By Liat Clark
Good morning, noon, and night, dear reader! Whatever time of day it is, you’re probably anticipating your schedule for the next 12-24 hours–and trying to figure out when to fit in a shower. Life gets busy, amiright?? If you’re struggling to decide when’s the optimal time to get your shower on (and you have a thang for debate), we gotchu. Let’s lay out all the facts.
Argument: Morning Showers
Ah, what a great way to get your day started! Hopping out of bed and jumping into the shower to wash away the groggy sleep inertia is the best way to begin the day. Coffee takes time to work its wake-up magic, but you can shake off your sleepiness the instant that warm spray of water hits your skin. A morning shower boosts alertness in the morning, not to mention means you start the day fresh and clean. Especially if you’re a natural early bird and squeeze in a morning workout, showering in the AM is the way to go. But don’t fret, night owls–we know how hard waking up in the morning is, and a quick rinse is just the thing to get you going. Plus, for our male readers who shave as part of their morning routine, showering when you wake up will make that task easier: the hot steam from the shower softens the hair and makes shaving more comfortable. All in all, morning showers put the AM in AMAZINGGG! 🌞🌞🌞
Argument and Rebuttal: Night Showers
Whew, it’s been a long day, and all we wanna do is unwind with some hot water and built-in processing time. Muscles are tense from the day’s stress, but it’s nothing a little hot water action can’t release, plus there’s a day’s worth of grime, sweat, allergens, and irritants to rinse off. Subways, post-class exercise sessions, and an endless list of other activities mean that you’ve been sweating and collecting bacteria all day–yuck. A nighttime shower is exactly what you need to get under the covers with a clean body and a clear mind. 90 minutes before lights out is prime showering time: It helps briefly raise your body temperature, which in turn will allow for a faster cool down after you towel off because the evaporation of the moisture from your skin cools you down–all of which seems to hasten sleep (according to research). Bonus if you like to moisturize post-shower, because it takes time for lotion to sink into your skin–so PM showers might be the more sensible option for that equation.
Plus, it’s the end of the day. You have nowhere to be other than in your bed, so there’s no rush! Enjoy your shower time without worrying about making it to class or having to review key terms for your test in your head as the water beats down on you. Process the day you’ve had, and go to sleep squeaky clean and stress-free. You’ll get to wake up in the morning, hair dry, and you’ll know you got every minute of precious morning sleep that you could. We’ve all been there–setting that alarm earlier than usual to get a shower in is THE WORST–especially when you’re not going to sleep until 2 AM. You’re already up late, so take a nighttime shower and thank yourself in the morning.
Rebuttal: Morning Showers
Well played, Nighttime. But just because you go to bed clean, doesn’t mean you wake up that way. We sweat at night, and there’s all this sweat and bacteria on our sheets that we toss and turn in, so it just sits on our skin throughout the night, and into the next day if we don’t do anything about it. Plus, if you’re sharing a bed with someone special, you’re definitely picking up what they’re putting down–literally. While it might be nice to go to sleep with wet hair and wake up with it magically dry and ready to go, sleeping with wet hair is actually bad for your follicles, because lying against a pillow can trap moisture in your hair. Tthe inner cortex of each follicle can swell with water if not dried properly, which can cause the hair cuticle to rupture and lead to damage over time. Now, of course, drying your hair thoroughly before bed would be the obvious solution, but ain’t nobody got time for that at night! Half the reason to shower at night is so that you DON’T have to break out the blow drier. Once you’re spending the time drying your hair, you might as well get some extra shut-eye on the PM side, and shower and dry (or don’t, nobody cares tbh) in the morning, so you can rinse off all that overnight ickiness.
Also, you may be wondering how showering can help you fall asleep at night AND wake you up in the morning–seems contradictory, don’t it! The cooling of your internal body temperature post-shower won’t make you sleepy in the morning like it does at night, because likely you’ll be on the move after you shower–gotta run to make that elevator to 9 AM class!–which will keep your body temperature up and keep you awake and alert. Morning showers, case closed.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Why not do both?” The truth is, showering twice a day is generally fine for your skin and scalp so long as they are both short showers and you dont have severe eczema or dermatitis. Especially in the (hopefully imminent!) humid summer air, your skin won’t dry out from multiple showers a day. In this endless winter, though, when dry skin is of greater concern, your body might thank you for choosing a shower time and not going overboard. And let’s be honest with ourselves–whether we’re night owls or early birds, who has time for that much showering in the day??? So pick one (and let’s reallllly be honest, sometimes we pick none 😬😬), and let it refresh and revitalize you. Shower power!