Whether you bathe in the morning or at night or prefer showers or baths, our washing and cleansing rituals do more than keep us smelling good. As the Australian winter approaches, let's explore the many benefits of beautiful warm baths and showers – and how they can both raise our mood and soothe our skin.
1. Enjoying the warmth of a hot shower may help you sleep better at night
If you're anything like us, there are evenings when we toss and turn in our beds, unable to enter our ideal dream location owing to pressing emails, Mother Earth's suffering, or a taut episode of The Kardashians.
A quick trip to the bathroom for a hot shower, it turns out, may bring some relief. Hot showers chill us out by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system and elevating body temperature while relaxing muscles, which offers both physical and mentally relief. A hot shower triggers the thermoregulatory system, which causes blood to travel from the heart to the hands and feet, removing heat and reducing the temperature. According to University of Texas research, a hot shower can improve total sleep length, sleep quality, and circadian rhythm. Sign us up, baby — a pleasant night's sleep is in our near future.
2. Breathing difficulties may be eased with a hot shower
Standing in a hot shower with steam has been shown to cleanse nasal passages, open airways, and loosen mucus in the respiratory system. Sounds gross, but the bliss of being able to breathe clearly – especially while recovering from a hangover from hell, or even more hellish COVID-19 – is worth the gunk!
3. It can help to keep your skin clean and healthy
Hello, it’s us back on our #cleantok BS! A hot shower can open up your pores, allowing dirt and contaminants (and ghosts of lousy Tinder dates past) to wash cleanly away. Without all this buildup and gunk, you may find your skin appears glowier and healthier, or at least less haunted by your awful date.
4. Believe it or not, it hydrates the skin too
Truth be told, long lengths of time in a hot shower can dry you out, turn you into a living prune, and cause wrinkles on the skin. On the flip, some fancy experts believe it can have a beneficial epidermal effect. Warm water keeps the skin supple and soft, reducing cracking and dryness. Whatever temperature floats your boat, be sure to slather on your favourite bodycare moisturizer straight after!
5. Blood sugar levels may be reduced with a hot shower
Sorry, but science is just so cool! Water has been shown to have a serious physiological impact on the human body (all according to a study conducted by the Japan Health and Research Institute, Tokyo City University, and Jichi Medical University – if you want to dig deeper!) Apparently, taking a hot shower helps lower blood sugar and can even burn calories? The researchers recruited 14 males and examined their blood sugar levels for 24 hours after each hot shower. According to the research, these guys burned as many calories as a 30-minute stroll and had lower blood sugar levels.
But wait, what about cold showers?
Delighted you asked! Cold showers are believed to wake up your body in the morning (and even promote metabolism!) and improve your energy and attitude. Also, due to the many cold receptors on the skin, cold showers have been demonstrated to have an antidepressant effect on the body, as it's expected to send an incredible number of electrical impulses from periphery nerve endings to the brain, which could result in antidepressant response.
So, what side are you on: team hot or cold? We say do whatever floats your boat, but we're sitting firmly (and blissfully!) on the warmer side.
Happy Sundae x
Wind down with these relaxing shower foams: