Updated March 10, 2020 You’ve been out all day – sitting in a car, working behind a desk, and walking the aisles of the grocery store. By the time you come home, all you want to do is crawl into bed. Then, a thought crosses your mind: shower now, or wait until the morning? People typically fall into two categories: those who wash off the day before bed and those who can’t start their day without a shower. While most hygiene routines are tied heavily to personal preference, the debate around the perfect time to shower is still ongoing. Some experts say a morning shower can rid people of the sweat and sleep inertia (the drowsiness felt immediately after waking up) that accumulated throughout the night, while other experts see the relaxation benefits of an evening shower. Aside from hygiene, how do shower habits affect life aspects like productivity and satisfaction? We surveyed over 1,000 employed or self-employed people about their showering preferences, gathering their perceptions of productivity and even how often they change their bedding. Keep reading to see how evening and morning showers affect our lives. Shower Now or Later? Some people may think showering every day is the only way to keep clean, but according to dermatologists, daily showers can be harmful to some skin types. Nevertheless, 64 percent of people said they shower at least once per day. But when it came to the time of day they chose to shower, people were pretty split. Half of the respondents reported a preference for morning showers, while 34 percent preferred to shower in the evening. The remaining 16 percent doubled down, preferring to shower both in the morning and evening. Just like showering too often can wreak havoc on your skin, hot showers can cause dryness and irritation. Despite experts urging people to add cold showers to their routines, a mere 8.6 percent and 5 percent of those showering in the morning and evening, respectively, preferred cold showers. But hot showers didn’t reign supreme, either: instead, nearly 54 percent of people who took morning showers and almost 55 percent of those taking evening showers preferred warm water. Feeling Fresh While people seemed to agree on the temperature of their showers regardless of time preferences, their reasons for showering differed. Over 73 percent of those showering in the morning did so to feel fresh for work and to be more alert, while 65 percent of those showering in the evening did so to relax and unwind. More than 50 percent of respondents also said they showered in the evening to avoid feeling rushed the next morning. Convenience was the third-most common reason behind both morning and evening showers, but those showering before bed were significantly more likely to cite help with sleep. Showering in the morning wasn’t necessarily helpful in waking up, though. Compared to 37 percent of people who said they shower before bed, 32 percent of those showering in the morning found it difficult to wake up. However, people who showered both in the morning and evening were significantly more likely to feel rested in the morning compared to those only showering at night – while 75.1 percent of people who showered twice a day reported feeling rested in the morning, only 65 percent of those showering in the evening said the same. But evening showers aren’t detrimental to quality rest as long as you time it right. Showering about an hour and a half before hitting the hay gives your body enough time to cool down and may even trigger sleep. Morning Showers Are More Productive Talk surrounding the impact of showers on productivity and energy typically revolves around the temperature of the water. Cold showers – even just a 30-second stream – have been shown to provide numerous health benefits, along with a boost in productivity and energy. However, according to our study, 67 percent of people preferring hot showers were more likely to be immediately productive once at work than those preferring cold showers. Considering the contrary results, the time of day might be enough to see some benefits. Compared to 78.9 percent of those showering before bed, 83 percent of those showering in the morning reported feeling extremely productive at work. Similarly, people who took morning showers were 5 percentage points more likely than those showering in the evening to feel energetic throughout the day. The energy and productivity boost associated with a morning shower might be why managers were more likely to prefer them compared to employees and self-employed people. However, morning showers may not be the secret to success. Instead, a successful life could be tied to establishing a morning routine, and whether that routine includes a shower seems to boil down to personal preference. Hot and Cold Regardless of the time of day, cold and hot showers both come with benefits. While cold showers increase alertness, strengthen your immune system, boost mood, and help you cool down after physical activity, hot showers provide muscle relaxation, relief from respiratory symptoms, and help with blemishes. But shower temperatures seem to be associated with other healthy habits, as well. Nearly 91 percent of people who said they prefer hot showers reported drinking water regularly, while only 72.2 percent of those who preferred cold showers said the same. People who preferred hot showers were also more likely to report eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, visiting the doctor and dentist regularly, and reducing stress. On the other hand, those who preferred cold showers were more likely to exercise, participate in healthy recreation, and set and track goals. People preferring hot showers were more likely to participate in most healthy habits, but satisfaction may depend more on showering time than temperature. Those who preferred morning showers, regardless of the temperature, were more satisfied with their career, health, and life. The difference was relatively slim, though: while 67.2 percent, 77 percent, and 78.4 percent of those preferring morning showers reported being satisfied with their career, health, and life, respectively, 60 percent, 71.9 percent, and 74.4 percent of those preferring evening showers said the same of each. Time for a Change People may not agree on when to shower or even how often they need to, but those who showered more frequently tended to practice other bedtime hygiene habits more regularly. While those who said they shower just a few times per week or less changed their bedding every 19.3 days, on average, that time span dropped significantly as shower frequency increased. People who showered once per day changed their bedding every 13.3 days, and those who showered twice per day swapped their sheets every 9.1 days, on average. Just like there is no right answer to how often people should shower, experts say the frequency of changing sheets also depends on the person. Some think the collection of dust mites calls for washing your sheets at least once every two weeks, while others say washing should occur weekly. However, people who suffer from allergies or have an infection or cold should consider washing their bedding more frequently. Clocking in Quality Sleep Whether you prefer an ice-cold shower to start your day or a hot soak before bed, there’s no right way to shower. Cold showers in the morning may increase productivity at work and energy levels throughout the day, but a hot shower in the evening can be the perfect prep for bed. In response to our findings, eachnight editor Andrea Strand said, “From frequency to time and temperature, showering comes down to personal preference. But if you want to fall asleep faster and get more quality sleep, taking a warm shower at least an hour and a half before bed may be the way to go.” Showering is only a small part of clocking in quality sleep, though. The memory foam mattress you sleep on, the pillows you rest on, and even the position you sleep in can determine whether you’re tossing and turning all night or feeling rested the next morning. At eachnight, our goal is to provide you with the tools to create a healthy and well-balanced life – and it starts with your sleep. Whether you’re looking for the best mattress or searching for the latest tips on sleep health, our writers, editors, and sleep experts are here to help. To learn more, visit us online today. Methodology For this project, we surveyed 1,088 people who had to be either employed or self-employed. Respondents who were unemployed or retired were automatically disqualified. Respondents had to answer questions about their habits when taking a shower, as well as questions about work productivity, healthy habits, and bedtime hygiene. Respondents ranged in age from 24 to 61 with an average age of 37 and a standard deviation of 9. Forty-nine percent of respondents identified as women, and 50 percent identified as men; 1 percent chose not to answer. For short, open-ended questions, outliers were removed. To ensure that all respondents took our survey seriously, they were required to identify and correctly answer an attention-check question. Limitations These data rely on self-reporting by the respondents and are only exploratory. Issues with self-reported responses include but aren’t limited to exaggeration, selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and bias. All values are based on estimation. Fair Use Statement There may not be a right answer to the shower debate, but knowing the benefits can help people decide which they’d prefer. Feel free to share our findings with friends, family, or followers. The graphics and content found here are available for noncommercial purposes. Just make sure to link back to this page so that the contributors receive proper credit. This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a Comment Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.