It was a conundrum that plagued philosophers for centuries. Or at least since they invented the shower. Is it better to shower in the morning or in the evening?
But no more. Harvard University has finally cracked it.
Here's the logic:
According to Shelley Carson, psychology lecturer at Harvard, you should opt for a morning shower when things at work are stressful, or when you're under pressure to be creative.
She explains that showering can encourage creativity, because you're both relaxed and alert.
"“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.”
Your cognitive processes relax, renew, and regenerate, and your ideas and solutions will effortlessly present themselves
The study suggests that showering before bed can help people who find it hard to switch off, as it reduces stress-related cortisol levels.
Showering can regulate your body temperature, which has been shown to help fall asleep more easily.
According to Christopher Winter, MD at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine: "That rapid cooling after you get out of the shower or out of the bath tends to be a natural sleep inducer. So it’s a nice way to fool your body into thinking it’s time to go to bed."
Dermatologists also suggest that showering in the evening can help keep skin cleaner, as dirt and oil from pollutants accumulate throughout the day.
Mix it up
Varying your shower routine to fit in with stress levels, work schedules and lifestyle can actually be a good thing, as it encourages deeper sleep overall.
You can also enjoy the benefits of both AM and PM showers.