If you’re not a morning person, chances are the first thing you do when you wake up is jump in the shower.
It wakes your entire body up, and a standard hot shower is exactly what you want… if you plan on going back to sleep.
A hot shower or bath is exactly what doctors recommend to people who have trouble sleeping, Entrepreneur reports. Emerging from one brings a decrease in body temperature, which leads to a relaxed state of mind.
It’s helpful if you’re trying to fall asleep, but it’s not what you need to start off a jam-packed day.
If your morning goal is to wake yourself up, then you need to change your showering habits – and it’ll only take you 90 seconds to do it.
Once you’ve finished your normal morning showering ritual, blast yourself with cold water for 30 seconds, then hot for 30 seconds, and then cold again for 30 seconds.
The blast of hot water opens up your capillaries and increases blood flow. But it’s important to always end on cold. Sounds painfully discomforting, I’ll admit, but it works.
Contrast hydrotherapy has been used for thousands of years. Finland in particular is home to two million saunas (for a population of just five million) and at least once a week, 99 per cent of Finns enjoy relieving their stress by way of a sauna.
Choosing to go hot and cold also provides your body with a fine tune-up. According to various studies, contrast hydrotherapy can provide reduced stress, a stronger immune system, increased ability to burn fat and improved blood circulation.
A 2008 study also found that cold showers could produce an anti-depressant effect.
If you trust the Finns (and science), it may not be a bad idea to work this into your morning routine.