It’s safe to say the majority of us take showers. They are typically more efficient than baths when it comes to getting clean, and have a host of other benefits, such as privacy, and a general sense of feeling good. All of that aside, did you know that depending on when you shower, you can reap additional benefits? It may sound far-fetched, but it’s actually true, and after you finish reading this article, you might recognize some of the subconscious benefits aside from getting clean.
Most early risers also tend to take early showers as part of their daily routine. This is especially true if there is a morning workout, like a run, weight lifting, or even yoga. In the case of the first two, it’s better to shower after the workout, but when it comes to yoga, a cold shower beforehand can prep you for a better session. Whatever the case, perhaps the most obvious benefit of the morning shower is that it wakes you up. A sudden burst of water, especially if you don’t even wait for it to warm up, is a great way to startle the last of the sleep from your system. However, there are other benefits to the morning shower beyond the wake-up call.
Have you ever noticed that you feel so creative in the shower? Like all of your best ideas pop up then, or at least seem to originate from there? There’s actually science behind this phenomenon. It’s called the alpha wave brain state. Essentially the alpha wave brain state is sort of a ready but resting state of mind that allows you to be alert and thinking, but also incredibly relaxed.
This state is particularly useful for solving any problems you might have. Why is that? Because it allows your attention to be directed to whatever is right in front of you, while behind the scenes, your unconscious mind takes over pondering your problem. Instead of stressing over a tough situation, which is actually counterproductive, the alpha wave brain state keeps you alert enough to worry about immediate needs and relaxed enough to let your unconscious brain start chipping away at the bigger deal.
Back to showers- remember that creative streak that hits when the water does? Showers are one way, along with other forms of meditation and relaxation, to trigger the alpha wave brain state. All in all, this means if you’re in need of a solution later in the day, give it a bit of pondering during your early morning shower, and see what pops up!
Morning or Night?
Morning showers are wonderful, but night showers also have their benefits. A shower in the morning can help you wake up. At night, on the other hand, a shower can be just what you need to prepare for bed. As mentioned, showers are relaxing, and when you’re trying to wind down from a long day, the last thing you need is more activity. However, the shower itself is not where the relaxation ends.
One thing you’ve certainly noticed, even after a hot shower, is how cool everything is getting out. This cooling phenomenon actually helps your body further relax, even though it may not feel like it at the time. If you have trouble getting to bed, this rapid temperature change can get your body to dial down, and it will certainly encourage you to snuggle up under the covers. However, there are other benefits to showering at night.
Days can be long and hot and hard and stressful. Showering in the morning can be a great way to jumpstart you, body and mind, but what about after the day when you come home sweaty and exhausted? A shower helps you feel clean and refreshed. As an added bonus, you’ll stay cleaner longer, because nighttime typically means less activity, and therefore less stress and lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that has its roots tied back to our ‘fight or flight’ reflex. While it certainly has its uses, it can stimulate and aggravate the body, pretty much the opposite of relaxation. It prevents rest and recovery, and since you’re focused on the source of your stress, you can’t really get into that creative state of mind. Fortunately, that nighttime shower takes care of daytime stress, and since you’re heading to bed, you can get a restful sleep without getting dirty. Stress makes you sweat, after all.Related: 7 Reasons Why Baths Are Better Than Showers
Both morning showers and evening showers are great- but what about afternoon showers? Truth be told, there isn’t as much data on those, but it’s safe to assume that there are benefits to those as well, particularly if you like to take your showers cold. The afternoon shower comes at a time where you may be tired, but aren’t quite ready for bed. You may have also be recovering from a strenuous workout, or maybe you’ve just eaten a huge meal. A brief and brisk afternoon shower as part of a cool down process can definitely reinvigorate you, help you burn body fat, and be clean and relaxed for whatever else is on your agenda. In a sense, it’s the same sort of reset as a quick nap (which also isn’t a bad idea.)Related: How Often You Should Wash Your Bath Towel, According to a Microbiologist
All in all, regardless of when you decide to shower, you’re going to gain some benefits- being clean and being relaxed is never really a bad thing, is it? It should be stated that showers provide all of the aforementioned benefits all the time; which ones you decide to take advantage of, however, is entirely up to you, and they are listed with certain times as a matter of convenience. There’s never really a bad time to shower(except perhaps, if you’ve just showered.) Put simply, if you’re looking to generate ideas or come up with solutions for the things on your plate, morning showers will help get you there. If you’re all done with the day and looking to slip into a smooth and relaxing sleep, night showers are definitely the way to go. For pretty much everything else, the afternoon shower is there. Then again, who says you have to regulate yourself to just one shower a day?