If you’re anything like us then you’ll be waking up every day and heading to the bathroom as your first port of call. When you think about your morning routine it’s likely that the shower will be a big part of that.
But does your shower really wake you up?
Most would think that a shower wakes you up. The warm water cascades down your face and washes away the night-time sleepy state. But we wanted to test the scientific side of this. We all have to wake up early sometimes, so does your morning shower really help to awaken you?
Apparently, we spend around 4,000 hours of our adult life in the shower! Wow. That’s a lot of thinking, washing, and waking up as well as a mountain of shampoo and shower gel!
So it must wake us up then… the activity most of us do every morning must be helping us wake up?
… well apparently not.
A warm shower can actually make you sleepy
Hang on a minute. A shower can make you sleepy?
When you think about it, a warm bath at night is highly recommended for a good night’s sleep, isn’t it? So it makes sense that a warm shower would also have the same effect.
The theory is, according to an American study, that when you leave a warm bath (or shower) your body goes from warm to cold (or a colder place at least) and this rapid cooling actually relaxes your body and sets you up for the perfect relaxation. So a warm bath is perfect before bed… but then maybe a shower does this too?
Your warm shower in the morning could be relaxing your body when you really need to be waking it up and getting it ready to seize the day.
Cold water stimulates your body’s main organs
Studies show that cold water can stimulate your body. The effect of cold water on your body constricts your blood vessels and blood flow, which slows inflammation. The cold water sensation will also send the blood towards your internal organs and makes them function more efficiently.
It’s much like a jump-start in the morning…. if you can take it!
So by all means have a warm shower but try having the cold water on very cold and very fast for about 30 seconds to jump-start your body into action.
It’s not for the faint-hearted (literally) and the shock might be too much to handle so try it a little colder first and see how you go. Science says that this works though and we have to agree… it certainly wakes you up!
Start the day with a cold(er) shower for better hair
The effects of cold water on our bodies don’t stop at the jump-start findings, either. Cold water is actually better for our hair too.
We’ve all heard the warnings about hair dryers and hair straighteners causing split ends and poor hair quality. Hair experts have always told us that we should not overheat our hair and the ladies will know all too well about over using the GHDs!
So colder water is far better to wash our hair in too. Washing with a slightly cool temperature can really benefit our hair and we all want salon fresh hair, right?!
A cold shower once or twice a week for better health
Cold showers can stimulate noradrenaline secretion in your brain. Noradrenaline can help you feel better and has been linked to helping with depression and mood swings.
By boosting our body and mind, a cold shower may just make us feel better in our minds as well as our bodies.
A cold shower can also boost our metabolism by encouraging our metabolic rate to increase. You may have heard that iced cold water can boost our metabolism but the cold water on our body can have the same outcome too.
The sensation of cold water on your body will get your body into a different state and get your body burning calories faster all ready for that breakfast your body is crying out for.
Cold showers help you breathe better… in the long run
A cold shower in the morning can even help you breathe better. By turning the temperature down very cold you’ll make yourself gasp (try it – it really does). As few people really ever breathe this deeply it’s one of the simplest ways to routinely try this important breathing exercise.
We don’t always use the full depth of our lungs and this can make us ‘shallow breathers.’ By encouraging us to gasp for air we’re exercising our lungs and getting them in training to grow bigger and breathe better. It’s like most of our body – use it or it gets lazy.
Cold showers make you tougher!
Many parents will recall being told to take their babies out for walks in the cold air as it’s good to get them off to sleep. But it’s also very good for their immune system. By getting used to cold air it toughens up our bodies and keeps them fighting for our health.
Think about it. When autumn and winter hit we all get colds. The change in temperature is a shock to our system as we’re so used to being all warm and snug. This is like running a marathon without training. We’re not used to it and we struggle.
By exposing our bodies to a cold shower once or twice a week we’re helping to become tougher and more able to cope with changes in temperature and environment. It’s like training or exercise but for our internal fires.
A 2007 study also suggested that repeated exposure to cold water can also improve our blood circulation and improve white blood cells counts. This is a very positive thing for your body and may (although it’s not proven) help to prevent some cancers.
A warm or cold shower in the morning: what will you take?
There are some pretty convincing facts and studies there and there are plenty more to suggest the positive health benefits of cold water on your body. We’re not going to suggest that you swim in a frozen lake to get them but you could take a 30 second blast of cold each morning.
A warm shower or bath is perfect for relaxing and getting ready to sleep so it makes sense to reverse that process when you wake up.
- Shower in warm water for your normal shower time
- Then turn it cold for about 30 seconds at the end
- Gasp and prepare to be shocked!
- Then leave the shower ready for the day (and a good breakfast)
Why not try this out for a week? We’re going to. We’re going to see what the effect of a 30 second blast of cold water can do for our bodies and sleepy heads. Let us know how you get on in the comments and good luck (and good morning).
If you need help creating the perfect shower room or would like to upgrade your shower for the perfect morning blast then why not speak to one of our experts at Alan Heath and sons?
We’re always keen to speak showers, baths and bathrooms and you’re more than welcome to pop into our Coventry bathroom showroom to discuss them.