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The best time to shower if you want to fall asleep faster

According to new research, treating bathing as a nighttime ritual can help exhausted moms get the quality sleep they need.

best time to shower

If there's one thing you need to know about me, it's this: I live for a hot shower. It's easily the most relaxing thing I do all day. When I was preparing to welcome my twins, all I heard was how I would barely have time to shower. But I knew one thing: I was going to make time for those long, hot showers because for me, they're the ultimate form of self-care.

A lot of people shower in the morning, but according to new research, treating bathing as a nighttime ritual can help exhausted moms get the quality sleep they need. People often tell new moms they won't have time to shower, but maybe we should be making sure they can prioritize taking one.

Researchers at the University of Texas Cockrell School of Engineering say the key to a good night's sleep is bathing in water of about 104-109 degrees Fahrenheit about one to two hours before bedtime. The researchers considered data from over 5,000 sources before determining that doing this helps you fall asleep about 10 minutes faster and get a better night of sleep overall.

The study set out to examine how passive body heating from a water source affects sleep. They looked at four factors: How quickly a person transitions from fully awake to fully asleep, how long a person sleeps, the amount of time spent sleeping as compared to the amount of time spent in bed and the quality of sleep.

The idea that body temperature and sleep may be linked isn't new. Body temperature actually drops about an hour before sleep time, dropping even lower in the middle of sleep and rising before it's time to rise. Your body temperature also decreases a bit after a warm bath or shower and this helps your body's natural circadian rhythm signal that it's time for your brain to shut down.

Taking a hot bath or shower can help your body know that it is time to power down. If you couple your bathing ritual with with a screen-time curfew for yourself instead of mentally working through your to-do list when your head hits the pillow you'll be drifting off to sleep 10 minutes sooner.

If you've been having trouble sleeping, instead of scrolling on your phone in bed tonight consider shutting off your phone and having a hot shower or bath. We know that a bath time routine helps get our kids ready for sleep and it's true for mama, too.

Make your baths and showers true self-care moments with some of our favorite clean and natural products:

Esker restorative body wash

Esker restorative body wash

Like all of Esker's formulas, the restorative body wash is made from a blend of organic oils. Relaxing lavender water and chamomile water nourish and calm dry, agitated skin while the intoxicating sweet and spicy scent help assure as restful a night's sleep as possible.

$28

Maude Dead Sea salt bath soak

Maude Dead Sea salt bath soak

Close the door and indulge in a nice relaxing soak, mama. Made with a luxe blend of coconut milk and Dead Sea salt, this natural soak from Maude is the perfect balance of moisturizing and detoxifying.

$18

Hill House Home soap + water bath towel set

Hill House Home set of bath towels

Getting out of the shower is easier when there's a luxurious and soft towel waiting for you. This set from Hill House Home features de-bossed letters that read "SOAP" and "WATER," inspired by Cecil Beaton's famous quote, "What is elegance? Soap and water." So true.

$44

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10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

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