If you're a morning shower, listen up. There might be more reason to shower in the evening, based on science. Turns out, there are a few things that can happen to better your body when you shower at night and not first thing upon waking up. Plus, it can also affect how well you sleep, too, so you'll feel more well rested the following day. Getting those 7-9 hours a night is super important for feeling productive and energized regularly, and simply taking a shower at night could be an instant fix for those wasted hours, tossing and turning.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on finding a hygiene routine that works for their schedules. Maintaining self-care practices, from basic things like showering and brushing your teeth, to more complex and time-consuming, like finding time to exercise, meditate, journal, or power down and separate yourself from the world for a bit, can keep you levelheaded and balanced each day. Plus, beyond the mental aspects of better hygiene practices, there are several physiological benefits too, such as clearing the skin and preventing sickness. Here are 6 reasons you should actually turn the hot water on before bed, instead of before breakfast. Try it out for a week and see how your body feels.
1. You Can Get Acne
If you're jumping into your sheets and laying your head down on the pillow with oil and sweat on your body from the day, it could lead to acne, says David Lortscher, MD, Board-certified dermatologist and founder of Curology over email with Bustle. "Cleansing your body with zinc soap can also help combat body acne. I recommend trying a zinc pyrithione soap, such as Noble Formula 2% Pyrithione Zinc Bar Soap (non-vegan version is advised, as the vegan bar has cocoa butter, which can trigger breakout in some people)," says Lortscher.
2. It Fights Seasonal Allergies
If you have seasonal allergies, like an allergy to pollen for instance, it can get on your and skin and clothes and come back home with you from the outdoors. Unless you're taking a nightly shower to get the residue off, it will get in your sheets and can make your symptoms worse, even as you sleep, says Lortscher. Plus, this could interfere with getting enough rest, too.
3. It Promotes Relaxation
Based on science, warmth and heat can ease tension and anxiety, promoting relaxation, says Lortscher. It makes sense then that "it may be mentally relaxing to end the day with a shower; the warmth can help you destress from a long day and bring on sleep," Lortscher adds. A shower or bath is fine, based on preference.
4. It Promotes Healthier Skin
"Growth hormones, for example, regulate how quickly your skin turns over. While, sex hormones impact the size of your sebaceous glands. Both hormones peak at night, so bathing at night removes any external stimuli from your skin’s surface, keeping your hormones in optimal balance," says Dr. Bobby Buka, a dermatologist in New York City, over email with Bustle. "In other words, an evening shower gives your skin-favorable hormones the best opportunity to do their job," Buka says.
5. You'll Get Germs On Your Pillow
Turns out, there is a lot of bacteria on your head, so if you go to sleep without washing your hair in the shower for too many nights in a row, it could make your bed contaminated and your face prone to acne. Dr. Schlessinger, a dermatologist and RealSelf contributor explains over email with Bustle, "hair collects an inordinate amount of bacteria in a given day. This happens when hair touches the back of seats (airplanes are a great example!), many of which haven't EVER been cleaned. This same hair then touches your pillow, which then touches your face as you sleep," Schlessinger explains.
6. It's Better For Your Hair
More with hair, if you have to wash your hair at night, you can easily air dry it as you sleep, especially if you have curly hair. This helps lock in moisture and keeps you from getting sick (where you don't need to go outside in the cold breeze with wet hair). You'll wake up with softer, healthier hair, as well.
If you're still on the fence, consider what might happen if you switch up your routine for one week. Try it out, and see if there's a difference. It's not a huge deal when you shower, as long as you're doing it, but here are a few reasons to get on board.