Modern life has left us not much time to spend on ourselves. You need to wake up early in the morning, commute a long way, even have lunch at work, return to your home on the same long way.
But you should find a way to recover and lose all the exhaustion. It may seem impossible, but in fact, there is a magical solution: taking a shower before bed.
Some other questions may arise. Which is better: cold shower or hot shower? Can it help you sleep better? Is it helpful in getting more relaxed and have better working days? Do they have any side effects that you need to take care of? In the following article, we will discuss everything you need to know about taking a shower before bed. So, in the end, you have exactly what you need.
Is It Necessary to Take a Shower Before Bed?
The first question that should be asked is that is it necessary to take a shower before bed at all? Before answering this question, you should know that sleep and the body’s core temperature are regulated by some kind of a bio-clock called a circadian clock. So, to find out if taking a shower before bed has positive health effects, we should learn more about this body clock.
What is a Circadian Clock?
According to the CDC, circadian rhythms are internally driven cycles that rise and fall during the 24-hour day. These rhythms help you fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning. The circadian clock has an internally driven 24-hour rhythm that tends to run longer than 24 hours but resets every day by the sun’s light/dark cycle.
To put it simply, the circadian clock is the alarm clock for your body. This clock not only regulates the sleep-wake cycles but also controls your hormonal activity, body temperature, and even eating and digesting system.
What Is the Relationship Between Circadian Clock and Sleeping?
Studies show that the core body temperature minimum strongly affects the body’s clock. Heart rate and other cellular processes such as cellular metabolism have important effects on the circadian clock too.
There are numerous studies about the relationship between taking a shower and the circadian clock. For example, a study performed by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine shows that the temperature of the brain, which is cooled by using a special cap in this study, helped people whit insomnia to sleep more and better.
This study suggests that taking a shower before bed can have significant effects on the quality of sleep. Of course, the study indicates that both cold and hot showers are useful but people may prefer one over the other.
Now, we know that taking shower before bed whether hot or cold can help in having better sleep quality. But let’s dig deeper and find more information about the benefits of taking a hot or cold shower before bed.
Why It Is Good To Have a Hot Shower Before Bed?
It is better to mention that taking a hot shower does not mean adjusting water temperature so hot that you cannot bear it. In fact, lukewarm water works the best here. So, while speaking about having hot water it actually means moderate hot water. Now, let us speak more about the benefits of a lukewarm water shower before bed.
1.Hot Shower Can Cure Insomnia
As mentioned earlier, taking a hot shower before bed can balance the body’s core temperature and cure insomnia. balancing the brain temperature can help people suffering insomnia to fall asleep in 13 minutes. They can also sleep uninterrupted as normal people.
2.Hot Shower Relaxes the Muscles
Muscles on your arms, legs, shoulders, or back suffer from a hard stressful workday. You can relax these muscles by taking a shower. It is also due to this fact that athletes take hot water right after finishing a training session or a match. By taking a hot shower right before bed, you are giving them the relaxation they need to recover.
3.Hot Shower Reduces Fatigue
This can be a direct result of muscle relaxation. Taking a hot shower quickly reduces fatigue. If you take a hot shower before bed, you would have a good chance of sleeping better at night. This happens because your body will not struggle to recover from the stressful day that has passed.
4.Hot Shower Improves Circulation
Hot water can loosen joints, tendons, and tissues in your body and improves blood circulation. It can also relieve headaches and reduce inflammation. You can consider taking a hot shower before bed as having a great massage every night.
5.Hot Shower Cleans the Skin
This is the simplest effect of taking a hot shower before bed. No one likes to sleep while thinking about all the dirt, and oils on the skin. But taking a hot shower before a bed opens the pores on the skin, making it as clean as possible. It will also help the skin breathe better at the end of the day.
There is an important point here that should not be missed. While taking a shower helps you have clean skin, you must make sure that the water that you are using has the best quality. The water that you are using may be polluted with chemicals such as chlorine, arsenic, or ammonia.
The situation gets worse if you are taking a hot shower. Many chemicals get vaporized in hot water and you can inhale them while taking a shower. The best way to guarantee the quality of water is to use a shower filter.
