warm water, you can wash off without alerting your brain.

Putting the Research Together – What’s Best for You?

Did you notice that there are just as many good reasons to shower in the morning as there are for showering at night? It’s important to filter this information through the relevancy of your own daily schedule. If you’re struggling with eczema, acne, or another skin condition, you may take the research regarding showers and skin health seriously.

If you’re prone to insomnia or waking up in the middle of the night, then you may put science to the test and try nighttime showers.

Whatever time of day you choose to shower, it should enrich your life or help you reach your goals in some way. If you have a flexible schedule, you may even take the “whenever I feel like it” approach. This works well for creative people, since showering is known to induce the creative incubation period where many great ideas pop into mind. This may also work when you’re seriously stressed out and need to think through a problem.

You may also decide that a blend of showering and bathing works well for you. A cool shower in the morning to wake up followed by a relaxing bath at night to unwind may work well while delivering the benefits of morning and evening shower routines.

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