“I bet there’s more people who have to shower before bed than people who don’t,” TikToker Jesse Katches points out in one of the latest internet debates. To shower or not to shower before getting into bed is the question, but does it actually matter?
The viral video is a conversation between two characters Katches acts out, one insisting showering before getting into bed is an absolute must, no matter the circumstances, while the second character pushes back asking hypothetical questions about night showers like, “Even if you get home at 5 a.m? Even if you’re drunk and can’t even stand up straight? Even if you pull two all-nighters and can’t even keep your eyes open?” While these are all valid scenarios, the pro-showering persona answers yes to every question explaining he would find a way to shower despite any circumstances.
This short skit debate left the TikTok community with dueling, strong opinions. On one hand, the majority of the top comments agreed that showering before bed is an absolute must with some people joking, “I always wash off the negativity before bed.”
While the majority of TikTok agrees showering before getting into bed should be the norm, there were also some that stated changing their clothes was good enough for them, or that it depended on the day if night showering was for them. There were also a handful of comments representing morning shower fans, explaining sleep comes first at night.
But does showering before getting into bed affect your sleep at all or is morning showering actually superior?
The short answer is that it doesn’t matter when you shower (as long as you do shower), and it all comes down to personal preference. However, there are some things you should know about night showers versus morning showers.
If you are showering close to bedtime, research suggests you take a hot shower. In order to fall asleep your body temperature needs to drop and taking a hot shower before bed can help facilitate this. After stepping out of the warm shower, your body is already beginning to cool itself. Among the nighttime washers, Oprah swears by a nightly bath before going to bed.
Now for morning showerers, while it won’t help you sleep better at night, taking a cold shower can wake your body up. There is research that shows cold showers can increase your heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and metabolism all leading to a more alert self. If the idea of a cold shower isn’t appealing, you can start by turning your shower cold towards the end. This way you’re not freezing when you get out.
In conclusion, if you have a hard time falling asleep try a hot night shower about 90 minutes before bed. If you have a hard time waking up in the morning, a cold shower could help you to wake up. And if you struggle with both? Well you might just become very clean from all the showers you’ll be taking.
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Haghayegh S, Khoshnevis S, Smolensky MH, Diller KR, Castriotta RJ. Before-bedtime passive body heating by warm shower or bath to improve sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Medicine Reviews. April 19, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2019.04.008