As bedtime approaches, most of us begin to wind down and relax in order to fall asleep more easily and quickly. A hot shower or bath is frequently at the top of our list of relaxing activities. But did you know that taking a cold shower before bed can help you sleep better?
Many people may find the concept to be counterintuitive, especially when it comes to sleep. However, there are a number of unexpected advantages. Of course, a warm or hot bath has its advantages. So the question is, which is better for promoting sleep: a cold shower or a hot shower?
This article discusses the benefits and drawbacks of showering before bed. In addition, we’ll go over some of the ways hot and cold water can help you sleep better. This way, you can make the most of every moment you spend in bed, rejuvenating and preparing for the next day.
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Does Taking a Shower Help You Sleep?
Should you shower before going to bed, or will it wake you up? Surprisingly, while it may appear to be invigorating, showering before bedtime can actually help you fall asleep faster by triggering our Circadian Rhythm.
Your Circadian Rhythm and Showering
Our circadian rhythm serves as our internal clock, with one of its primary functions being to regulate our sleep-wake cycle. When it is time to sleep, your circadian rhythm begins to send signals to your body, instructing the system to prepare for sleep. Lowering your core body temperature is a part of this process.
Taking a shower is one way to stimulate the lowering of body temperature. If you take a cool or cold shower, it will naturally begin to lower your body temperature and send a signal to your brain that it is time to sleep.
Even if it wakes you up mentally, this change in body temperature is still better for sleeping. Drowsiness will eventually take over, lulling you into a deep and peaceful slumber.
In contrast, taking a warm or hot shower may raise your core body temperature while you’re in the bathroom and shortly afterwards. The rapid change in temperature on your skin, on the other hand, will cause a rapid cool down, similar to showering in cooler water.
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Everything Depends on Timing
If you intend to incorporate showers into your sleep routine, or if you already do, we recommend taking your shower 60-90 minutes before bed. Allowing a brief interval between your shower and sleep will allow your body to continue winding down and reaching the optimal state for sleep.
Because of the initial shock it can cause to your system, this is critical if you prefer more extreme temperatures for your bathing water, cold or hot. Extreme temperatures will be stimulating in any case. However, allowing yourself time to recover can still help you sleep better and more consistently.
Should I take a hot or cold shower before going to bed?
Now that we know that taking a shower before bed can be beneficial to your body, the question is whether it should be hot or cold. Will taking a cold shower before going to bed only wake you up? Are hot showers the only option? As it turns out, both cold and hot showers have advantages. So, which is better for your body and sleep requirements?
Cool and cold shower before bed have sleep-related benefits.
Do cold showers help you sleep? Or does it only bother you at night? The advantages of taking cold showers on your body are numerous and may have a greater impact than you realise. A cold shower in the middle of the night may not appear to be relaxing, but you might be surprised at how much it can help you fall asleep. Let’s investigate how and why.
a. Stimulates the Immune System
When you become cold, whether due to the weather or immersion in cold water, your body instinctively begins working to build more heat and keep you warm.
When this happens, your metabolism speeds up, causing your immune system to produce more white blood cells. White blood cells are essential for maintaining your health and fighting off infections caused by bacteria and viruses.
As a result, taking a cold shower can actually help your immune system function at its best. Even if you don’t make it a daily habit, keep this in mind the next time you catch a cold. In order to regain your health as quickly as possible, try taking a cool bath.
b. Improves Metabolism
As previously stated, cold water can also increase your body’s metabolism, resulting in a variety of health benefits. You may be aware that increasing your metabolism can help you lose weight, which is very motivating for most of us.
But what role does a cold shower play in this? As previously stated, your body naturally reacts to low temperatures by producing brown fat cells in order to increase warmth.
The new brown fat cells actively burn more energy, increasing the rate of your metabolism. As a result, you burn calories faster. This may seem impossible, but burning more calories while sleeping sounds like a dream come true!
c. Improves Alertness
A cool shower also improves circulation in your body, which leads to increased awareness. When it comes to getting ready for bed, encouraging alertness may appear to be a bad idea at first glance. It can, however, help you sleep better by allowing you to remember and finish some unfinished tasks before going to bed.
If you can tie up these loose ends, you’ll likely feel more accomplished, making it easier to fall asleep. If you want to increase your alertness at night, we recommend taking a cold shower about two hours before going to bed. As a result, your body will have plenty of time to recover from the initial shock.
d. Improves Concentration
It’s difficult to focus on anything other than the task at hand when you’re taking a cold shower. Going under a cold spray can direct your thoughts to one goal: to quickly warm up.
