Trade the morning shower for one before bed for better sleep and more.
While some people may find the prospect of starting the day without a shower a bit daunting, there’s a lot to be said for washing at night. Especially if you have trouble sleeping.
An article at TIME extolls perhaps the single best virtue of PM showering, noting that if you want to improve your sleep, showering at night is the way to go. “Experts say there's evidence that a night shower can help you drift off,” Abigail Abrams writes, “if you time it just right.” But there’s more good than just good sleep that can come from a moonlight shower. Consider the following:
1. Improved sleepBut first things first, better sleep. Abrams explains that body temperature is a key component in regulating circadian rhythm, the inner clock that tells the body when to feel sleepy or bright-eyed. Researchers have found that warming your body can help bring on sleep as long as there’s enough time to cool down afterward.
Meanwhile, a recent study from the University of Texas looked at more than 5,000 published studies on the effects of "water-based passive body heating" on sleep quality, length, efficiency, and onset latency (how long it takes to fall asleep). The researchers concluded that a 10- to 15-minute bath or shower at a temperature between 104 to 108.5 degrees Fahrenheit (40 to 42.5 degrees Celsius) taken one to two hours before bedtime improved sleep quality, efficiency, and onset latency.
2. A clean bedDo you really want to sleep with all the grime-sweat-germs you picked up during the day? Showering before slipping between the sheets promises you won’t be stewing all night with the things you gathered all day.
3. Reduced laundryHow often do you launder your pajamas and sheets? However often it is, you can do it less frequently if you are not introducing a dirty body into them every night.
4. Better skinWashing your face before bed is not exclusive to showering, but doing them together makes it much easier. According to the National Sleep Foundation, washing your face before bed helps reduce breakouts, improves your moisturizer’s efficacy, helps prevents wrinkles and lessens your chance of eye infections.
5. An improved morning routineWhile a shower can certainly wake you up, skipping one is nothing a cold splash of water on the face and a cup of coffee (if you swing that way) can’t cure. One wonderful bonus of showering at night means that you free up that shower-drying time in the morning for something else that brings you joy – which is the best way to start the day. Whether it be meditation, sunrise viewing, writing, morning quality time with a partner or family member, a relaxed cup of coffee with a book … or even an extra 20 minutes of sleep, you can now have the extra time to do it.
This updated story was originally published in 2017.