Do you like to take a morning shower, or do you prefer to clean up before going to bed? Whether you choose to cleanse your body in the morning or night doesn’t matter. It’s about getting clean. So, which method is the best?
It’s an age-old debate that probably has been going on since the cavemen were rinsing off from their day in basins. Even with all the advancements in science and health, there is still no clear answer to this dilemma. Indeed, we might never have a clear answer–just personal choice. However, you can use science and studies to make an educated decision on when you should shower.
Of course, you must also consider your personal preference as there is no right or wrong answer. Some might say that the answer is just as murky as used bathwater. If you prefer to shower at night, then your theory is that it’s good to wash away all the dirt and grime from the day before you get into bed.
Those individuals who prefer a morning shower like to wash away all the sweat and debris from the night. Since some people sweat heavily during their sleep, it’s understandable how washing away the nighttime and having a fresh start to the day is the way to go.
The sad fact is that you can take a shower but still spread germs and such around on your sheets. It’s common for humans to sweat at night, and all the bacteria that you collect and generate throughout the night are on your sheets and your body. The germs are just sitting on your skin, waiting to make you smell and feel gross during the day.
Advantages of a Morning Shower
The argument for a morning shower is that you start your day fresh and clean, putting you in the right mindset for success. A shower is refreshing and awakens you so that you can be more alert for your day. If you need a creative boost to get you going, or you have a hard time waking up in the am, then a morning shower may be a better choice for you.
Everyone experiences sleep inertia, and it can last for 15-30 minutes after you rise. Your body is starting to wake up and get all your systems going. It can take some people longer than others. A morning shower can help you shake off that sleep inertia and step out on the right note.
Did you know that many people plan their day and deliberate about their problems while letting the hot water pour over their bodies? It’s in these moments that you have a few minutes to ponder your life, and what better time than when you’re lathering up your soap and cleansing away dirt and grime from your rest. Might as well wash a little bit of negativity down the drain too.
A scientific argument for a morning shower is that the hot water activates your “alpha brain waves,” which are known for giving you clarity about your life and situations that you must handle. Some believe it’s like the zoning out experience that you have when you’re doing exercise or meditations as it can get your creative juices flowing.
Advantages of an Evening Shower
Now, if you prefer to wash off the bacteria from the day in a night shower, then you couldn’t imagine changing your bath schedule. Some argue that since you’re rolling around on the sheets, the germs are spread on the surface rather than piling on top of your skin. Additionally, taking a shower before you go to sleep can help set the mood for a good night of rest.
A study showed that if you take a bath about an hour and a half before you go to bed, it will improve your ability to sleep well during the night. Though it was specifically looking at baths, their investigation focused on the warmth felt from the waters, so it can easily apply to a bath or a shower, either one.
Did you know that your body cools down at night, and your circadian rhythm or internal body clock winds down so that you can drift into dreamland? When you take a shower, it raises your body’s temperature ever so slightly, which kickstarts your body into going into the cooling down process. So, it makes it easier for you to sleep, which is ideal for those who suffer from sleep disturbances like insomnia.
What About Baths?
What if you could care less about the time of day you shower but prefer to take a bath and soak away your troubles? Some argue that baths are nasty because you’re sitting in your bacteria and grime washed from your body. Others don’t care because the warm water eases their tired muscles and feels invigorating.
• Old School Bathhouses
Did you know that bathing has been popular since the Middle Ages? While people weren’t as lucky as a civilization today to have indoor plumbing and tubs, they would gather in bathhouses spread throughout the cities. The Egyptians were the ones who revered the bath as they were fanatics about keeping their bodies clean.
Soap was invented around 2,000 B.C., and before this time, people would use things like olive oil to cleanse their skin and scrape it off with a unique tool. You’ve probably heard of The Roman bathhouses as they were made famous by the people in Italy.
A bath in one of these houses was not just an opportunity to get clean, but it was also a reason to come together and assemble. These baths had a cold room that they called a frigidarium. You started here to get your body ready for the tub. Then you went to the warm room, aka the Tepidarium.
The last room was the hot room or the caldarium. The final step in the cleansing process was to take a lovely, cool dip in the swimming pool. Remember, this was before the days of chlorine and other pool cleansers, so can you imagine the bacteria in those pools?
The churches deemed these sinful places. Thus, church leaders stepped in during the 16th century to begin closing these places, which became obsolete shortly after.
They were concerned about the number of children being born from sinful acts in these houses as well as people’s desire to spend more time congregating in the bathhouse and less time in service. Thankfully, history was already moving beyond the need for public bathing as more families installed bathrooms in their homes.
By the 14th century, people had begun to build tub structures from trees to put in their bedrooms. The Palace of Westminster was the first official residence to receive a bathroom, and Edward III ordered it. The baths were mostly with cold water unless they took the time to heat a cauldron.
During the 19th century, everything changed. By the late 1800s, bathrooms were commonplace in households, and residents enjoyed taking a warm bath thanks to Benjamin Maughan and his invention of the gas water heater. Baths became more a part of a daily ritual as people didn’t need to travel to a bathhouse or heat water. In this century, toothpaste, paper towels, soap, and other toiletries also became commonplace.
History is fascinating to learn, and you can now see where your daily bathing habits originated. But, it still doesn’t answer whether it’s clean to take a bath. The truth is you’re not getting clean, even if you use soap, by sitting in a tub of water.
Your body sheds about 30,000 skin cells every hour, which is a significant amount. So not only do you have all the filth you wash from your body, but you also have tons of dead skin cells floating around in your water. How can you possibly get clean when you’re sitting in a tub full of bacteria?
If you like to take a bath for the therapeutic benefits that it brings, then rinse off in a quick shower afterward. There are about 200,000 bacteria per square inch in your tub. Thus, it’s easy to see that you’re not doing yourself a favor by soaking to get clean.
Whether you prefer a bath or a shower doesn’t matter, the point is that you get clean the way that feels comfortable for you. As to when you take that shower, again, preference comes into play. The ideal thing would be to shower in the evening and then again in the morning, but many people don’t have extra time.
Essentially, your shower schedule appears to depend on whether you require more help going to sleep at night or if you need help with getting your body and mental juices flowing first thing in the morning. There truly is no wrong time of day to get clean.