lifestyle

Mega-important debate: Do you shower before work or before bed?

111 Comments
By RocketNews24

In Japan, the majority of people bathe at night before going to bed. Even if they don’t stick to the traditional routine of rinsing off before soaking in a hot bath, most Japanese find the idea of climbing into bed without having at least hopped in the shower first supremely icky – almost as icky as walking around your home while wearing your outdoor shoes.

In the West, however, many prefer to shower before leaving the house in the morning. No matter how well you slept the night before, the thought of not washing prior to putting on work clothes and heading out for the day seems pretty gross to most of us.

So for this week’s super mega important debate, we’re asking you to answer this one simple question: Do you bathe before bed or before work each morning?

So which are you? Are you an evening bather or a morning washer? Do you hop in the shower before you slumber, or do you lather up before heading out into the world? In other words, do your suits smell worse than your sheets or vice-versa?

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111 Comments
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Both. Morning one is the main one, night is a quick one.

10 ( +20 / -10 )

I find that a bath on Thursday night is sufficient.

35 ( +38 / -5 )

It always depends on what I've done that day or night. Generally before bed. But if I need to shower again, then again before work.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Cripes down here if one only showers once a day they are probably going to be pretty ripe. I often shower three times a day during the summer when I am home, morning, noon-ish, and night.

4 ( +9 / -6 )

Usually a shower in the morning is enough. If it's summer, then one more when I get home. If I work at home, once in the morning is fine.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Twice a day, everyday. (3 times or more during the muggy days of summer.)

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Twice a day at least especially in summer...

Between the smoking everywhere and the heat in summer it seems quite unpleasant to do any less.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Both. Without fail.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If I didn't sweat like a pig during the day or went to the onsen the night before, usually in the morning. I have also read that hair gets naturally more greasy after around 12 hours so I don't want to waste these hours sleeping.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Minimum two times a day. I usually shower 3 times if I get the chance.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Twice a day without fail, and three or four times in summer.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

A few years ago, for a couple of summers, I took several ice cold showers a day. But other than cooling off, I'd say I do both - before heading off to work/school and before sleeping.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Judging by many of the comments above - there is a lot of water being wasted in Japan.

19 ( +23 / -6 )

I don't like going to bed sweaty or dirty from a day's work. I usually shower once a day before bedtime.

9 ( +8 / -0 )

I usually have showers at night. Sometimes on summer mornings I'll also have a cold water splash if it was a hot night. I wash my hair every second night in summer, every second to third night in winter. My showers rarely take more than five minutes. I also turn the water off while I'm washing. Not much water waste from me.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Twice a day for me additional when needed.

Where I grew up twice a day was the norm so just continued it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Depends on what I did during the day, but if I feel "sticky" I hit the shower before bed. But I am normally a morning shower type.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Before bed. Imagine going to bed with the day's dirt and sweat on you! Yuck.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Both. If the humidity factor in Japan wasn't so bad, I'd forgo the morning routine.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

You also sweat during the night even in Winter it can be as much as 300ml, hence the morning shower.????

1 ( +4 / -3 )

EVERY day?

I wish somebody woulda told me...

8 ( +8 / -1 )

I'd add a recommendation to shower in the mornings on the train lines I use along with turn your phone to silent mode and don't sit with your legs apart. Give me people jabbering away on the phone anytime over the smells on the morning Chiyoda Line trains in August.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i think this is one of those you-know-you've-been-in-japan-too-long type of questions. before moving to japan, i was a morning shower person. now the thought of going to bed with all the dirt accumulated during the day just seems gross. and yes, 17 years and counting!

but agreed, twice a day during the summers is a must.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Of course in the morning!! That goes without saying, I do as well at night, but every night because I go to the gym and I have my Aikido classes so when I come back home, I just feel so gross, so in the shower I go. I don't bathe too much, prefer showering, but in the winter sometimes I like to soak my bones, but I can't imagine EVER putting on my clothes without taking a shower in the morning and during the wet Japanese summers sometimes 3 times a day.

