There are two types of people in the world - the ones who get up in time to shower before work, and the ones who do it all the night before, so they can get those extra few minutes in bed in the morning.
Turns out, showering in the evening is actually way more hygienic than showering in the morning. And it feels like way less effort. Our sleep experts explain the three key reasons why you should opt for an evening shower, plus they answer your most commonly asked questions on the subject.
Showering in the evening vs. in the morning
If you are someone who can get up in the morning and hop in the shower - good for you. In fact, showering in the morning can make you feel fresh and alert, ready for the day ahead.
But, for the night owls amongst us - or simply those who loooove their bed - forcing yourself out from under the duvet in the morning can feel like an impossible task. Also, at the end of a long, sweaty day, you might simply prefer a hot shower, especially if you want to take your time washing your hair or shaving your legs.
Our sleep experts have actually discovered that showering before bed is better for you than showering in the morning, and here’s why:
The 3 reasons an evening shower is better for you
1. Remove bacteria and oils that have built up throughout the day
Even if you work in an office, your skin and hair collects huge amounts of bacteria and airborne pollutants, including pollen, dirt, sweat and general germs. These then stay on your skin until you wash it off, so if you shower in the morning, you’re going to be transferring this grime into your bed while you sleep.
Your body also produces natural oils throughout the day. Sebum, the natural oil that stops your skin drying out, is at its highest production rate in the afternoon.
By showering at night, you cleanse your body of these impurities, preventing your pores from clogging up and causing acne, and promoting a more hygienic sleeping environment.
2. Relieve tension to your muscles and joints
Hot showers are excellent for relieving muscle pain and general soreness. If you’re an evening gym goer, definitely opt for a bedtime shower - not only will you cleanse yourself of sweat, but hot water relieves muscle tension and helps with recovery.
By doing this at night after the gym, you’ll speed up the recovery period, minimising the time spent with achy muscles. Remember to have a warm shower, though, as cold water will cause your muscles to seize, enhancing any pain.
You don’t have to have been to the gym to appreciate the relief of an evening shower. If you’ve been sitting at your desk all day, you may find that your lower back is hurting. By directing warm water onto the painful area, you’ll not only relieve pressure and pain, but promote circulation, which will help to ease the ache.
These benefits can also be felt in an evening bath - try using some Epsom bath salts to let the magnesium further relieve tension to your muscles. Read our article on The 4 Ways Magnesium Improves Your Sleep for more information on the health benefits of magnesium.
3. Unwind and relax with some self-care in the evening
If you’ve read our article on How To Practise Self-Care In Your Sleep Routine, you’ll know how important it is to make sure to spend some time in the evening focusing on you.
Having a shower in the evening is the perfect way to unwind and care for yourself. Whether you’ve had a stressful day or not, a hot shower can ease anxious thoughts and get you ready for a good night’s rest.
In fact, having a hot shower increases your core body temperature, which then decreases when you get out - this change causes you to feel sleepy, so it’s the perfect thing to do before bed.
Use a lavender scented shower gel to help you get in the mood for sleep. Lavender has chemical components which act as sedatives, which is why it makes you feel so sleepy. Read our article on The Top 5 Natural Sleep Supplements for more information on how lavender makes you tired.
If I shower at night will I smell in the morning?
So long as your bed sheets are clean - our experts recommend you change them once a week, and your pillowcase twice a week - there’s no reason that you should smell in the morning. Maintaining a hygienic sleeping environment is vital for staying fresh and clean in all aspects of life.
If you’re a hot sleeper and are worried you might sweat in the night, try some cooling bedding which will help to regulate your body temperature.
Should I shower every single day?
You might only feel properly clean if you shower every day, but our sleep experts suggest it's okay to skip a day here and there, or only shower every other day. As long as you’re performing personal care and staying hygienic - for example keeping your private areas clean and armpits fresh, you shouldn’t smell.
However, depending on what type of activity you tend to do during the day, you may need to shower every day to stay clean. For example, if you work outside or have a manual labour job, you should shower every day to remove the sweat or pollution from your skin and hair.
Should I shower twice a day?
Of course, whether you want to shower both in the morning and at night is totally up to you, but be wary of the damage it can do to your skin. Exposing your skin to too much hot water can dry it out, plus strip it of the natural oils it needs to stay healthy.
What time is best to shower for acne?
If you suffer from body acne, such as spots on your back or chest, you will definitely benefit from showering in the evening. As we mentioned, nighttime showers remove toxins and bacteria from your skin, which clog pores and lead to breakouts.
Body acne is commonly caused by sweat, so it’s important to try to wash this off as soon as possible once you’re done with your daily activities. If you wait til the morning to shower, you might find that the dirt and oils that built up over the previous day have entered your pores, and worsened your acne.
For more tips and advice on how to utilise your evening for the best night’s sleep possible, read our article on The Ultimate Bedtime Routine, or even The 7 Best Foods To Help You Sleep for some dinner ideas.