Normally, there's no one I hate more than a person who doesn't listen to scientists (LOOKIN' AT YOU, CLIMATE CHANGE DENIERS AND ANTI-VAXXERS), but in this case, that person is me.
Why, you ask, ready to send me hate tweets? Well, according to "science," it's best to shower at night, because once you're finished bathing in all that warm, toasty water, your temperature starts to drop — a signal to your body that it's time to sleep. And guess what? The majority of BuzzFeed readers polled on this subject agreed that nighttime is, in fact, the right time.
Sure, signaling your body that it's time for slumber with a shower sounds nice in theory, but there’s a catch: Shelby Harris, director of behavioral sleep medicine at New York’s Montefiore Medical Center, told Time that you should be showering at least 90 minutes before you go to bed so that your body has enough time to cool down and trigger sleep.
Pardon my French, but ex-squeeze-me? I have way too much Netflix to watch to schedule in an extra couple of hours for a shower and a cool-down, SHELBY. Also, you mean to tell me that I should shower at 9 p.m. and then saunter into work the next morning like I haven't been chillin' in my own bacteria for 12 hours? Nah. Unless I’m particularly sweaty from a hot summer day, or if someone’s bodily fluids made contact with me on the subway (I <3 NY!), I’m not down for a night shower.
I was actually a devout night-showerer when I was in high school, but that was mostly because I wanted to listen to my local radio station’s nightly Top 9 at 9 countdown in peace while I bathed. I grew up in a small, ranch-style house that didn’t exactly offer much privacy, so all I asked for was a few moments to belt “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” without disruption (you know, among other things).
But now that I’m an “adult” with a “job” in a “big city,” I’ve realized that showering in the morning is The Way, The Truth, and The Light. Before you @ me (either about how Jesus is actually The Way, The Truth, and The Light, or why my opinion on when to shower is dumb), here are five reasons why morning showers are unassailably better.
1. I don’t want to go into the office smelling like skin-cell marinade. Rolling into work right after rolling around in my sheets all night? Hard pass. My body naturally feels oily and stale by the morning (sorry!), and I 100% have to get rid of that sensation before I go out in public. Otherwise, I’ll feel gross and sticky by midday and wonder if I smell like B.O. and if all of my coworkers are secretly thinking, “Ew, Tom is ripe today” and won’t want to eat lunch with me. It’s a whole thing.
2. Morning routines > night routines. Starting my day by showering, moisturizing, doing my hair, etc. tricks me into thinking I have my shit together — when in reality, I had Eggo waffles for dinner the night before and my pile of laundry is so large, it’s taken on a life of its own. A shower makes me feel fresh and organized right out the gate, which sets a nice tone for the day ahead. Plus, ain’t nobody got time for a whole shower routine before bed when they’re already exhausted from spending eight hours reading emails that say, “Any updates on this?”
3. “Showering triggers sleep”?? Sure, Jan... Showering always wakes me up, so doing it at night means I’ll probably end up lying in bed thinking about the time I shamed myself by misspelling “a cappella” in my fourth-grade spelling bee. Doing it in the morning brings me out of my groggy state and energizes me before I tackle (or get tackled by) my day. And I don’t know about you, but my best ideas always come to me in the shower, so boosting my creativity before I get to writing is ideal.
4. They also give me some alone time before work. Whether you’re listening to music or a podcast or meditating or doing nothing at all, hanging out in the shower is quality ~me time~, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. If you don’t carve out a portion of your morning that’s just for you — and simply head straight into the office — you’re basically living to work. But if you make showering a ritual when you get to jam to a fun playlist or practice a breathing exercise (or whatever!), you won’t feel like you’re solely waking up to go serve The Man.
5. You have not seen my bed head. I look like Anna in Frozen when she oversleeps on Elsa’s coronation day, ya feel? I’m not one of those people who just pops out of bed looking like an actor in a Clean & Clear commercial splashing a perfect wave of glistening water onto their face. I need that morning shower to undo the madness on top of my head so I can start the day with a fresh ‘do.
None of this is to say that there’s something wrong with showering at night if that’s what works best for you. I get that some people feel gross climbing into bed after collecting a day’s worth of germs on their body and blah blah blah. (Though you could just wash your face nightly and your sheets weekly, friends.) All I’m saying is that I wouldn’t be caught dead carrying my bed stench to work with me.
So, yeah, maybe you still want to fight me, but maybe, just maybe, you’re starting to realize that it’s high time you freed yourself from the tyranny of night showering. You’ll be able to stay out later with friends or binge that extra episode of Master of None — and in the morning, you’ll treat yourself to a nice, steamy shower before work, sticking it to The Man one water droplet at a time.