If you stumble into the shower first thing in the morning, you might want to rethink this—especially if you’re having any sleep issues.
Dr. Whitney Roban, a sleep specialist at Solve Our Sleep, told Well + Good that getting better sleep is one of the best reasons to bathe at night. This is because our sleep and wake cycle—known as the circadian rhythm—is determined by light and body temperature.
When your body temperature decreases, melatonin increases to induce sleep. Because your body temperature drops when you get out of a warm shower, melatonin will thereby increase and help you fall asleep faster.
For this to work, though, you want to make sure the water isn’t too hot. According to Dr. Temitayo Oyegbile-Chidi, a sleep neurologist, a super-hot shower can be energizing, which, obviously, is the opposite of what you want before bed. Shoot for a warm temp that allows you to enter a cooldown state soon afterward.
You also want to avoid bathing too early in the evening. Dr. Roban recommends showering about 30 minutes before bed, and then performing the rest of your nighttime routine afterward.
“You don’t want to take a shower and that be your whole routine,” she said. “You want to make sure that once you get out, you’re doing something, another relaxing activity before you’re going to bed.”
If switching up your shower routine would be too disruptive, there are plenty of other things you can try to improve your sleep.
[Via Well + Good]