7 ( +7 / -1 )

Where I grew up we had a bath every Sunday evening, whether we needed it or not, so that Mum could wash our clothes on the Monday.

Now? Every evening, plus other times when it's hot.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Twice day from May thru October, mornings only in the cooler months. Even if I'm going to stay home all day and I showered the night before, I cannot face the day without a refreshing shower (and coffee!) One thing I notice about the native nighttime bathers here is that their hair often looks like crap by the time work rolls around the next day.

And it's good the gaijin community doesn't live in California.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

When I came to Japan everyone used the sento and that did not open until late afternoon so I got into the habit of having a bath in the evenings. I also shower in the mornings if it has been a hot night.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Morning. And after a workout at the gym four or so nights a week,

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm not buying that, I believe that might be the case for some people, but I can tell you for a fact, I have a very sensitive nose and I have smelled quite a lot of Japanese with BO, the majority no, but it's there and I work with some people that make my nose hair curl and even during the morning train commute. I honestly doubt these people didn't shower in the morning. Another thing I also noticed is that some of these kids use too much deodorant, they walk passing you and they smell like they just bathed in the stuff. While you are right about the apocrine glands, there are still people that produce a strong body oder, welcome to the human race. Personally, I am just a neat freak by nature and meticulous about hygiene, that's just how I was raised, so I can get a little self-conscious and I make sure to never smell bad in public.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Morning. I only shower in the evening if I've actually been doing something strenuous (like existing on a hot Japanese summer's day) or messy. It's more important for me to feel clean and fresh before starting my day so mornings it is.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Once before bed is a must for me (unless I'm wasted). I don't like getting hair gel and a day's worth of sweat and grime on my pillows and sheets. That's usually enough for me, but I might shower again depending on who I have to meet, where I have to be, if I stink, etc.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Shower before work is a good chice. You will look fresh in the office also make others happy. Other choice not look feasible as not so many people interested in Bed, hence there is no point in taking bath before going to Bed. That cn be done as and when required. OK ?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japanese bath before bed every night. In summer could change to shower and add the morning shower.

And I'm sure many yak for the cultures that used to shower once a week! I come from such place and can assure you that personal hygiene was not limited only to that shower. We would wash legs every night and usually men wash upper body with cold water at the sink every morning and may be evening, etc., etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Morning shower is essential; bath before bed is a luxury.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I generally shower in the morning before work, both for cleanliness sake, and to wake me up a bit. that said, hot humid Kyushu summers often result in me taking an after-work shower as well.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wow... a WHOLE lot of posters should wouldn't fair well if they had to conserve water in a shortage. It's no wonder they say what the average person wastes in water in advanced countries in one week would be enough for a family to drink in poor nations for a year.

In any case, I shower in the morning before heading out for sure, and often at night as well in the summers, though I try to keep it short, because I just can't imagine going to bed after having sweated all day and/or am all grimy. In the winter we sometimes fill up the bath because it's nice in the cold weather. Fortunately I can use the facilities at the gym whenever I go, which is often enough, and they have a wicked bath, so I save a lot on water at home. In any case, I guess if you could only choose one it would be morning for me. A bit gross to go to bed at night if sweaty, like I said, but given that under very humid conditions you're going to sweat during the night anyway, I'd rather wash it all off before going out in public for the day.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Before bed. I only shower again next morning during particularly sticky summers, or if there's been some late-night bumpin' uglies. But in the winter showering that frequently becomes overkill. Once a day's generally enough unless you're doing something messy/sweat inducing.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Both here too. Morning cos sometimes I get up all sweaty and unkempt and getting in the shower helps wake me up. And then at night because its been a long day and I still don't smell as pleasant as I did walking out in the morning after a shower. Usually each wash takes me between 5-7mins. So its not too bad for conserving water.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Does this reflect the relative importance of work, the salary-man's domain, and that of wives?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It depends on what I've been doing in bed.

Back in the home country I generally showered quickly in the morning; in Japan too until a certain wife insisted on bathing at night. Now I sometimes do both; depending, as I said, what I'm doing in bed at night.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Going to bed filthy dirty is disgusting. Might as well wear your shoes to bed and not bother changing your underwear and socks until the morning. What do your sheets look like?

