For most people living in the tropics, a good cold shower at night may be a relaxing habit, but it turns out that it may be counterproductive when it comes to reducing tension and anxiety and getting a good night’s sleep, especially after a long day at work.
According to studies, heat departs our bodies as we sleep, which is why our skin feels a little warmer at night. However, this change does not occur as smoothly as we would want, interrupting our sleep.
What is the solution? A hot shower before night can help us transition more smoothly by preventing us from losing too much heat.
Check out these 7 ways a night shower can help you sleep better if you’re looking for strategies to improve your sleep.
1. Decrease Body Temperature
Have you ever felt tired in a car with the air conditioning blasting at you full blast? This is due to the decline in body temperature causing metabolic functions such as respiration and heart rate to slow down.
Using this principle, you can use a relaxing shower to lower your body temperature and signal to your body that it’s getting ready for a good night’s sleep.
Rather than taking a cold shower, which is a popular misperception about how to sleep better on a hot day, coming from a hot shower into cold air will bring body temperatures down even more dramatically.
2. Relieves Tension and Anxiety
We all suffer from tension headaches, stiff necks, and shoulder issues as a result of our desk jobs. Just before bedtime, take a hot shower to assist in dilating blood vessels and promote blood circulation, allowing the body to relax and soothe muscles.
Are you having a panic attack about your upcoming conference presentation? Warm water has also been shown to help relieve the mind of problems and greatly lessen anxiety.
3. Moisturises Skin And Clears Excess Oil
If you agree, getting into bed with excessively oily skin is one of the worst pet peeves. A good night’s sleep is impossible with sticky skin rubbing against clean soft bed linens. Simply taking a quick shower will suffice to assure a good night’s sleep.
If you have dry skin, the itching could keep you awake at night. Taking a hot shower right before bed might help open up pores, making it easier to apply a body lotion and improve absorption.
4. Helps Get Rid Of Sinuses And Allergies
When flowers bloom in the spring, allergies spread quickly, and it doesn’t get any easier when you have the sniffles right before bed.
Allergens can cling to our skin and clothing, and inhaling them can cause acute discomfort and make it difficult to sleep at night.
We can wash these allergens away and open nasal passages, relaxing sinuses, by taking a warm shower and changing into new clothing right before going to bed.
5. Clears Lungs
Nasal passages can get congested due to narrow sinuses and deposited mucus. A hot shower right before bedtime can assist rid of our lungs of allergens and drain mucous from our nose.
This can also help us avoid coughing in the middle of the night, which can cause sleep disruption.
6. Helps Migraines
Migraine-induced throbbing headaches can contribute significantly to sleep disruption or, worse, insomnia.
Migraines can be caused by a variety of factors, including a hereditary condition or overactive nerve cells that cause blood vessels to widen and tighten, resulting in throbbing pains.
Try running a hot shower for 30 seconds over your head and neck for quick relief, since this can help relax muscles and nerves.
Related: Sleep Therapy Techniques
7. Keeps your bed bug free
Dust mites feed on dead skin, therefore dirty and flaky skin can lead to an infestation. You can keep bed bugs away with a shower and a good moisturizer, and you can even save time by not having to replace the bedsheets as frequently.
However, changing your bed sheets at least once a week is recommended to kill any dust mites that may have settled in with you.
Dust mites are harmful bugs that can cause a variety of uncomfortable skin problems, which can contribute to sleep disturbances.
Effects of Hot Showers on Sleep
A growing body of evidence suggests that a hot shower or bath before bedtime will help you sleep better. The core body temperature of a human normally cools in the hours leading up tonight, while the skin temperatures of the hands and feet rise.
Immersing the body in warm water, according to scientists, improves this natural temperature control process, resulting in better sleep. The “warm bath effect” has been coined by scientists to describe this phenomenon.
The warm bath effect is supported by research. Taking an evening shower or bath in water between 104 and 108.5 degrees Fahrenheit enhances sleep quality, according to a meta-analysis of 17 studies.
Bathing or showering one to two hours before bedtime helps people sleep faster. Warm water, according to the study, increases blood flow to the hands and feet, allowing body heat to exit more quickly.
Taking a hot bath one to three hours before night also helped older persons fall asleep faster, according to a recent study.
Before night, take a warm bath or shower to help with more than just sleep. A bath between 104.5 and 106 degrees Fahrenheit decreased blood pressure4 before and during sleep in a study of older persons, especially when administered less than an hour before bedtime.
When suffering from a cold, some individuals also take a hot shower before going to bed, as inhaling heated steam is a traditional home cure for nasal congestion.
Although there is no current evidence to support the advantages of steam for nasal congestion, you may want to give it a try to see if it helps.
Get three months of the Slumber app for free when you sign up.
If you sign up for our email, we’ll give you a free three-month membership to the Slumber sleep app (a $24 value). Fill out the form below to receive your free gift. We value your privacy very much.
Effects of Cold Showers on Sleep
Cold showers have been used to try to optimize body temperature during sleep, with variable success. According to one study, athletes who spend ten minutes in cold water after an evening workout experience a reduction in core body temperature, fewer overnight arousals, and a higher proportion of deep sleep in the first three hours of sleep.
Not every cold shower study has shown positive results. Another study discovered that immersing in cold water after an evening workout elevates core body temperature at first, but subsequently drops it four to five hours later. However, this drop in body temperature does not appear to have an impact on sleep quality.
The participants in the study also had a faster heart rate. Coldwater immersion following an evening training session had no effect on sleep in a similar trial of youth soccer players8.
Because of the stimulating characteristics of cold water, cold showers may not improve sleep. Cortisol and norepinephrine levels rise when you swim in cold water.
Cortisol is important in increasing alertness, and as a result, cortisol levels in the body normally decrease as one prepares for sleep. Participants in one study compared the energy increase of a cold shower to the effects of coffee consumption.
Bathing in cold water, on the other hand, may provide health benefits unrelated to sleep.
Coldwater is sometimes used by athletes to relieve muscle stiffness and weariness. Although not all of these benefits have been scientifically proven, many reports that cold showers11 improve mood and improve blood flow for healthier skin and hair.
Immersion in cold water has also been linked to improved metabolism and a stronger immune system. According to one study, including even one minute of cold water at the end of a shower routine reduces the number of sick days a person takes during flu season by roughly one-third.
Hot vs. Cold Showers: Which One Is Better for Sleep?
More studies show that taking a warm or hot shower in the evening helps you sleep better. Cold showers, on the other hand, may help athletes minimize muscle stiffness, which may help them sleep better by lowering discomfort.
If you’re going to take a shower at night to help you sleep, consider having a warm shower rather than one that’s steaming hot. Hot water has been shown to induce more severe fluctuations in blood pressure in older persons, according to research.
Researchers are still trying to figure out when the optimal time is to shower before bed. The majority of data suggests that showering one to two hours before night allows the body to attain the proper temperature for sleep.