Should You Shower in the Morning, or at Night? 

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Should You Shower in the Morning, or at Night? 

Night showers may be relaxing, but morning showers may be better.

There were few greater sins in my childhood home than going to bed dirty, though I could sometimes appease my mother by just washing my feet before slipping between the clean sheets. Now, as an adult, I cannot bear to get in bed with the grime of the day clinging to my skin. And I’m not alone.

We are the takers of night showers, and we stand in opposition to the takers of morning showers, a vocal many I’ve bickered with time and again.

Don’t they feel rushed by the countdown to work or school beating down with the shower spray? Don’t they want to squeeze in every possible, precious moment of sleep? Do they really step outside on icy mornings with wet hair, or take even more time to blow-dry? There’s no rationale, or so I thought.

The case for a morning shower

People who love morning showers will tell you there is no better start to the day than by blasting away unruly bed hair and the crust of sleep, or for those who are particularly ambitious, wash off after a morning workout.

“Everybody in my house showered in the morning,” said Nate Martins, a writer from San Francisco. After the water heated up, “we’d all stack up like dominoes,” he said.

“Washing the sleep off, that’s something that I still do,” he said — much to the chagrin of his wife, Natalie, who’s a steadfast night showerer. “There have been times where she’s asked me to shower before bed, especially when I’ve spent a lot of time on public transit.”

For those who have a hard time waking up, a morning shower can make a big difference, said Dr. Janet K. Kennedy, a clinical psychologist and sleep expert in New York. It can boost alertness, she said, but she recommends a somewhat cooler, not cold, shower to avoid raising your body temperature dramatically.

The good and the bad for Team Night

For those who struggle with insomnia, Dr. Kennedy said she’d suggest showering at night, about 90 minutes before bed. “The body naturally cools down as bedtime approaches, in sync with the circadian rhythm,” she said. “Showering artificially raises the temperature again and allows for a faster cool down, which seems to hasten sleep.”

Showering is also a good way to unwind and release muscle tension, she said, which aids sleep.

But don’t get carried away. Those long, steamy showers spent unpacking the day and draining the water heater could damage your skin.

Dr. Gary Goldenberg, a dermatologist in New York and a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, recommends a maximum of 5- to 10-minute showers in lukewarm water for most people. Sad, I know.

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

That goes for baths too, he said.

But let us not speak of the bath people.

There’s a bonus to taking Dr. Goldenberg’s advice: Short, cooler showers are kinder to the environment — as is capturing the water that’s being wasted while you wait for it to heat up, said Mary Ann Dickinson, president of the Alliance for Water Efficiency. “There are products on the market to help people time their showers and to capture water,” she said.

The alliance’s water calculator can help you evaluate your water use.

While there’s no intrinsic environmental benefit to showering in the morning or at night, some electricity providers like Con Edison in New York have reduced rates for night use. “If water is heated using electricity, there could be opportunity for lower electricity bills,” Ms. Dickinson said.

Does the timing matter for cleanliness?

Dr. Goldenberg says that for most people, there’s nothing inherently wrong with showering in the morning, at night or both.

But he knocked fans of night showers down a peg: We’re not keeping our sheets as fresh as we think we are.

“Everybody in my house showered in the morning,” said Nate Martins, a writer from San Francisco. After the water heated up, “we’d all stack up like dominoes,” he said.

“Washing the sleep off, that’s something that I still do,” he said — much to the chagrin of his wife, Natalie, who’s a steadfast night showerer. “There have been times where she’s asked me to shower before bed, especially when I’ve spent a lot of time on public transit.”

For those who have a hard time waking up, a morning shower can make a big difference, said Dr. Janet K. Kennedy, a clinical psychologist and sleep expert in New York. It can boost alertness, she said, but she recommends a somewhat cooler, not cold, shower to avoid raising your body temperature dramatically.

The good and the bad for Team Night

For those who struggle with insomnia, Dr. Kennedy said she’d suggest showering at night, about 90 minutes before bed. “The body naturally cools down as bedtime approaches, in sync with the circadian rhythm,” she said. “Showering artificially raises the temperature again and allows for a faster cool down, which seems to hasten sleep.”

Showering is also a good way to unwind and release muscle tension, she said, which aids sleep.

But don’t get carried away. Those long, steamy showers spent unpacking the day and draining the water heater could damage your skin.

Dr. Gary Goldenberg, a dermatologist in New York and a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, recommends a maximum of 5- to 10-minute showers in lukewarm water for most people. Sad, I know.

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

That goes for baths too, he said.

But let us not speak of the bath people.

There’s a bonus to taking Dr. Goldenberg’s advice: Short, cooler showers are kinder to the environment — as is capturing the water that’s being wasted while you wait for it to heat up, said Mary Ann Dickinson, president of the Alliance for Water Efficiency. “There are products on the market to help people time their showers and to capture water,” she said.

The alliance’s water calculator can help you evaluate your water use.

While there’s no intrinsic environmental benefit to showering in the morning or at night, some electricity providers like Con Edison in New York have reduced rates for night use. “If water is heated using electricity, there could be opportunity for lower electricity bills,” Ms. Dickinson said.

Does the timing matter for cleanliness?

Dr. Goldenberg says that for most people, there’s nothing inherently wrong with showering in the morning, at night or both.

But he knocked fans of night showers down a peg: We’re not keeping our sheets as fresh as we think we are.

Source:Should You Shower in the Morning, or at Night? Yes – The New York Times

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