Morning or evening shower? An existential crisis

At my blog we discuss matters of grave consequence. The splutterings from the Trump White House, the shrillness of I, Tonya, the LGBT anthem from Lady Gaga I didn’t ask for – these comprise some of my recent postings. But one item may serve as a Mason-Dixon line for my readers: do you shower in the morning or at night?

In a column published a couple weeks ago, Maya Salam admitted she preferred the rinse before bed – it relaxed her. A couple of friends admit to it too. If one has children, engages in physical activity, or even wants to wash a workday’s accumulation of bacteria and sweat, it makes sense. But doing so presupposes not cleaning oneself in the morning besides, what, a face wash?

Everybody in my house showered in the morning,” said Nate Martins, a writer from San Francisco. After the water heated up, “we’d all stack up like dominoes,” he said.

“Washing the sleep off, that’s something that I still do,” he said — much to the chagrin of his wife, Natalie, who’s a steadfast night showerer. “There have been times where she’s asked me to shower before bed, especially when I’ve spent a lot of time on public transit.”

For those who have a hard time waking up, a morning shower can make a big difference, said Dr. Janet K. Kennedy, a clinical psychologist and sleep expert in New York. It can boost alertness, she said, but she recommends a somewhat cooler, not cold, shower to avoid raising your body temperature dramatically.

Most importantly: what about bed head?

I have vain reasons. Scrupulous about styling my hair because I have so little of it left, I shower on weekday mornings in part as an excuse to take care of my appearance. I rise before six, put the kettle on and get the blender ready, and step into the shower. When it’s over I begin a series of mirror moves involving a comb, Aveda sculpturing gel, and determination. On weekend mornings I’m less meticulous; during the winter I can wait until mid afternoon, timing it for an outing. I should have put winter in scare quotes, for I live in Miami, whose climate is “early summer” or “goddamn summer” ten months of the year. Many South Floridians shower twice a day, an indulgence I don’t do often unless I really worked up a sweat or used the pool.

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