Do you find yourself feeling so exhausted every morning that you wonder how on earth you'll survive the day? Sleep experts say your shower technique actually might be to blame—or at least, it probably isn't helping. When we take hot showers in the morning, as most of us do, our body temperature rises then immediately drops when we get out and towel off. The problem is that this sharp decrease in body temperature actually works to prepare our bodies for sleep, soothing our nerves for a bedtime effect instead of waking us up for the day.
But a new report from Lifehack.com offers a genius new way of showering that promises to boost energy like a shot of espresso and keep that high going all day. The technique is known colloquially as a "Scottish shower," and it takes about a minute and a half. To learn how this shower hack works (and how to do it yourself), keep scrolling.
The key to this trick is to drastically change the temperature of your shower water in 30-second intervals. Start with icy-cold water, and let that run for 30 seconds. Switch to the hottest temperature you can tolerate for another 30, and then switch back to cold water for the last 30 seconds. The technique is technically referred to as "hot and cold hydrotherapy," and though it sounds a bit unpleasant, it's actually been used all over the world.
Here's the logic behind it: The dramatic contrast in temperature works to open up your capillaries and increase blood flow. Simple as this technique may be, science finds its benefits are manifold. One study shows cold showers can decrease symptoms of depression, and another study says it could contribute to a stronger immune system. Other research points to the fact that it can improve circulation and increase your body's ability to burn fat.
If the idea of jumping into a cold shower freaks you out, get your body used to it by starting out with warm water and gradually decreasing it to cold. From there, start your 90-second routine. Otherwise, the folks at Lifehack.com suggest simply psyching yourself up for it. "If you know how to swim, then it is easy for you to step into the cold water right away," they say. "You can gasp or scream if that helps. Get your mind ready beforehand, and it will be easier for your body to take a cold shower in the morning as it will adjust automatically after some time."