When it comes to showering, you likely fall into one of two camps, those who shower in the morning or those who prefer to do their grooming at night.
To help settle the argument, health researchers recently attempted to scientifically prove whether it's better to shower in the morning or the evening. Their conclusion? Both have merit. Yes, that's a bit of a letdown, but the best choice for you depends on what you hope to accomplish in the shower. Here's a look at when you should shower based upon your goals, be they goals for grooming or goals for life.
If you need to solve a problem, shower in the morning
Showering in the morning is a great way to kickstart your day, especially if you're puzzling over an issue and haven't been able to come up with a solution. Harvard psychology researcher Dr. Shelley Carson likens the morning shower to meditation, or a state in which your subconscious mind is awake and alert but not focusing on the problem at hand.
"If you were to come up with a problem that you wanted to solve creatively, and you were working and working on it and couldn’t come up with a solution, then you could put it on the back burner of your mind and allow it to stew there while unconscious processes mull it over," Carson told Greatist.
If you frequently cut yourself shaving, shower in the morning
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, your levels of blood-clotting platelets are at their highest in the morning. That means that if you have a tendency to knick yourself while shaving, you should stick with morning showers to minimize the blood and gore.
If you have a hard time falling asleep, shower at night
When you take a warm shower in the evening, your internal body temperature will rise while you're under the water and then drop once you step out. That lowered body temp aligns with your body's natural temperature regulation in regards to sleep, helping you wind down and ease into la-la-land.
"That rapid cooling after you get out of the shower or out of the bath tends to be a natural sleep inducer," Dr. Christopher Winter, a fellow at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and medical director at the sleep center at Martha Jefferson Hospital told Greatist. "So it’s a nice way to fool your body into thinking it’s time to go to bed."
If you have oily skin, shower at night
Your skin's oil production peaks around 1 p.m., so if you have oily skin or are prone to breakouts, an evening shower is a good way to wash away those oils as well as any dirt, makeup, pollutants or pollen that may buildup on your skin throughout the day.
The bottom line is that your choice of time to shower has more to do with personal preferences than science. And, hey, maybe instead of wondering what time you should shower, you should ask yourself if you really need to shower at all.
If you sweat while you're sleeping, shower in the morning
Even if you take a shower before you go to sleep, your skin is more than likely going to get dirty during the night. Dr. Gary Goldenberg, a dermatologist, said that people tend to sweat while they're sleeping.
“When you wake up in the morning, there’s all this sweat and bacteria from the sheets that’s just kind of sitting there on your skin,” Dr. Goldenberg told the New York Times. He recommends taking a shower first thing when you wake up to shed the bacteria.