Shower at night or in the morning? Science has the answer

When it comes to jumping in the shower, are you more of a night person or a morning person? Many people like to start their day by rinsing off, while others prefer to go to bed feeling squeaky clean. But could there be benefits to showering at a certain time of day?

In a nutshell: It depends on what your goals are. Like all things in life, there are benefits and drawbacks to both. If you partake in highly creative activities, for example, taking a shower at the *right* time could prove useful to getting those brain juices flowing. But depending on who you are and what you wanna do, there’s probably a time that would be best for you. Let us divulge some showering secrets!

You should be a morning showerer if. . .

You have oily skin. If you’ve got a problem with excessive oiliness, you might want to include bathing in your morning routine instead of saving it for the evening. “Showering in the morning. . . can be especially good for those with oily skin, since oil can build up during the night and showers are excellent at clearing the pores,” NYC-based internist Holly Phillips, MD, told Yahoo Health.

You are a creative person (or need to be creative for your job). Taking a shower is a lot like meditating, because you enter a relaxed-yet-alert alpha brain wave state — a state that’s perfect for coming up with good ideas. This is why it’s best to take a shower at the beginning of the day to give your brain a kick-start, Harvard psychology lecturer Shelley Carson explained to Greatist.

“If you were to come up with a problem that you wanted to solve creatively,” she explained, “and you were working and working on it and couldn’t come up with a solution, then you could put it on the back burner of your mind and allow it to stew there while unconscious processes mull it over.” (Makes sense why waterproof notepads exist, huh?)

You have a hard time waking up in the morning. Many people stick to their morning showers because it helps them wake up. Turns out that, yes, showering in the morning can make you more alert, and even jumpstart your metabolism. For an extra boost, studies show that turning the water temperature to cold for the last few minutes of your shower in the morning can help you stay more alert throughout the day.

You work out in the early morning. Wouldn’t make much sense to get a shower at night, only to hop out of bed and hit the jogging track at 6 a.m. If you’re a morning gym rat, grab a quick shower after your workout.

You tend to cut yourself while shaving. Maybe you get a little impatient when using the razor, or maybe you just can be a little clumsy sometimes, but if you tend to knick yourself often, a morning shower is the way to go. According to Greatist, our bodies get a surge of “clot-forming platelets” in the morning until around noon, which means the bleeding stops sooner in the morning than it does in the evening. Good to know.

You should be an evening showerer if. . .

You have a hard time getting to sleep. Yeah, I know I just said that morning showers can wake you up — but at night, it’s a totally different story. “That rapid cooling after you get out of the shower or out of the bath tends to be a natural sleep inducer,” Christopher Winter, M.D., a fellow at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and medical director at the sleep center at Martha Jefferson Hospital, told Greatist. “So it’s a nice way to fool your body into thinking it’s time to go to bed.”

You suffer from dry skin. If your skin tends to get flaky and dry, relegate your showers to post-work. “Washing in the morning with a cleanser is recommended only for oily patients, and not so much for patients who suffer from eczema or dry skin,” L.A.-based dermatologist Tanya Kormeili, MD, told Yahoo Health.

You keep your sheets clean. If you never clean your sheets, you’re pretty much undoing your shower by wrapping yourself in nasty skin particles and all that stuff that you probably don’t want to think about. But if you keep your sheets ultra clean, don’t ruin it by putting your day-old, morning-showering body in there!

Your day-to-day living makes you come into contact with not-so-clean stuff. Obviously, if you work long hours under the sun, you’re going to want to wash all that sweat off before going to bed so it doesn’t sink into your skin and make some serious skin problems arise. But even if you work in an office job but have to spend a lot of time on the subway, dirt that comes from environmental pollutants — like the ones you’d find on said subway — can clog your pores, director of the Women’s Skin Health Program for Northwestern Medicine Bethanee Schlosser, M.D., Ph.D, told Greatist.

You work out during the day or in the evening. You definitely don’t want to go to bed with a sweaty face after your evening Zumba class. Wash off your body at night if you exercise in the evening.

Happy showering, friends!



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