In the last few months, we’ve covered the importance of high-quality sleep and ways you can improve it.
(A good example would be turning off your devices before bed.)
I created this article with those who prefer the natural route in mind, as there are many different factors which can impact sleep quality, hence lots of possible solutions to poor sleep.
We’ve recently covered how cold showers are awesome for acne, so I thought it would be interesting to see if cold showers could help with sleep too.
(Acne and sleep quality are hugely influenced by hormones. If something helps with acne at a hormonal level, then it’s logical to see if it helps with sleep.)
So, after hours of research, I found that cold showers will benefit some of you.
Why only some?
Well as mentioned earlier, there are so many factors in play that can impact your sleep quality.
Cold showers definitely improve some of these factors, but not all.
If cold showers work for you, then great!
If not, then don’t stress; there are many other ways you can improve your sleep.
Now let’s look at some reasons why cold showers may help you sleep.
Reasons Why Cold Showers May Help You Sleep
1. Cold Showers Boost Immunity
Are you the type of person who seems to be bedridden with colds and headaches all the time?
Are these stopping you from getting good quality sleep?
I know whenever I have a cold, getting to sleep is a nightmare!
Well if you are one of those unfortunate ones, then I bring you good news.
Studies show that cold showers increase the number of white blood cells, which help massively in your battle against illness.
(Think of white blood cells as your little soldiers in your war with colds.)
So by keeping those pesky colds at bay, you can say hello to a good night’s sleep.
2. Cold Showers Relieve Stress
In my analysis of taking cold showers for acne, I touched upon a theory which I like to call the cycle of doom.
It goes something like this….
Acne -> Stress -> Comfort Eating -> More Acne
And then the dreaded cycle repeats itself.
Unfortunately, like acne, the cycle of doom applies to your sleep too.
Stress -> Poor Sleep -> More Stress -> Poorer Sleep
The reason why this is so damaging to sleep quality is that high Cortisol (the stress hormone) in the evening will trick your body into thinking its daytime.
(Cortisol and Melatonin work in a circadian rhythm. Cortisol is naturally high in the morning and then lowers in the evening, whereas Melatonin is naturally low in the morning and increases in the evening.)
Not to worry though.
Studies have demonstrated that cold spas are awesome at lowering Cortisol levels, so by taking cold showers, you’re essentially reversing the cycle of doom.
Less Stress -> Better Sleep -> Even Less Stress -> Even Better Sleep
(Maybe I should call this the cycle of joy. Any suggestions are welcome!)
Okay, now let’s looks at some potential reasons why your sleep may be hindered by cold showers.
Reasons Why Cold Showers May Hinder Sleep
1. Cold Showers Can Increase Alertness
Personally, I feel much more awake/alive/alert after taking a cold shower.
This is great if you shower in the morning, as you’ll be more upbeat to tackle the day ahead.
But if you’re in the evening shower camp, then this is obviously a bad idea.
It’s also worth mentioning that this is from my personal experience only – I can’t be certain that everyone will feel more energized after a cold shower.
So the only way to find out is to have one!
2. Cold Showers Warm Your Body
Yep I thought the same when discovering this about cold showers.
Well it turns out us humans live within a very tight temperature range.
Too hot? Then you could suffer from hyperthermia.
Too cold? Likewise with hypothermia.
Both of these are potentially life-threatening conditions that occur when our body’s temperature is outside its normal range.
So what do you think happens when we take a cold shower?
That’s right – our bodies compensate by warming up.
Similar to Cortisol, our core body temperature fluctuates in a circadian rhythm.
It’s naturally higher in the morning and then lowers in the evening before we go to sleep.
So if you’re in the evening shower camp, taking a cold shower may send signals to your body clock that it’s actually day time, making it harder to fall asleep.
Of course, if you’re like me (Team Morning Shower), then you have nothing to worry about.
(In fact a cold shower will help synchronise your internal body clock!)
Hopefully, you’re now in a position to decide whether you think cold showers will help your sleep.
If you think your sleep issues could be due to stress/illness, then I’m confident cold showers will benefit you.
However, if your sleep issues are down to let’s say too much caffeine, then cold showers probably won’t help.
As for the reasons why cold showers may hinder your sleep, you can easily avoid these by joining Team Morning Shower 😉
Thanks for sticking with me until the end and I’ll catch you in the next article.