Should You Take a Cold Shower Before Bed?
Turning the faucet to the blue side is becoming more popular every day as people discover the amazing benefits of cold showers.
The power of these frosty blasts is becoming more clear by the day, but should you take a cold shower before bed?
Let’s look at what the best time to take a shower is and see if it should be hot or cold.
Should You Shower Before Bed?
This question can only be answered by you, as you are the only one who truly knows how stinky and dirty you are.
However, we know the real question here is, how is a shower before bed going to affect your sleep?
The answer, in almost all cases, is that a shower before bed is a beneficial thing.
Not only do showers get you clean, but they can promote sleep as well.
You have a sort of internal clock, called circadian rhythm that controls your sleep cycles. It can regulate your body temperature to help with both sleepiness and alertness.
It does this through signaling hormones to be released, and by changing the body temperature.
Showers can also help signal to your body and mind that it is time to sleep by changing the temperature of our bodies.
The sleepy signal comes when your body temperature is lowered. So that means a cold shower is better before bed, right?
While a cold shower can lower our body temperature, it can also increase alertness by signaling hormones to be released.
That brings us to the next question, which is better before bed then, hot or cold?
Should You Take a Hot or Cold Shower Before Bed?
The answer to this question solely relies on what exactly you want from the shower.
The simple answer is to choose whatever shower will make you more comfortable before bed on that particular night.
This can change on a day by day basis, but more often than not, a warm or lukewarm shower will be your best option for a comfortable shower.
A hot shower can dry out the skin and cause itchiness, and a cold shower may actually wake you up more depending on the situation.
That's not to say that you should never choose a hot or cold shower before bed because they both can have their benefits.
For example, a hot shower before bed may be better when you are sick or sore, as the steam may relieve congestion and soothe achy muscles.
On the other hand, a cold shower may be better before bed if you need to fight some stress and help to take your mind off the worries of the day.
To more fully understand which temperature of shower is better before bed, we need to understand the benefits of each one better.
The Benefits of a Hot Shower Before Bed
Warmer water will help to ease and relax your muscles.
As your muscles relax and tension is released, you will begin to feel more comfortable and ready for bed.
Stress & Anxiety Relief
A rush of hot water can quickly calm your mind. Taking a hot shower is a great way to think and unwind.
Hot showers have a more comfortable way of fighting stress, whereas a cold shower may get your mind off things in a "shock to the system" kind of way.
The steam from hot water can naturally act a decongestant when you are feeling under the weather.
If you have taken a hot shower with a cold or sinus infection, you know that they can be a lifesaver and can significantly increase your comfort level.
Headache & Migraine Relief
Just thinking about work, family, or what you have to do the next day can spark a headache or even a migraine.
Luckily, hot showers may be able to provide you some relief before you attempt to hit the hay.
Hot showers can improve your circulation and relax muscles that may be contributing to the problem.
A warmer temperature of water relaxes and opens your pores and allows the water to soak into them to get a better cleanse.
Not only does hot water help to achieve a better and deeper clean, but it also just makes you feel cleaner.
Just the feeling that you are squeaky clean can help you get more comfortable before bed.
Benefits of Cold Showers Before Bed
Boosts the Immune System
The shock of going from warm to cold water can spark your lymphatic system.
This system is the part of your immune system that helps fight disease and rid your body of toxins.
It never hurts to give the old immune system a friendly nudge before bed.
Helps Fight Depression
Research shows that cold showers can help fight depression by helping to release noradrenaline.
Noradrenaline is responsible for mobilizing the brain and can help improve your mood.
Helps Prevent Dry Skin
Choosing to avoid hot water eliminates the drying that comes from the heat of the water.
Coldwater will help close the pores and seal in moisture.
Reduces Swelling & Inflammation
While a brisk shower can be uncomfortable, it can help to reduce swelling and inflammation.
The cold can provide comfort and relief by giving achy joints a rest, which can be enough for you to fall asleep in peace.
While this may seem like the last thing you want if you are trying to go to bed, it can help in some cases.
Sometimes a shower may not be the last task you need to accomplish for the evening.
A cold shower can give you a little energy and awareness while you complete your final items of business before bed.
For the full list of the fantastic benefits of cold showers, check out our article on the 15 Insane Benefits of Cold Showers!.
Is it Better to Shower in the morning or at night?
Now that you know that showering before bed can be very helpful, what about showers in the morning when you wake up.
Many rely on the impact of cold water to wake them, while others can't even bear the thought of taking a cold shower.
The general guideline with hot water is that you will get cleaner, but it doesn't have the same waking power.
This being said, everyone is different, and there is no clear answer to this question.
Taking what we have learned, it again comes down to what benefits you want from your shower.
In the end, if you don't need to choose between showering in the morning or evening, you can always shower twice a day!
If you are still confused about whether you should take a hot or cold shower before bed, the good news is you don't have to choose.
Now that you know both temperatures before bed can be a good idea know that you can also enjoy the benefits of both during the same shower.
Many experts say the healthiest way to get clean is to use the power of both hot and cold water in the same washing session.
You can use the hot water first to open the pores and cleanse with the help of your soap. Then you can finish off with a cold blast to help close your pores and fight the dryness caused by the hot water.
Using the powerful combination of both hot and cold can help you get to bed knowing you're clean, as well as avoiding that dry and itchy feeling.
Also, if you are concerned about washing your hair with hot or cold water, know that the same principles apply, and both hot and cold work excellent in their own way.