This content has been reviewed and updated on July 31, 2023.
There’s no wrong time of day to shower, and when you choose to suds up may have more to do with convenience than anything else. Yet, if you enjoy showering before bed, you’re in good company: roughly half of the people surveyed in a recent sleep study also make it a part of their nighttime routine. But should you shower before bed? Here’s what you should know.
Are There Benefits of Showering at Night?
Does a warm shower help you sleep? If you feel well rested when you’ve showered before bed, it’s not your imagination. Research backs this theory, indicating people who shower an hour or two before bed fall asleep quicker. One reason could be the increased blood flow from the warm water, which helps the body get rid of excess heat to achieve a comfortable temperature for sleeping. The shower doesn’t need to be long, either; just 10 minutes is enough for the temperature regulation to take effect.
Beyond helping your body cool down more efficiently, there are some other compelling benefits of showering at night:
- Alleviates tension and discomfort in the muscles
- Removes toxins on the skin before getting into bed
- Cleans and opens your pores
- Acts as a natural decongestant
- Reduces swelling
How to Make Showering Before Bed Even More Relaxing
Showering before bed is an effective way to tell your mind and body it’s time to wind down, but there are other ways to make your shower an even more beneficial aspect of your nighttime routine.
Dim the Lights
Bright lights can interfere with the body’s natural production of melatonin, an important sleep hormone. Dim your bathroom lights before you shower to avoid interfering with your body’s natural sleep cues.
Add a Soothing Scent
When breathed in, aromas like lavender, bergamot, and vanilla can be soothing. Research has even indicated that certain essential oils could support circadian rhythms or the body’s natural internal clock that controls sleep cycles. Consider diffusing calming scents to reap the benefits of aromatherapy before bedtime.
Stick With Warm Water
If you enjoy a hot shower, it may be tempting to turn the dial up. Yet, keeping your shower warm—not hot—is the key to promoting restfulness. A shower that’s too hot can have the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve, causing a more significant spike in your body temperature that will make the cool-down process longer. On the other hand, cold water can have a stimulating effect, which is not ideal for bedtime.
Nourish Your Skin
While you’re in the shower, give your skin some extra care. Use a loofah and gentle scrub to exfoliate and slough away any dead skin cells. Once you’re out of the shower, your skin will be refreshed and ready for your moisturizer to soak in.
Don’t overlook the importance of water quality, too. Most household water contains added chlorine and dissolved minerals, which can strip your skin’s natural oils and contribute to issues like dryness, more pronounced wrinkles and fine lines, and damaged hair. A shower filter can ensure your skin and hair receive only the purest hydration.
Follow Up With Other Relaxing Activities
Finally, wrap up your bedtime routine with other soothing activities. Avoid electronics, as blue light can also disrupt circadian rhythms. Instead, consider reading a book, journaling, doing gentle stretches, or listening to a guided meditation or soothing podcast.
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