Have you ever tried... Scottish showers?
On Her Majesty's Secret Showers
As self-help culture has taken off, people are more and more interested in small tweaks that can improve their lives in big ways. Although everyone likes hot showers quite a bit, scalding water can have a number of negative effects on your skin and hair (which contain many sensitive oils that can be carried away or destroyed by hot water). Cold showers, taken by the truly brave, offer none of these drawbacks while providing improved circulation, increased testosterone, and a number of other substantial benefits.
But, as the great Paul Skallas has said, life really is too short to be taking cold showers. Whatever the benefits may be, it’s quite a shock to start off or end your day this way. One compromise option lies in “Scottish Showers” so-named because they were popularized in the books of writer Ian Fleming, creator of the James Bond series. Bond, a fictional Scotsman, would take these showers (common among the fitness-conscious of the time) and argued persuasively for their positive impact on health.
In the Bond books, Bond begins with scalding hot water, then gradually over the course of the shower shifts into freezing cold. I’ve tried these, they’re certainly refreshing (especially at the beginning of the day), but the more radical the temperature change, the more uncomfortable they become at night. I’ve gotten the best results from just keeping the water lukewarm at first, and then for the last minute or so switching to full-on cold. When you’re on that final cold burst, try to get your face and as much as the rest of your body as possible. It feels great afterwards.
This is especially helpful because in order to slip naturally into sleep your body’s core temperature typically needs to be about two degrees lower than normal. This process starts about two hours before you actually go to sleep. Obviously a brief shower won’t a huge impact on your body’s core temperature, but from personal experience it really does make a difference in sleep speed/quality even if it’s all in my head.
If you’ve never tried these before, give it a few days. Maybe they’ll help you in the same way that they helped me.
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