If you have a habit of doing exercises late at night, you may wonder if you should take a shower after working out, before going to bed. Furthermore, you may wonder if taking a shower after working out is necessary at all?
So is it bad to sleep without showering, when you have done some exercises?
Yes, you should take a shower before bed when you have done your workout, because then your bed stays cleaner, and good hygiene can help you stay healthier. In any case, when you have done some hard exercises, it is better to wait for 20-30 minutes before you go to shower, to cool down your body, since sweating may continue for some time after working out.
For some people, it’s almost a rule that they always take a shower after working out. However, there might be situations when you feel that you don’t need to take a shower. You may also feel so tired after working out at night that you wonder if you should still take a shower before bed.
What would be the best practice in your particular case? Read on, and find out the best solution for you in this post.
What Happens If You Go to Bed Right After Working Out and Don’t Take a Shower?
You may think that nothing special will happen.
It is true, that you may not notice any consequences right away, but your spouse most likely will. And you may notice it sooner or later.
But doesn’t it sound a bit dirty in the first place? Besides the general feeling that it might not be the best idea, there are plenty of other reasons to avoid skipping a shower in such a case.
When considering the consequences of going to bed right after sweaty exercises, without taking a shower, one elite runner describes:
“If you go to bed without showering after you work up a sweat, you are rubbing that dirt and salt into your bed sheets, which means the next time you climb into bed when you have showered (or worse still, someone else climbs into your bed), your stinky sheets will be there waiting, and you will rub that dirt and sweat back on to your (or their) clean body”
– Tina Muir, an elite runner for SauconySource: Bustle.com
Furthermore, there might be a risk of yeast infection, as “sitting around in sweaty gym clothes or a wet bathing suit provides an environment in which yeast can thrive. Change into dry clothes as soon as possible”.
Same is true if you go to bed right after your workout, without showering.
Also, going to bed without showering may cause unwanted heat rash. Especially if you already have a rash, going to bed sweaty will certainly not make it any better.
So basically it’s a matter of dirt on your body, and it is all about your welfare and health. That is why you want to avoid mistakes.
Should You Take a Shower Just Right After Working Out?
Actually, the answer is NO.
Sweat itself can feel so disgusting that you want to get rid of it as soon as possible. Furthermore, taking a shower might be a relaxing habit, part of the process of working out.
There are a few different opinions related to the question whether you should take a shower right after working out or not.
Some think that you should shower right after doing sweaty exercises, to get that sweaty feeling and smell away.
However, some others think that it is better to wait a while before going to shower. It might actually be benefial to wait a moment, so that your heart rate will settle down and sweating will decrease.
“Ideally, once you stop sweating profusely– in about 20-30 minutes–you can go right ahead with your shower”.Source: Timesofindia.indiatimes.com
It might really be a good practice to wait a few moments before you go to shower after working out, since if you would take a shower just after working out, your body is still in the exercise mode.
Sweating may still continue after a quick shower, and the benefits of the shower will not be so obvious anymore.
So let your body cool down a little before the shower, and after that, you are more than ready to go to sleep as well.
But there is another point of view on this matter:
“If you’re sweaty after your workout but don’t have time for a shower, relax,” Robert Silverman says. “As a sports nutritionist, I work with high-level athletes all the time, and I know that sweat is very unlikely to do any damage to your health or your skin. My bigger concern is dehydration, so be sure to drink enough fluids to replace what you’ve sweated out.”Source: Womenshealthmag.com
So it might not always be necessary to take a shower right after exercising. But here, Silverman wasn’t talking about the situation when you are going to bed right after your workout, but rather that was just general advice after working out.
So as mentioned earlier, after working out, it’s almost a must to shower before going to bed.
Would It Impact Your Sleep If You Don’t Take a Shower After Working out and Before Bed?
It really depends on the individual, how easy it is to fall asleep in such a situation.
But it may affect your ability to fall asleep, since your body odor may transfer to the bed sheets and the sweaty smell most likely won’t help with falling asleep.
Furthermore, if you sleep next to your partner, it can also impact your partner’s ability to fall asleep and sleep well during the whole night. (You’ll probably hear about it, if that is a problem to your partner!).
So for these reasons, it would be better to take a shower before bed!
Should You Shower After Working out and Before Bed, If You Don’t Sweat?
You may feel that you don’t sweat during the workout and you don’t smell sweaty at all. Could you skip a shower in that situation?
Well, you could also think about this:
“It’s not the smell of sweat that you have to worry about but the fact that perspiration left behind on your skin allows bacteria to proliferate, and that can lead to rashes and breakouts,” explains Holly L. Phillips, M.D. “Source: Womenshealthmag.com
So it is obviously healthier to take a shower, even if you don’t feel sweaty.
Furthermore, if you work out at the gym, there’s a risk of catching viruses and bacteria, since many people work out there. This is another reason why it might be a good idea to take a shower after working out, even if you are not feeling sweaty at all.
How Often Should You Shower?
It is undoubtedly a good practice to take a shower every time after working out. But in general, how often it would be best to take a shower, regardless of whether you are working out or not?
It really depends on many things.
Many people take a shower once a day.
Some others even shower twice a day.
However, it may be enough to take a shower just twice or three times per week, especially if you live in a mild climate zone.
In a warmer climate, you might need to take a shower more often.
So depending on the place where you live and your current situation, you may decide how often you want to take a shower.
But whenever you work out, especially in a warm climate, showering right after a workout would be an excellent idea, in addition to your normal shower times.
What to Do If You Can’t Take a Shower After Working Out?
In some cases, it may be impossible to take a shower after working out.
For instance, a water supply problem might surprise you and make it impossible to shower.
So what to do in that case?
You may use these solutions in case of an emergency when you are not able to use the shower:
- Change your sweaty clothes to dry ones
- Wipe your whole body with a wet cloth
- Use talc-free baby powder to soak up moisture
- Use cleanser wipes to freshen your body
- Use a light scent to refreshen you, such as a rose water spray
These are just a few options that you can do. However, whenever it is possible, taking a real shower would be a better option.
So if you ever work out late at night, make sure that you have time to take a shower after your workout. When doing so, you can stay healthy and you (and your partner) sleep well!