Why A Midday Shower Could Boost Creativity

Whether you prefer them first thing in the morning or in the evening, taking a shower is often a necessary item on our daily to-do list. Both have their benefits.

Clinical psychologist and sleep expert Dr. Janet K. Kennedy says showering at night can help if you suffer from insomnia, and that 90 minutes before you go to sleep is the optimal window. "The body naturally cools down as bedtime approaches, in sync with the circadian rhythm," Kennedy tells The New York Times. "Showering artificially raises the temperature again and allows for a faster cool down, which seems to hasten sleep."

Yet showers first thing in the morning not only wake you up but give you the opportunity to remove sweat and oil, and leave you feeling fresh and clean, ready to start your day. If you adjust your shower setting to be slightly on the cool side, that can further wake you up and make you more alert, as per mbg. However, there is another shower time that is thought to get your creative juices flowing and it's smack in the middle of the day.

Afternoon showers can unleash creativity

We've all been in the shower, lathering up or washing our hair when an idea for a pitch we're working on, a new recipe, or even a resolution to a longstanding nagging problem suddenly pops into our heads. Many times it can occur when we weren't even thinking about it in the first place.

A study published in Sage Journals aimed to identify when creativity strikes most and it showed that many people have highly creative moments when they are doing rather basic daily tasks that allow their active minds to wander.

Showers and other less mindful activities like doing the dishes "takes some of your attention so that they can influence your thoughts, but doesn't take all of it so that you have no attention for these creative ideas that are incubating in the background," Zachary Irving, assistant professor of philosophy of cognitive science at the University of Virginia and author of the study explains (via Washington Post).

How showers allow your mind to unplug

Oddly enough, the restrictions that a shower provides actually help your brain decompress. according to Headspace. "You have some mild sensory deprivation. You can't see very much. There's the white noise of the water," says John Kounios, psychology professor and co-author of "The Eureka Factor: Aha Moments, Creative Insight, and the Brain." "This sensory restriction is like an extended brain blink," says Kounios." You cut out the outside world and ideas bubble up into awareness."

Showers are a part of healthy self-care, both physically and mentally, since it's in this quiet space that your brain begins to ease. "The relaxing, solitary, and non-judgmental shower environment may afford creative thinking by allowing the mind to wander freely, and causing people to be more open to their inner stream of consciousness and daydreams," says psychologist Ron Friedman, author of "The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace," as per Insider.

"You need to create that space in your life, and that's often what happens when we go into the shower," explains Friedman. "It's one of those few moments when we're not tied to our devices, so we have that extra space to find connections between ideas."