People that do not shower before bed are not going to get much action in bed either. Dirty habit.

Might as well soak in a dirty bubble bath as well.

-8 ( +6 / -13 )

Going to bed without a proper bath is really filthy...

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

maybe the japanese got it right:

(1) hot bath or shower before bed makes you live longer

(2) most japanese don't stink as much as i (gaijin) do

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

before after and during s+x whenever that may be

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For Asia it is usually before bed especially if you have air conditioning. After a day in the sweltering humidity you have no choice. The sweat during the day while working and going outside is different to the sweat while sleeping quietly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Once a year is fine with me. Save water and environment.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Problem is too many people wash their bodies too much and remove the essential body oils to maintain a healthy and clean skin. I haven't used soap on my face for more than 40 years. I do shave and follow that up with coconut cream all over my face. I only use small amounts of organic soaps about 10 yen coin worth whether I'm taking a bath or shower. I never scrub my skin red like you often see people doing in onsens. Very bad idea. Winter time I take a hot bath with mineral salts summer time its showers only. I mostly wash before bed and in the morning if I'm going out for the day or at least before I go out.

We used the Japanese style bed which at least in the summer is hung out every fine day along with the sheets to dry them out and kill the bugs. Due to age, we now use a western style bed and the type of sheets used is according to the season. Summer time we use a towel like fabric which absorbs the sweat. We change that every day. The main sheets are changed weekly and the mattress is vacuumed and turned over every month. In winter time we used fabrics which reflects heat from our bodies back into the bed.

9 ( +10 / -2 )

Both. Plus once after the gym. In winter I may skip the morning shower if I didn't sweat at night.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I haven't used soap on my face for more than 40 years.

I also don't use soap on my face, and haven't since I was a child, and probably eight of ten times I tell someone my age, I get a comment as to how young I look. Whether that's because I'm not using soap on my face, or some other reason, I don't know, but not using soap on my face definitely is not hurting.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If you don't shower before bed, that means every night you have to sleep with your sweat from the day before. That's far from relaxing. My British husband doesn't either, and I always wonder how often his sheets should be washed.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Before going to bed of course. I could not imagine not doing it, I would not be able to sleep. It's not only the dirt and sweat, but also the negative energy that you get during the day, water is cleaning everything. I was surprised that some some people do it in the morning instead of evening. Morning shower is not so important unless you sleep in a very hot room and sweat a lot.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I go to the public bathouse (sento) every night ... and soak in a hot tub of water at least three times, eight to 10 minutes each time. In between dips in the hot water I shave, shampoo, rinse my hair and wash my body. Use a bar of soap when shaving as this system does not result in razor knicks. Both my wife & I have smooth, soft skin ... no problem whatsoever. In the hot summer a hot bath cools us off and in the winter a hot bath warms us up.

We also chat it up with our many friendly bathhouse friends ...

This is one of the many reasons why I like living in Japan ... the sento ...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The whole idea that going to bed without showering means you are in bed with your sweat from the day falls apart when you spend the night sweating anyways because of the heat.

Sheets need to be washed regardless.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Often both except in summer than always both!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Morning & Night ... and music to shower to is also important ... I shower faster with AKB48 ... (the older music)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Morning shower din't like going to work with night muck on me.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I remember a discussion with my Japanese mother-in-law about 35 years on this topic. She wondered why I took one in the am, and another in the pm. And like @bass, 3 times in the summer.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I take shower before going to work and before I hit the sack. Sometimes, three times a day especially in the summer.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I find if I don't take a shower for several days, there is more space around me and I can often get a seat on the trains, hee hee, OK seriously though, of course before going to bed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Whenever it rains works for me.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

maybe the japanese got it right: hot shower/bath before bed makes you live longer, and perhaps is more hygienic

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Summer; Morning and Before bed Spring and Fall; Morning Winter; Night

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Just the morning. In the evening too on a hot day.

