To shower at night, or in the morning? This is a question that has plagued me for years, and yet I still haven't found a clear-cut answer. But this conundrum is even more mind-boggling when it comes to figuring out the best time of day to shower in the summer.
Because, you know, summertime usually means unbearable heat, sticky humidity, and, well, a lot of sweat and grime coating your body as a result.
So, if I shower first thing in the morning, I'll probably go to bed feeling totally gross and filthy after a whole day of racking up sweat.
But if I shower just before I go to sleep, I usually sweat overnight anyway, and I still feel gross by the time my alarm goes off the next morning.
And, for the love of all that is good in this world, do not tell me I should just suck it up and shower twice a day. Nobody has time for that, and if you do, you need a hobby or something.
Thankfully, science is here to settle this debate once and for all.
By all accounts, it seems that showering at night is the way to go.
According to New York Magazine, a nighttime rinse can promise loads of benefits for your body.
In the summer, your body tends to accumulate more dirt and grime because lighter clothing leaves your skin more exposed, and the sweltering weather causes you to perspire more than usual.
A late-night shower means you get to literally rinse off your day and end on a refreshed note. It means you always get to greet your sheets with a clean body.
I must say, there are few things in this world that feel better than cozying up in cool sheets with clean, soft skin.
According University of Pennsylvania professor and dermatologist Temitayo Ogunleye, though many people believe showering in the morning keeps them cool, that concept is actually a fluke.
When air hits your skin when you step out of the shower, it's like sweating, which decreases your body's temperature. As that water evaporates, you will feel cooler, but that feeling lasts minutes, not hours.
In other words, if you want to keep that cool, refreshed feeling for longer than a few minutes, shift your shower schedule to later in the day.
Besides, your body responds more to changes in skin temperature. So, if you cool the body with a cold shower, blood flow decreases, skin temperature falls, and you don't feel so yucky and hot.
With that said, you're more likely to keep that low body temperature going if you step out of the shower into an air-conditioned environment, and stay in that air conditioned environment, rather than booking it from the shower straight into the hot and sticky outdoors.
However, showering at night provides more benefits than just keeping cool and feeling clean.
Showering at night can also help you sleep better, especially in the summer.
According to Sleep.org, the water against your skin in the shower almost mimics your body's natural way of cooling: perspiration.
So, even after drying off, the evaporation of the water leaves you feeling just the right amount of chilly -- a feeling you can maintain, again, by staying in an air-conditioned setting.
In the end, if your goal is to stay as cool as possible as the summer winds down, hit the shower about an hour before you settle into bed.
Trust me, your body will thank you for it.