Menu

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

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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?

Micuna: Innovative and stylish baby gear that grows with them

Since 1973, Micuna has been perfecting the art of sustainably handcrafted baby furniture. Made from wood sourced from the north of Spain and Germany and manufactured in sustainable certified sawmill companies only, their modern and minimalist high chairs are perfect for families who don't want to sacrifice their aesthetic for function. What's more, they hold themselves to the strictest of European and American safety standards, resulting in only the best for parents and their littles.

Habbi Habbi: The easiest way to expose kids to a different language

Created by two best friends as an expression of their effort to be intentional parents, Habbi Habbi Reading Wand & Bilingual Books are the easiest way to start your kids bilingual learning without the screen. Their innovative and engaging play-based tool brings language to life through a tech-enabled wand and "tappable" books that give kids instant feedback, from vocabulary and phrases to musical tunes. The content is as intentional as the books are beautiful highlighting topics like emotions, female role models and diversity.

Countdown to Mama: 14 mama-tested, mama-approved presents to get excited about a new baby

Founded by a mama who came up the idea at the end of her own uncomfortable pregnancy, Countdown to Mama is the only advent calendar-style mama-to-be gift box out there. With a range of "niceties to necessities," she made it her mission to curate a collection of mama-loved products that thoughtfully usher her through the biggest transformation of her life.

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

Keep reading Show less
Shop

100 unusual + surprising baby name ideas

From Adelia to Ziggy.

Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play