Most people roll out of bed bleary-eyed and straight into the shower to freshen up (and wake up) for the day ahead. Others insist they have to shower before bed to avoid taking the day’s grime onto their sheets. Some people prefer to do both and we salute those squeaky-clean people.
But have you ever stopped to question whether it’s actually better to shower first thing in the morning or last thing at night? And is one option better for your general hygiene? To get to the bottom of the burning question, we asked two leading experts: a GP and a healer to weigh in – and you might be surprised to hear the definitive answer.
According to Doctor Aragona Giuseppe, GP and medical advisor at Prescription Doctor, taking a shower morning or night is usually down to personal preference and lifestyle and he’s right; after a quick poll on our morning meeting, we discovered some team members simply cannot start the day without an energising showers whilst others maintain they can’t nod off without an aromatherapy-infused evening shower.
“A morning shower is probably more popular with people as it awakens the senses and refreshes you ready for the day ahead, however it’s not necessarily better for you,” he said.
Rather, he argues that allowing time for an evening shower is a good way to relax, to soothe any work or gym tensions by letting the hot water hit your shoulders and back, wash away the dirt from the day and also promote a better night’s sleep as you will feel clean, relaxed and sleepy from the hot water and steam.
“The main benefit of night-time showers, however, is that during the day, your body and your hair can collect airborne allergens and irritants, dirt and grime, especially in the summer months from pollen, chemicals and sweat. So if you go to bed without showering, these will then transfer to your bed and sheets and may not only promote dirty bedding and night time allergies but could also cause itchy, irritated and dry skin as well as facial skin issues such as acne due to dirty sheets and pillow cases from day time oil and dirt.”
Whilst he says that it is personal preference and time/work dependent, generally, he believes a night-time shower is considered best for cleanliness and for promoting a good night’s sleep.
Leading healer Antonia Harman, believes that the temperature of your shower is actually more important than the time you take it.
“Morning showers can be invigorating,” she says. “You can shower and set intentions for the day ahead, plan your meetings and have a little ‘me’ time before the business of the day ensues. If you want to pep yourself up even more you could opt for some cold water therapy? This is as simple as ending your shower with 30 seconds to a minute of bracing chill. Anything under 15 degrees centigrade is considered cold water. If you are feeling brave you could have a cold shower throughout. As well as waking yourself up, it peps your immune, circulatory and digestive system. Even helping your body repair faster from injury or simply DOM’s (delayed onset muscle soreness) which you may have after the gym.”
She adds that evening showers are also great for your health but if you’re showering at this time, take it hot. “A long hot shower will raise your core temperature, as you cool, you will become sleepy so it’s best to have it 30-45 minutes before your sleep as a natural sedative.”
She concludes: “Morning or evening shower, the choice is yours. Just remember the temperature is as important as the time.”
Weighing the experts’ aforementioned benefits, it’s safe to say that evening showers are much more beneficial for the body. However, if people like to do both, then you do you. There’s no harm in having two showers a day, so long as you restrict the length to 10 minutes or less and keep the temperature mild.
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