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Should You Shower At Night Or In The Morning?

Over the years we’ve developed different bathroom habits that dictate when we take a shower. Some of us have stayed with what most consider ‘normal,’ which is showering during the early morning hours.

Those of us who typically don’t have much time in the morning, opt for nightly showers, often just before jumping under the bed covers for a night’s rest. When it comes to showers, though, who is in the right?

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Are showers in the morning reasonable, considering how rushed some people may feel? Or is it more feasible to take a shower at the end of the day? The whole thing really depends on the individual and whether or not they’re a morning person.

The Case for a Morning Shower

The biggest case for having a morning shower, among those who prefer it, is how it seems to ‘wash away’ the grogginess one feels upon first waking. It’s a great way to wash your face, as is recommended, in addition to scrubbing yourself clean.

According to expert Dr. Janet K. Kennedy says a morning shower can boost alertness, but a cooler than normal shower is what she recommends. It will help to avoid raising one’s body temperature too dramatically.

“The need to shower in the morning depends on the individual’s lifestyle,” says Joel Schlessinger, a board-certified dermatologist. “For instance, if you prefer to work out in the morning, you should definitely be following up your visit to the gym with a shower to cleanse the skin and hair of excess oil and sweat.”

Dr. Shelley Carson of Harvard said of morning showers, “Because a shower lowers cortisol levels (which lowers stress) while you’re awake and active, your brain is able to think without being pressured which leads to new and creative ideas. If you’re having a stressful week, taking a morning shower might help you be innovative under pressure.”

For some of us, a morning shower may be all we need to start the day.

But is morning really the best time for a shower?

The Case for a Night Shower

When it comes down to the general science of showers and time of day, research is on the side of night.

Showering during the night, usually 90 minutes before bed, can help with insomnia. Dr. Kennedy says, “The body naturally cools down as bedtime approaches, in sync with circadian rhythm. Showering artificially raises the temperature again and allows for a faster cool down, which seems to hasten sleep.”

While the warm to hot water is great to relieve sore muscles and rid yourself of knots, moderation is key. Remember that you should use lukewarm water, lest you damage your skin. Dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldenberg recommends that no shower should last more than 5 to 10 minutes at a lukewarm temperature.

“Very hot showers tend to take the oil off your skin, and tend to irritate your skin,” said Goldenberg. “The longer you are in the water, the higher the chance it is going to dry your skin.”

Not only do your bed sheets stay cleaner when you have a night shower, but as stated above, it also makes it easier to get to sleep. If you are prone to allergies, it will help wash away the pollen you accumulated throughout the day, or if you’re a frequent user of hair products and face make-up.

“By showering in the evening you prevent transferring all of these potentially harmful substances into your bed, where you are going to be sleeping for the next eight hours,” says Tania Elliot, allergist and internist.

If you’re like myself and are prone to excessive sweating during the night, nightly showers are the best way to go. “Issues such as excessive sweating may be improved by showering in the evening and following with an antiperspirant,” said Schlessinger. “Since antiperspirants work by forming a plug in the sweat glands, a significantly lower amount of sweat reaches the skin’s surface if this plug is allowed to form.”

Be sure to apply your antiperspirant after the shower. It’ll allow ample time for the plugs to form while you sleep.

“Once fully formed, they will often be effective for an entire day. It’s important to note that if you do this, you shouldn’t shower in the morning as this will dislodge the plug.”

What time of day you shower is ultimately up to you, but if you find yourself having the problems that experts describe, try their recommendations and see if anything improves.

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