6.Hot Shower Relieves Coughs
If you work in a crowded city or somewhere polluted, there is a good chance that you experience coughing when you want to sleep at night. This is because dust and dirt or tiny airborne particles have polluted the mucus in the respiratory system. Having a hot shower can clean the way and help you get rid of coughs easily.
Why It Is Good to Have a Cold Shower Before Bed?
Just like hot water, taking a cold shower before bed can have positive effects on your body too. Of course, it is more common to take a hot shower before bed, but it is up to your preference.
1.Cold Shower Stimulates the Immune System
The human body tries to adjust itself to conditions. For example, the body understands that the weather is becoming cold and them tweaks the immune system to protect you from the harmful effects of cold weather. The same happens when taking cold water.
While taking a cold shower, the body speeds up the metabolism and increases white blood cell protection by triggering the immune system. This, in turn, places your body in a better situation to fight against viruses and bacteria.
2.Cold Shower Increases Alertness
Increasing blood circulation by the cold shower will result in more awareness. This may sound odd because you want to free your head from thoughts before going to bed, but if you are that kind of person that needs to solve all issues of the day before sleeping, this extra awareness can help you find some solutions and free your mind from negative thoughts.
3.Cold Shower Helps You Lose Weight
This is a little more complicated. When your body feels cold, it produces brown fat cells to keep you warm. These fat cells burn more energy and increase your metabolism. In other words, you are burning more calories simply by taking a cold shower before bed. It may seem like a science fiction movie, but this way, you can start losing weight while sleeping!
4.Cold Shower Stimulates Antidepression Hormones
The cold shower can produce a natural effect in your body which is called a fight or flight response. According to “Wisdom of the Body” by Walter Cannon, the fight or flight response is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. This activates the sympathetic nervous system. This process causes a wave of beta-endorphins and noradrenaline in your brain and have an anti-depressant effect. And it goes without saying that happier people have better sleep quality.
5.Cold Shower Reduces Hair Loss
The last but not the least advantage of taking a cold shower before bed is its effect on hair quality. Taking a cold shower before bed helps in cleaning hair from dust and dirt. It will also help retain moisture and reduce breakage. Studies show that a cold shower can also reduce hair loss. So, if you are worried about the quality of your hair, maybe taking a cold shower before bed can help you solve the problem.
6.Cold Shower Gives You Shiny Skin
The benefits of cold shower are not limited to hair. It also has great positive effect on your skin too. Cold shower can increase blood circulation that helps you have a brighter skin. It can reduce aging effects and make your brain release hormones to fight stress. Cold shower also tightens skin pores that will result in soft and smooth skin.
Are There Any Negative Effects for Hot and Cold Shower Before Bed?
There is nothing without any negative effects. While taking a hot or cold shower has lots of advantages, you should consider some of the negative effects they may have.
While we mentioned that taking a cold shower can improve your immune system, it is not a good idea to go under cold water if you are sick. The process will decrease your body temperature, and as it is vulnerable, coming back to the safe temperature will take a lot more time. If you use medications for insomnia, taking a cold shower before bed is not recommended too.
Hot water has also its problems. It can cause dryness for your skin and you will need to use skin moisturizers after taking a hot shower. It is also not recommended to take a hot shower before bed if you have high blood pressure. If you have any sort of cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure, it is better not to take hot showers before bed.
A simple yet effective way of relaxing and recovering after a long and hard workday is taking a shower. You can either take a cold shower or a hot shower according to your preferences. Both of them have a lot of advantages for your body.
A hot shower can relax the muscles, lower body tension, remove headaches, reduce swelling, and anxiety. On the other hand, a cold shower can stimulate the immune system, increase awareness, stimulate anti-depression hormones, and boost your metabolism. It will also help you have shiny and moisturized hair.
Before starting a routine for having a shower before bed, make sure that you know the possible negative effects and consult your physician if necessary.
Do you get a shower before bed? How do you think it can improve your health? If you have useful experiences about taking shower before bedtime, you can share it in the comments section.