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It's time to come clean: Are you a morning or a night person when it comes to showering?
The time of day you shower may come down to personal habits and scheduling, but there is some science behind whether there are benefits, and drawbacks, to whether you soap up before work or bed.
Morning showers can have a meditative effect on people by allowing them to relax and reboot. That mental state can encourage creativity, according to Harvard psychology lecturer Shelley Carson.
“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 The Greatist.
Morning showers also are good for people who tend to cut themselves while shaving, since bodies get a surge of “clot-forming platelets” in the morning, which means bleeding stops faster.
Evening showers have their advantages, helping keep the skin clean, washing away the dirt, oil and allergens that build up over the day and can rub off on your bedsheets.
Evening showers are especially helpful during pollen season. Because hair gels act like pollen magnets, allergists recommend showering and washing your hair at night, to rinse off the pollen that collects on your skin and hair during the day.
And, an evening shower is especially relaxing for people who have a hard time unwinding from their day or getting to sleep.
“That rapid cooling after you get out of the shower or out of the bath tends to be a natural sleep inducer,” Christopher Winter, a fellow at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and medical director at the sleep center at Martha Jefferson Hospital, told The Greatist. “So it’s a nice way to fool your body into thinking it’s time to go to bed.”
So like anything else in life, the best time to take a shower? It really just depends.