Healthy Sleep

IS IT BETTER TO SHOWER IN THE MORNING OR AT NIGHT?

December 27th 2016
Is It Better to Shower in the Morning or At Night?

The Ultimate Question: Is It Better to Shower in the Morning or At Night?

It’s about time we tackle the age-old debate on showering. Are you a morning shower person or an evening shower person?

Generally, your shower time depends on your lifestyle and hygiene preferences. Some people prefer to soap up at night so they can feel relaxed before bedtime approaches, while others enjoy starting off their day with a refreshing boost.

There’s really no right or wrong answer to this, but we just HAD TO ask 781 respondents in Australia “When Should Someone Shower?”. Here’s what we found:

Ecosa graph on the time of taking a shower

The results show an overall preference for showering in the morning than at night. Specifically, 42.3% of people prefer showering in the morning, while 29.2% of people shower before bed, and 28.5% shower BOTH in the morning and before bed.

And guess what? SCIENCE can back up both choices. It’ll tell us why some prefer showering in the morning, and why some just love showering in the evening.

Sleep experts and some dermatologists, however, recommend showering before bed for pretty good reasons.

What Are Evening Showers Good For?

It’s the best option for night owls.

If you want a longer morning snooze time, evening showers will do the trick. Imagine saving an extra 20 minutes or more because you already showered the night before!

It’s also great for people who want to fall asleep faster.

When you shower at night, the rapid decline in body temperature after drying off can send a signal to the brain that it’s time for bed. Your brain then becomes relaxed, helping your circadian rhythm reduce the time it takes for you to fall asleep, improving your sleep quality. 

It compliments skin routines.

Some dermatologists recommend night showers as this can wash off all the impurities, dead skin cells, and pollution from your skin. You may not realise it, but you’ve come in contact with free radicals, air pollution, and just dirt in general from an entire day outside.

The warm steam from a hot shower can open up the pores - deep-cleansing and exfoliating your skin altogether. But if you already have dry skin, remember to use lukewarm water to avoid drying your skin too much!

Showering at night is usually best practised by people with acne-prone skin or sensitive skin to avoid dirt accumulation in the face.

In the same survey we rolled out, we had a look at the time of day men and women preferred taking showers. Our data show that women prefer showering before bed than men.

Ecosa graph on time of showering and gender

From this, we can infer a few things:

  • Some women have a more elaborate skin care routine than men, hence needing more cleansing for the face and body at night.

  • Some men might prefer going straight to bed and showering the day after instead.

Disclaimer: The numbers and inferences are limited by the profile of the survey respondents and the data that has been collected from them. 

How About Morning Showers?

Now flipping to the other side of the coin - the morning people.

Dr Shelley Carson, a Harvard University psychology lecturer, says a morning shower can give a person the boost they need to kickstart the day. This is due to the human brain entering the alpha wave state - where the brain slowly wakes up, regenerates and gets ready for a hectic day at work.

The alpha brain wave provides the most ideal state for creative activities. The best thoughts and ideas spring here. Just like it’s often said – nothing’s better than a deep breath of fresh air after a steamy shower.

In a sense, a morning shower is like quick and efficient meditation that prepares one’s brain for all the activities to come during the day.

For people who tend to sweat a lot, a morning shower can wash off all the sticky stuff off the skin and help start the day feeling and smelling fresh.

The downside of a morning shower? You’ll have to get up first thing to get to work on time! But the energising feeling from a morning shower might just outweigh the grudge of having a few minutes less sleep.

Age Matters for Showers

More interestingly, we found out that age can play a role in the time of showering.

Based on our data, the older you get, the more likely you are to have showers in the morning.

Ecosa graph on time of showering and age

Age groups 18-24 and 25-34 are probably students or are entry-level employees with a lot of energy to shower at night. Meanwhile, age groups 35-44 and 45-54 are probably full-time workers and/or parents who can't find the time to shower at night so they shower in the morning instead. Finally, age group 65+ might be facing some mobility issues so their showering at night is greatly decreased.

Disclaimer: These are all generalisations tying the data we have and what we know about the human life cycle. It may or may not be the same for you! 

Your Showering Time Depends on Your Lifestyle and Hygiene Preferences

On the whole, when you shower greatly depends on how you live your life and how clean you want to be before you sleep or before you start the day.