Why You Shouldn’t Shower Right Before Bed 


A hot shower before bed is basically my nightcap. It just feels so great to scoot under the covers, freshly moisturized and oh so clean, before dozing off. But from a more scientific, less coziness-rules-everything-around-me perspective, showering before bed isn’t actually great for getting a good night’s sleep.

As we told you guys back during Be Well Philly Sleep Week in April, the myth of a warm bath lulling you to sleep is just that: a myth. According to sleep experts, one of the ways our bodies signal to us that it’s bedtime is a drop in body temperature, and taking a hot shower or bath right before bed can actually raise your body temp, disrupting this signal and your night’s sleep in the process.

I’m going to confess something, though: When winter hit, this knowledge fell out of my brain just like everything I learned in 10th grade geometry, and I was back to taking my pre-bed scalding-hot showers. I was reminded that this was a no-no this morning when reading TIME’s all-day guide to better sleep, which walks you through how to prep yourself for a better night of shut-eye all the way from 8 a.m. to bedtime. They note what I just said — that you shouldn’t take a hot shower right before bed — and that if you must shower at night (because walking the dog in the morning with wet hair is the worst), just make sure to give yourself around 90 minutes between your shower and your designated bedtime.

Okay, stored in my memory bank.

They also point out that, if you aren’t a morning workout devotee like Kevin Hart seems to be, you should aim to squeeze your workouts in between the hours of 4 and 6 p.m., lest you — like when showering — raise your body temp too close to bedtime. And get this: If your bedtime is around 11 p.m., the sleep experts over at TIME say your last glass of wine should ideally be consumed around (gasp!) 7 p.m. to avoid a crappy night’s sleep.

Who else has a few bedtime habits to tweak?

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