does showering before bed keep you awake?
Better Sleep

Do Showers Make You Sleepy or Keep You Awake?

Last Updated on February 11, 2024 by Louise Carter

Everybody has a unique shower routine based on whether they prefer to wash first thing in the morning or before bed. A shower’s influence on sleep plays a significant role in this decision.

Showers at night can make you feel sleepy. Shower 60-90 minutes before bed at a water temperature of 104-108 degrees Fahrenheit because this will cause the body and mind to enter a restful state.

Whether you shower in the morning, evening, or both is entirely up to you. If you follow appropriate practices, showering will positively affect your mind and body.

Can a Shower Keep You Awake?

For many of us, the day hasn’t started until after we’ve showered. Whether you like to run hot or cold water, morning showers are often considered indispensable as a morning cup of coffee.

The question is, does a shower wake you up? In reality, the warm water of a shower relaxes the mind and loosens muscles that grew tight and knotted overnight.

However, this doesn’t mean you should cut showers out of your morning routine. This opening of the mind is an indispensable part of starting the day.

A relaxed brain leads to free-thinking ideas, meaning you’ll be ready to tackle a day’s work. Leaving the shower will banish the last vestiges of sleepiness.

A shower can also bring your body temperature back to its core level.

Current Opinion in Physiology explains that the human body drops a few degrees while we sleep, and a warm shower speeds up the return to an anticipated equilibrium.

Alternatively, a cool shower can kickstart the metabolism and make you alert. Start with warm water and gradually decrease the temperature rather than stepping under a stream of ice-cold water.

Taking a shower in the morning is excellent for waking up. However, this doesn’t mean that showering at night will prevent you from sleeping.

why do showers make me sleepy?

Optimum Conditions for a Morning Shower

If you’re going to make the most of a morning shower, especially one intended to rouse you from lingering sleep and sluggishness, follow these guidelines:

  1. Enter the shower when you wake up, not after hitting the snooze button multiple times.
  2. Set water temperature to between 98 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. If you can face it, steadily decrease this temperature while under the water.
  4. Keep the shower brief, preferably for 5-10 minutes.

By taking these steps, you’ll meet all your basic needs and feel mentally sharp.

Should I Shower Before Bed?

A shower can reduce body heat as we sleep better when running cool.

A study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology and Applied Human Science divided people into three groups: those who took a shower before bed, those who enjoyed a foot bath before bed, and those who returned to bed without access to water.

The first two groups fell asleep much faster and enjoyed higher quality sleep than the third. A shower isn’t a miracle cure for insomnia, but it improves sleep hygiene.

What Is The Best Time to Shower for Sleep?

The Journal of Sleep Research refers to the critical 2 hours before bed.

If you practice superior sleep hygiene, this is the slot you should look to have a shower. Ideally, step under the water stream 60-90 minutes before retiring.

This time slot will help you sleep, provided you practice good habits afterward. If you take it easy after an evening shower, your mind and body will feel ready for sleep.

Showering at this point will gradually reduce your body temperature, leaving you ready for sleep. Open the bedroom windows (if safe) to assist this process further.

What Kind of Showers Help You Sleep?

Having established you should shower before heading to bed, further questions arise. Are hot or cold showers good for sleep? As is often the case, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

What Is The Ideal Shower Temperature Before Sleep?

Avoid hot water before heading to bed. Taking an evening shower is to begin the process of thermoregulation. According to Sleep Medicine Reviews, 104-108 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal.

Why Do Cold Showers Make Me Tired?

Ice baths are popular with athletes. The European Journal of Sports Science explains that immersion in cool water slows the heart rate once the initial reaction to the icy temperatures passes.

A cold shower will steadily prepare the body for sleep. It’s a survival instinct to seek the warmth of bed following such cold exposure, and you’ll quickly fall asleep.

What Shower Routine Will Make Me Sleepy?

Having established that showering before bed aids a good night’s sleep, you may consider a change in structure. However, you must understand the limitations of late-night showering.

Moisturize the Skin

You’ll have heard about “beauty sleep” – the skin repairing itself while we rest overnight.

If you use moisturizer, apply this when you get out of the shower while your skin is still soft. If your skin can tolerate scented products (like lavender), pick a cream that encourages sleep.

Get a facial moisturizer that absorbs sweat. While body temperature drops while we sleep, we still sweat.

does a warm shower help you sleep?

Keep Hair Dry

If you shower in the evening, wash your hair in the morning. Sleeping with wet hair is inadvisable because it can damage the follicles. Drying it will risk undoing the benefits of showering at night.

In the unlikely event that your hair naturally dries in the 60-90 minutes between showering and bedtime and doesn’t need appliance treatment, you may get away with an evening shampoo.

The more you use hairdryers and curling irons, the more you raise your body temperature and the ambient heat in a room, which can disturb sleep.

Relax After an Evening Shower

Strenuous activity mustn’t follow an evening shower. In an ideal world, after a nighttime shower, you’d put on your favorite pajamas, slippers, and robe and settle down to read a good book before bed.

Before you run an evening shower, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you still have household chores, like vacuuming or cleaning?
  • Will you head outside to take out the garbage or something that’ll expose you to cold air?
  • Are you expecting phone calls or anything else to pull you out of a state of relaxation?
  • Do you plan to do any work or watch a favorite TV show likely to elicit emotional reactions?

If you answered yes to these questions, consider postponing your evening shower. The intention is to conclude your active day with this shower and prepare for a low-key end to the evening.

Showers alone won’t keep you awake or make you more sleepy, but it’s undeniable that you can use a shower to start or end your day.