Mixing up your shower routine is perfectly normal. Sometimes you feel like a long, hot shower the minute you get home from a stressful day at work, sometimes you feel like a freezing cold shower in the morning to perk you up for the day ahead.
Scientific studies have already proven showers can increase creativity and refresh your mind, but now there’s evidence to suggest hopping under a stream of hot water before you go to bed can help you fall asleep quicker.
Related: The Real Reason You Suck at Sleeping
The study out of the Centre of Sleep Medicine aimed to discover whether showering before bed had the same benefits as pre-bedtime baths. And their hypothesis was spot on: the study found showering before bed helps your body cool down and relax.
The key to getting the most out of a pre-bedtime shower is timing – showering and then getting straight into bed will actually make it harder to fall asleep as your body temperature will be raised. Plus you’ll get a damp pillow.
“You don’t want to heat yourself up right before bed,” study author Dr. Dianna Augelli told TIME Health. “Cooling down is a signal that tells us we’re supposed to go to sleep.”
Dr. Augelli says the optimum time to shower is 90 minutes before hitting the hay, as that leaves enough time for your body to circulate it’s circadian rhythms – the things that tell your body whether it’s sleepy or awake.
As we said, your body temperature will increase immediately after the shower. But after giving it time to cool-down, you’ll be better primed for sleep instead of feeling hot and bothered.
If you want to take your shower game to the next level, read the benefits this writer experienced when he took freezing cold showers every day for a week.