Everyone has different preferences for showering. But you may not realize that your stance on the morning-versus-evening shower debate may actually have more of an effect on your health than you realize. So if you're wondering
what time is best to shower, there are some important variables that experts want you to understand.
Showering is primarily about maintaining your hygiene, but
the best time to take a shower has a lot more to do with your personal health and physical needs than you might realize. "Showers are there to help you and your surroundings stay clean," Caleb Backe, health and wellness expert at Maple Holistics, tells Bustle. "This means that while showering in the morning might make you feel more invigorated for the day ahead, an evening shower is more hygienic in the long-run." So even if you swear by your shower habits, you may not actually be doing what's best for your body. How you shower can affect your skin, your hair, and even your gynecological health. When you decide to shower, in turn, can influence things even further. That's why, despite your particular shower time allegiances, it may be worth examining how your body may be affected in the process. But if you decide to stick with how you've always done things — that's fine too. There's really never a bad time to get clean.
Here are the seven best and worst times of day to shower, according to experts.
Showering in the morning is a bit of a tossup — but generally quite good for your health. You may be exposing yourself to more opportunities to get dirty throughout the day, but there are a variety of special benefits of showering in the morning.
"Most humans sweat throughout the night, so a morning shower does have certain benefits," Backe says. "In other words, it means you get to start the day fresh. Additionally, morning showers have the added benefit of providing a sort of early-morning meditation session. It allows you to regroup before a hectic day, which can
physically decrease inflammation and psychologically put you in a better mood to the face the day ahead." So even if you may not be the cleanest by nightfall, you've been experiencing day-long benefits that people who shower at night don't get. Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock
Unlike the morning-versus-night shower debate, showering in the middle of the day is generally agreed upon by experts as suboptimal.
"There are few benefits to showering in the middle of the day," Backe says. "It might be just what you need to reinvigorate yourself for the rest of the day’s activities, but in terms of hygiene, it’s practically irrelevant. You have the rest of the day to expose your skin and hair to the pollutants around you before climbing into bed and spreading the germs." So showering midday may be a good idea if you have a specific need, but may not be the best daily habit.
Regardless of your personal preferences, the best of all times to shower is probably at night.
"If you want to feel like you’re a master of hygiene, then a nighttime shower is your best bet," Backe says. "You get into bed clean, effectively minimizing the spreading of germs from the day’s events. There’s also reason to believe that a nighttime shower can improve your sleep quality as it raises the temperature of your skin, allowing for a faster cool-down." As long as you try to avoid
sleeping with wet hair, an evening shower is probably going to be a good idea.
4: Worst: Nighttime (If You Take Long Showers)
While there are some universal truths, your personal shower habits can influence when during the day is the best or worst time to shower. Because of this, for certain people, the generally "best" time to shower — nighttime — can actually be less healthy.
"It’s important to keep your nighttime shower to a minimum," Sujay Kansagra, Mattress Firm’s
sleep health expert and the director of Duke University’s Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program, tells Bustle. "It should last between five and 15 minutes to ensure your body is relaxed and not energized by the excessive heat." So if you cannot compromise on the length of your shower, then it's probably not best to bathe right before bed.
Worst: If You've Already Showered Today
While showering more than once a day on occasion can be just fine, you should probably hold off on that second shower if two (or more) showers a day is normal for you.
"There isn't really a wrong time to shower, and you can shower more than once a day, but excessive showering and lathering can strip the skin of it's moisture, so it's important to be keep that in mind," Susan Bard, MD, of
Manhattan Dermatology Specialists, tells Bustle. "And always remember to moisturize post-shower to lock in that moisture." When you do shower twice, try to take care of your skin, and perhaps plan ahead so that you won't need to make a habit of showering so much in the future.
Best: After A Morning Or Midday Workout
While a midday shower may not generally be a good idea; there's an exception if you've just come from the gym. Showering after a morning or midday workout is essential for your health.
"If you're working out midday or in the morning, you should definitely shower right after to prevent overgrowth of yeast and bacteria in a sweaty environment," Dr. Bard says. If you don't have time for a shower after your workout, you may want to change your schedule around a bit.
Best: When You're Feeling Stressed
Stress is unfortunately a pretty common part of daily life. So whatever time of day it is, being stressed, and looking for some relief in the form of a shower, may override any of the potential drawbacks of the "wrong" times of day to shower.
"[Showering] can also be a very soothing and calming experience," Dr. Bard says. "Ideally we should use the shower to wash the day, and everything we've encountered throughout the day, away." While showering at night is ideal for combined de-stressing and hygienic reasons, it's good to know that occasionally changing things up in order to unwind probably won't hurt your health.
In the end, personal preference may end up outweighing the differences between showering midday, in the morning, or at night for you. Still, however, it can be good to know that doctors really do recommend post-workout showers, and want you to be more aware of timing if your showers are particularly long. So if you're thinking about changing up your routine, taking into account when you shower may be more important than you realize.