Should You Shower Before Bed?

Should You Shower Before Bed?

Do you shower at night or in the morning? Do you turn the tap to cold to wake up, or feel relaxed and ready for bed after a warm shower?

It turns out when and how we shower might play a significant role in sleep quality.

Everyone has different hygiene habits. However, incorporating a warm shower into your bedtime routine could be the key to falling asleep faster and getting a good night’s sleep.

The benefits of showering before bed

According to one study, showering before bed helps people drift off faster and fall into a deeper sleep right away.

Incorporating a relaxing shower into your bedtime routine can signal to your body that it’s time to wind down for sleep.

There are other benefits to a warm evening shower:

  • Calming your mind before bed
  • Going to bed clean
  • Lower body temperature in time to sleep

The crucial elements, it seems, are timing and temperature.

Shower 1-2 hours before bed

Showering too soon before sleep can raise your body temperature, resulting in the opposite of the desired effect. Time your shower for around 90 minutes before bed, giving your body time to cool down.

Not too hot

Warm showers are better than hot before bed. A meta-analysis of studies on water-based passive body heating (PBHWB, also known as a warm shower) found a 40-42.5°C shower 1-2 hours before bed can improve sleep.

The effect of hot showers before bed

Why are warm showers before bed relaxing? It has to do with the body’s circadian rhythm, which regulates body temperature in a 24-hour cycle.

Our bodies naturally cool down during the night. Most of the heat escapes through our skin and extremities, allowing our core temperature to drop.

Taking a warm shower 1-2 hours before bed can aid this process by warming the skin and encouraging blood flow to our hands and feet. Therefore, heat can escape faster, stimulating the circadian rhythm for better quality sleep.

This same cooling cycle is why OLARA bamboo sheets keep you comfortable at night. Bamboo fabric prevents heat from getting trapped, allowing your body to cool at the correct rate and warm up towards morning.

The effect of cold showers before bed

What about cold showers before bed?

If the goal is to cool the body down, you can be forgiven for thinking a cold shower helps. But like warm water stimulates cooling, cold water sends signals encouraging the body to warm up in response.

Some high-performance athletes swear by cold showers to relieve muscle tension before bed. And there are many health benefits associated with taking a cold shower.

However, the science suggests we are better off having a cold shower in the morning to shake off sleep inertia and kick-start the body’s metabolism.

The bottom line on warm and cold showers before bed

So it seems like the answer to the age-old question “should you shower before bed or in the morning?” is…yes.

Try incorporating a warm shower into your bedtime routine to see if it improves sleep quality. Ultimately, when and how you shower comes down to what benefits you the most.

There is no conclusive evidence just yet, although researchers are working hard to puzzle this one out.

Perhaps the answer will come to them unexpectedly in the shower.

Back to blog