This is beneficial because it can cause you to forget about stressful factors or things that are keeping you preoccupied, even if it is only for a short period of time. Ideally, clearing your mind in this way will assist you in getting ready for bed when the time comes.
e. Produces anti-depressant hormones
Because of the natural fight or flight response that a cold shower induces in your body, the sympathetic nervous system is also activated. When this happens, your brain is flooded with beta-endorphins and noradrenaline, which has an anti-depressant effect.
People who are content and happy sleep more consistently and have better overall sleep quality. This isn’t to say that a cold shower will magically cure all of your depression and sleep issues, but it can’t hurt to try.
As an added bonus, the hormones released in your body act as a natural pain reliever, which is thought to be more effective than synthetic opioids. When you add natural pain relief to the list of cold shower benefits, it’s clear that they’re getting better all the time.
f. Enhances Hair Quality
When it comes to our hair, most of us have tried a variety of methods in an attempt to improve its overall health. In fact, tens of thousands of people have spent a significant amount of money to do so. Fortunately, cold water has been shown to improve the quality and resilience of your hair without breaking the bank. Washing your hair with cold water seals in moisture.
It also prevents breakage and gives the hair a smoother, shinier appearance by flattening out the hair cuticles on each strand. Furthermore, cold water may help reduce hair loss, which is something that almost everyone will appreciate.
h. Reducing puffiness
Taking a cold or cool shower can also have an impact on the texture of your skin. A cold shower, as previously stated, increases blood circulation in your body, which can give your skin a healthy, natural glow.
Cool water also constricts blood vessels in your skin, causing tighter pores for a short period of time. Tighter skin pores, as a result, reduce redness and puffiness. This is why you may have heard that washing your face with cold water can help you look more refreshed.
Warm or hot showers: Sleep Advantages
Many of us enjoy the sensation of a warm shower or bath before going to bed, and fortunately, it also has a number of health benefits. Actually, taking a hot bath at any time of day can provide the benefits listed below. As a result, if you are experiencing any of them right now, you do not need to wait until bedtime.
a. Reduces Muscle Tension and Relaxes Muscles
A hot bath’s warm water and steam will naturally relieve tension and relax your muscles. Running hot water over achy, tense areas of your body will improve blood flow and circulation. This could certainly relieve enough tension after a strenuous workout. If you engage in strenuous activities a few hours before going to bed, this is an ideal routine to help you sleep better.
b. Lowers Inflammation
A steady stream of hot water can also help to speed up the healing process and reduce swelling or inflammation. Our circulatory system responds extremely well to the increased heat, and the benefits are felt almost immediately. Pain relief is another advantage of reduced inflammation. Inflammation can be quite unpleasant, and when we are in pain, anything helps.
c. Migraine Treatment
Improving circulation with a hot bath or shower can also help you experience migraine relief sooner after taking any pain medication. The hot shower will hasten its spread throughout your system. Furthermore, it will aid in the promotion of relaxation, which is undoubtedly beneficial to migraine sufferers.
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d. Reduces Anxiety
It is possible to find relief from anxiety and relax in a hot shower at the same time. As you relax, your focus will improve, and you may be able to rationalise the outside factors that are causing your anxiety in the first place. Of course, this is not a panacea, but it has been shown to benefit some people.
e. Easier Breathing
The steam produced by hot water will also aid in the clearing of your sinuses and airways. Take deep breaths while standing in the shower, and the steam will help to break up any congestion you may be feeling.
Furthermore, the hot vapour can aid in the prevention of some respiratory issues. Others find this extremely beneficial when their seasonal allergies are particularly severe.
f. Excellent Cleaning
Even when it comes to cleaning your body and skin, washing with hot or warm water is more effective. While cold or cool water will still remove some toxins, warmer water will remove more toxins faster and with less effort.
A warm shower also opens your pores, allowing the water to penetrate your skin in all of its inaccessible areas. As a result, if you want to feel completely clean, a hot or warm shower is your best bet.
The Situation Is Critical
Where you live can also influence whether you are drawn to take a warm, hot, or cold shower. If you live in a colder climate, you will most likely prefer a warm or hot bath. On the other hand, if you live in a hotter, humid climate, a cold shower may sound more appealing.
In any case, you now understand the advantages of both and should take advantage of them. Going against your first instinct can sometimes be beneficial after gaining new knowledge. We live in a snowy climate for the majority of the year, so showering in cold water sounded revolting at first. However, after giving it a try, it was discovered to be a pleasant surprise.
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Will you take a shower before going to bed tonight?
Should you shower before going to bed? Yes, we encourage you to try showering close to bedtime, and we also recommend switching to a cold bath on occasion.
Taking a cold shower or even taking a shower at all before bed may have seemed counterintuitive before reading this article. Even with all of this new information, it may still appear unusual, especially if you do not live in a hot or humid climate.
So, does taking a cold shower before going to bed help you sleep? There is only one way to discover. What do you have to lose if you try it tonight?