Does a shower before bedtime help you sleep?

Are you in the habit of showering before you go to bed? Or do you prefer a morning ‘wake-up’ shower?

Does having a hot shower before you go to bed make you sleep better?

In the quest for the perfect night’s sleep, we investigated the pros and cons of morning and night-time showers.

The benefits of taking a shower or bath at night

  1. Helps you wind-down

For many people, having a lovely warm shower or bath is part of their daily wind-down routine. Using a fragrant body wash with essential oils can help relax your body and mind, and help you switch-off from your busy day.

  1. Helps muscle relaxation

During the day, particular muscles can tense-up and ache. By standing under a warm shower, you can target particular muscles, and reduce the tension. This can help you relax and feel ready for a snooze.

  1. Clears the airways

The steam from your shower or bath can help clear the airways and help you breathe more easily while you sleep.

  1. Makes you feel clean and comfortable

There’s nothing like feeling fresh and clean when you slip into bed at night. Cleansing the day’s grime just feels good!

You might even try switching the water to cold as you finish your shower. This will close your skin’s pores and help reduce your overall body temperature.

  1. Helps to regulate your temperature

Your internal body clock signals when you should wake-up, eat and sleep. Also known as the circadian rhythm, it controls your hormones and other bodily functions. It tells your body when it’s time to go to bed by dropping your body temperature ever so slightly.

After warming-up in the bath or shower, your body temperature spikes. The cool-down afterwards can help lower your temperature. This leads to a more restful sleep. The Australasian Sleep Association recommends a warm bath about 90 minutes before bedtime.

Are there any disadvantages with showering a night?

The only disadvantage with a night-time shower or bath could be that it raises your body temperature a bit too much.

When you go to sleep, your core body temperature drops. Having a very hot shower or bath too close to bedtime raises your body’s core temperature. It means you might take a bit longer to reach the ideal temperature for a comfortable sleep.

What if you really like having a morning shower?

If you’re in the habit of having a morning shower, try a warm foot-bath at night. Research has shown that having a warm foot-bath may lead to a more peaceful, less wakeful sleep.