One thing I wondered from others is do you use deodorant every day or only in the summer? A lot of Japanese I know and ex-pats say they use deordorant in the summer. I can't live without deordorant year-round.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Monthly shower, every first of the month ! Luckily February gives me a bit of early freshness.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I don't wear it from around November - May. No need, my armpits don't smell in that time of year, and it just ends up making my shirts smell.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Both, before leaving my home and before going to bed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

shower in the morning, and a nice soak in the bath before bed. Does wonders.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

any more than 2 showers in a day is pure waste. If your BO is that bad, time to see a doctor..

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Me I shower when I need it, not a salaryman so don't have that morning routine, although I will jump in for a rinse in the AM at times.

Along with work I have a big yard & veggie patch that need work & cut & split wood for my wood stove so o outside often I get back near home & am not fit to enter the house haha.

We collect rainwater outside so when I am in fine form I use water from the barrels to get of the gobs of dirt, then venture inside & strip on my way to the shower, this can be at any time of day, even between midnight & 6am

Like I said, I shower/bath(in winter cooler months) when I need one, often in & out quick, DONE!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Morning showers necessary to get rid of pillow hair!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

both morning and before sleeping. In summer I also freshen up throughout the day.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Once every two hours. Once every 90 minutes in the summer....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Before work as my hair would be sticking out and messy like those in Anime. Also, before bed. Sometimes, one more time after work when I got home and before dinner.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I am a morning shower person, If needed will take one before bed, but like most people, the gym showers helped a lot. I miss the onsens and rotenburos though, since I no longer live in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Once every six weeks, whether I need it or not.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Gaijin DesiJun. 22, 2015 - 11:31AM JST

Shower before work is a good chice. You will look fresh in the office also make others happy. Other choice not look feasible as not so many people interested in Bed, hence there is no point in taking bath before going to Bed. That cn be done as and when required. OK ?

Then, you have a shower to make others happy, not really because it's good for you? And, as there's no one interested in your bed, you don't have a shower at night?

Really. You should think more about yourself, not about how you're seen by others...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One important question I would like to add.

When do you NEED to take a shower or bath?

The key to all is "choice" and "want." I choose the need and do it when I want. The only obstacle is if the bath facility is readily available when I need and want.

Unless water supply is a problem, is this question really needed?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm astounded that there are people who work a whole day and come home and don't bathe. That amazes me. Is it possible?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

As necessary. After exercise, before work, etc. Time or place is not set.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Really. You should think more about yourself, not about how you're seen by others...

People often cannot smell their own body odor. But others can. So maybe you should not think about how you're seen by others, but you should think about how your smelled by others.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A shower in the morning to wake up. In the evening only if it's been particularly strenuous or stressful day, or if I'm going out.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I remember a discussion with my Japanese mother-in-law about 35 years on this topic. She wondered why I took one in the AM, and another in the PM.

Yes, I had a few conversations with mystified Japanese homestay mothers who didn't understand the morning shower thing. I always explained that I couldn't open my eyes properly in the morning without the benefit of a good sprinkling of water. Speaking of which, I wish Japanese shower heads had more oomph to them. Mine just kind of dribbles all the time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

During the summer months I'd live in the shower if it wasn't for the water bill beating out the electrical bill and the fact that my PC doesn't do too well in the shower nor does the gas cooktop.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I thought everyone showered morning and the evening too until I moved to Japan. My J-wife never seems to sweat or have any body odor like most Japanese so maybe one shower or bath per day in the evening is sufficient. If your sexually active at night, I would think that a morning shower would be mandatory and then after a hard day's work and enduring the commute crush another shower is needed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My J-wife never seems to sweat or have any body odor like most Japanese so maybe one shower or bath per day in the evening is sufficient. If you're sexually active at night, would think that a morning shower would be mandatory.

