What if shower time had a direct impact on our general state of health? That's precisely what several experts are arguing. As in the case of dieting, the time we choose to do it can be key not only to our health, but also to our productivity.
So is it better to shower in the morning or in the evening? Discover the pros and cons of each option, in the words of researchers.
The morning shower: how to get your day off to a good start
It is, according to several surveys, the favorite. According to a SleepFoundation.org survey conducted in September 2022 among American adults aged 18 and over, people prefer morning showers and think it helps them start their day. Of the 1,250 people surveyed, 41.8% take a shower or bath in the morning, and 80.9% of this group say it wakes them up. But 38.4% take a shower or bath at night. Only 53.3% of this group say they do it to help them fall asleep.
According to Shelley Carson, professor of psychology at Harvard University, taking a morning shower can help boost creativity during the working week. The expert explains that when you relax, “your cognitive processes relax, renew and regenerate”, so ideas and processes appear more easily.
What's more, it helps to put the body “on alert”, to wake it up, which can make it easier to start a day, especially a working day.
Night showers: a way to promote sleep and relaxation
Christopher Winter, MD of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, promotes night showers: “This quick recovery after getting out of the shower or bath tends to be a natural sleep inducer. So it's a good way to trick your body into thinking it's time for bed. It's also essential for eliminating all the impurities accumulated throughout the day, particularly in the face of rising temperatures.
What's more, the shower, by relaxing the body and reducing cortisol levels, can help you fall asleep. Both have their advantages, although many experts agree that the nocturnal shower is preferable.
A daily shower? The benefits and dangers of excessive cleanliness
Beyond the time chosen for showering, frequency can also be a matter of debate, according to experts. Robert H. Shmerling, editor-in-chief and member of the editorial advisory board of Harvard Health Publishing, explains in an article that showering daily and intensely can have consequences.
On the other hand, “antibacterial soaps can actually kill normal bacteria. This upsets the balance of micro-organisms on the skin and encourages the emergence of stronger, less friendly organisms that are more resistant to antibiotics”. Finally, “our immune system needs some stimulation from normal micro-organisms, dirt and other environmental exposures to create protective antibodies”, explains the expert.
Ultimately, whether it's a stimulating morning shower or a relaxing night shower, the choice of time depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle. It's important to listen to your body and find the routine that works best for you.
However, it's also essential to consider the potential effects of excessive cleanliness and not to shower excessively. Good hygiene can be achieved without damaging the skin's protective barrier and the balance of micro-organisms.