Saturday , July 13 2024

Should I shower after 10 p.m.?


Taking a hot shower helps me with sleep and relaxation, but does having a late-night one in cold weather affect my health? (Tung, 27, Hanoi)

Our bodies undergo a reduction in metabolism, a decrease in muscle tension, and contraction of the heart and blood vessels at night. Additionally, digestive processes slow down to rest. Consequently, taking a late-night shower can disrupt the body’s normal biological rhythms.

As the night falls and the weather gets colder, there is a significant difference between the temperature of the environment and the body. The evaporation of hot water after a warm shower can cause heat loss from our body, making it more susceptible to catching a cold.

When the body loses heat, blood vessels constrict to conserve warmth, leading to an increase in blood pressure and vasoconstriction. Taking a shower at night can thus worsen the condition of patients with chronic respiratory conditions such as chronic bronchitis and asthma, as well as increase the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

A woman sitting in a bathroom. Illustration photo by Freepik

A woman sitting in a bathroom. Illustration photo by Freepik

In addition, taking a hot shower at night can lead to dry skin, increased hair loss, and susceptibility to fungal infections. Such a practice can also exacerbate conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or increase gastric acid secretion, resulting in discomfort in the upper abdomen.

It is recommended to shower before 8 p.m. Start by wetting your body from the neck and allowing your hands and feet to get accustomed to the water before washing your hair. Moreover, keep your shower time around 10 minutes and avoid staying in the water for too long.

The water temperature should not be excessively hot, as it can strip away natural oils and dry the skin, nor too cold, as it can constrict blood vessels and harm circulation. The recommended water temperature is around 40 degrees Celsius.

After showering, you can shampoo your hair for about 5 to 7 minutes. Avoid soaking your hair for an extended period.

Refrain from showering when you are too hungry, too full, intoxicated, feeling very tired, or have just engaged in physical activities. Additionally, avoid showering in excessively cold or drafty areas. After taking a shower, make sure to thoroughly dry your body and hair and put on warm clothing to maintain body warmth. Finally, do not shower immediately after vigorous physical activity, as it can cause a sudden change in body temperature.

Dr. Nguyen Huy Hoang

Vietnam-Russia Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Center

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