Showers—a time to clean off, relax, and maybe even sing a little. Everyone takes them (hopefully), and most people have a specific point in their day when they choose to do so.
Many people think that there’s no right or wrong time to shower, and that as long as you’re getting clean, it doesn’t really matter what time of day it is. I firmly disagree. I am a strong advocate for morning showers, and once you’re introduced to the evidence, you’ll see exactly why.
What’s a better start to any given day than a nice, warm shower?
For me, not much.
I wake up and instantly hop in the shower. The feeling of the toasty water waking me up and rinsing my fatigue and morning grumpiness away in seconds is simply incomparable bliss.
It’s essentially like being born again.
Don’t get me wrong, coffee is a great picker-upper, but there’s nothing quite like being able to just wash off the sleep (and the intense bedhead for some) that gets me up and ready for a new day, and experts agree.
Dr. Janet K. Kennedy, a clinical psychologist and sleep expert in New York, told New York Times magazine that morning showers also make a big difference for those who have trouble waking up, as they boost alertness and stimulate the senses.
Additionally, Dr. Shelley Carson, a psychology lecturer at Harvard, said to Time magazine that because a shower lowers cortisol levels (which lowers stress) while you’re awake and active, your brain is able to think without being pressured, which leads to new and creative ideas.
We all know that the best thoughts are shower thoughts, and now we have science to back it up. Not only do morning showers give us a fresh start to the day, but they give us extended imaginations and ingenuity.
Not only that, but for bearded readers, I have a perk for you too—a hot, steamy shower can help soften hairs for a much more comfortable morning shave.
It’s clear that morning showers rank superior to night showers for a multitude of reasons. However, there is a small case to be made on the side of the monsters (also known as night showerers) that I should address and debunk.
The heathens who shower at night may think that it’s necessary to wash off your day before you go to bed at night. After being out and sweating all day, night showerers claim that washing the grime off is essential, and to skip a shower before bed is simply unclean.
Science, once again, knocks this argument down a peg. Night showerers, you’re not sleeping in your sheets as fresh as you think you are.
Dr. Gary Goldenburg, a dermatologist in New York and a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine, points out a glaring counterargument to this misconception.
“Humans tend to perspire at night,” Dr. Goldberg noted to The New York Times. “When you wake up in the morning, there’s all this sweat and bacteria from the sheets that’s just kind of just sitting there on your skin.”
Still want to wake up without showering?
Not only is it less hygenic to shower at night, but much less healthy for your scalp and hair. Dr. George Cotsarelis, professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania, noted to The New York Times that going to sleep with wet hair is bad for your follicles, as laying against a pillow can trap moisture into your hair.
“You have different layers to each follicle, and the inner cortex can swell with water if not dried properly,” he explains. That swelling can cause the hair cuticle to rupture, and over time, lead to extensive damage.
For those who can’t sleep without a shower, or feel that their night routine is incomplete without being able to clean off and relax, I have a best-of-both-worlds compromise: shower twice. Showering twice a day is generally okay for your skin, stated Dr. Goldberg, as long as they are not too lengthy.
So if you are a monster/night showerer, I strongly urge you to rethink your routine, as it could do wonders for your cleanliness, hair health, and most importantly, your shower thoughts.