If you are married to a J-wife, you won't be needing a lot of morning showers, that's for sure.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I'm an evening bather! Taking a shower in the morning is good but in the evening is more necessary. Water cleans your body from everything negative.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For me, twice a day. Before and after my workday.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Pretty much as most of the posts , twice a day, morning and night, summer time I can double that, depending on my day...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I just have a good shower at night before bed, no need for one in the morning if you keep you sheets clean and dont sweat a lot while sleeping.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I shower 12 times a day. Two times before breakfast, one time after brunch, then three times after lunch, then four times are divided over the afternoon and early evening, then one time before breakfast and one time after supper. I also like reading, swimming and horseback riding in my spare time.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Both.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Just because you might shower at night doesn't mean you won't sweat overnight. I personally think it's more grimy not to shower in the morning - you are going to work dirty - nice!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

No, I don't : )

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Leisurely bath with a short rinse shower at night, and then a quick wake me up and fix bed head shower in the morning.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Both! Cannot face a day both at the office or at home without a clean set of "everything". Evenings are split into Winter and Summer situations. Summer definitely draws showering before bed, and Winter can be split into shower only or shower then soak in a nice hot bath - of course clean night wear afterwards; makes it easy on the bed-manchester washing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As CBG Spender points out, this thread has become less about bathing and more about some deeply ingrained OCD suffered by more than a few posters. Howard Hughes comes to mind..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Both of course. Anyone who doesnt is just plain filthy.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

I take a shower just prior to going to bed every night unless I am sick, then in the morning right after a light breakfast I walk and/or jog 16km then take another shower when I finish.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When I was growing up I used to bathe at night, because we didn't have water heaters for the shower, we had to do it at night, just by heating water on a pot. But then in my teens, with my long thick hair it became troublesome because the hair doesn't dry fast enough and going to bed with wet hair made me wake up with horrible headaches, even if I shampoo my hair every other day or every 2 days (as I do now), so I switched to morning showers before a work's day to wake up and start afresh a new day.

In the summer, with all the heat I'd take a light shower (no shampooing) before bed too, it's a very dry desert here, I don't get sticky, but still feeling hot and also on those days where at work I've been on the mine or I get covered with dust, but still I would not wash my hair at night.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When I grew up we just had a morning bird bath with hot water from the kettle in the morning. After walking 8kms home from school sometimes running it I needed another bath. The solar panels werent so good in the 80s but I did it. Cold or not I showered.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Depends what I've done during the day. Certainly in the morning, sometimes in the evening and always after a surf.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Almost always twice a day and more times three than only one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

ewww gross, who sleeps in their filth?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Speaking of which, I wish Japanese shower heads had more oomph to them

Mine is quite good. I find the water pressure much better than what I had in the states. If its just the head, then try getting a new one or an attachment or something.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yeah, in our last house, the pressure was so much that it would force the shower head right out of the bracket on the wall if we turned up the water too much. Our current place has pretty strong water pressure as well.

It's not a Japan thing. It's a house-by-house thing.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I take a shower after I'm done running and before I go to sleep.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mostly in the morning right after moving bowels. I also want to go to work fresh and with my hair not standing like a peacock. Occasionally at night if I feel too sticky like in summer or after a dirty day - involving exercise or a major trip. If I didn't sweat the whole day like in winter, a face wash before sleeping is sufficient. Japan has water in abundance so supply is not an issue; it's the water bill that we have to watch out for especially if you have a family.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I haven't used soap on my face for more than 40 years.

I have NEVER washed my face... (that is - with soap...) Mother always told me it would "age" me very quickly and to prefer face "cleansers" instead.

With a Japanese bath, I like to soak a little in the evenings (a "warm" bath being very relaxing - followed by a cool beer...). The water is not changed every day because people wash before entering the bathtub. A cold shower in the morning really helps to "wake one up" !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Before work. My hair is a total wreck without a shower and the motorcycle helmet doesn't help.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Shower 2 times a day is not necessary I think. It's just a wasting of water as well. It's also bad for your hair and skin. Everyone should bath once a day or so. I think the morning bath is the best time to start your day for the office or work. You don't need to shower after coming back to home. But you can fresh your face, hands and feet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I shower three times a week after workouts. during the rest of the days, I only wash my private parts and this is enough to feel clean. the homemade deodorant is the best invetion ever, even my mother who was a huge fan of those antiperspirants, now changed her mind by the way, I skip my showers to avoid skin dehydration, not to save the planet.. sorry…

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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