The Exact Time You Should Take a Shower for Optimal Sleep

Victoria Hoff
PHOTO:

J.Crew

I don't need fancy research to tell me that showering is a great way to unwind, but the science really is there: From boosting productivity to increasing energy, studies show that the benefits of a great scrub-down go well beyond cleanliness. And now, we can add a good night of shut-eye to that ever-growing list.

Time recently asked a panel of experts for their opinion on how to time a shower for optimal sleep, and it turns out there really is a science to it. For example, you actually don't want to shower right before bed, since we actually sleep better at a lower body temperature. Instead, Dianne Augelli, MD, of the Center for Sleep Medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, says it might be a better strategy to give yourself a few minutes after toweling off before tucking yourself in. "Cooling down is a signal that tells us we're supposed to go to sleep," Augelli says. 

And there's actually substantial research to support this idea. Studies show that warming your body with a bath can significantly induce sleep because when you step out, your body temperature drops—leaving your eyelids droopy in effect.

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