Greg tries to take cold showers every day
There is one time in the day when you can stand still and let the stresses of the full day literally wash away. However, I accepted a twenty-day challenge to only take cold showers, leaving my nighttime routine as the most stressful part of my day.
I went into the challenge with low expectations, dreading having to step into a shower with the same attitude as stepping into a pool. Only this time, it is not ninety degrees outside, especially with the way my dad likes to keep the house cold.
The first day of the challenge was very difficult. Stepping into the shower was quite painful in a way, as the cold temperature shocked my body.
The only benefit of the cold shower was not having to wait for the water to heat up and not being cold when getting out of the shower, which was sort of useful.
The next few days were still like the first and I never really acclimated to stepping into that temperature. I only experienced stomach pain with the shock of the cold to my body. Combined with the fact that I take very long showers, the challenge was becoming uncomfortable on many different levels.
On the fifth day, I noticed that I was having the worst sleep I could remember myself ever having since I started the challenge. I looked up to see if there was an actual correlation between shower temperature and poor sleep, and indeed there was.
An National Institute of Health (NIH) study found that hot showers cause increased tiredness and participants who took hot showers gave increased sleep scores.
I am very active after school, so the importance of sleep for me cannot be stressed enough. I was not willing to take any chances with more poor sleep so my challenge ended at five days.
Even though I stopped the challenge, I will definitely still incorporate the cold temperatures into a small part of my overall shower time, since there are many benefits to the cold shower.
Cold showers have been shown to boost the immune system with the shock the initial temperature causes on the body. Other benefits include increased circulation and speeding up muscle soreness and recovery.
Looking back on the challenge, a part of me wishes that I stuck with it for a few more days. Perhaps, the bad sleep may have been caused by my body never experiencing cold showers before. I also lack the full benefits of the cold shower since I only take it for a few minutes a day.
I now realize how spoiled many in the world is with the benefit of hot water heaters. Without one, the time when my stresses wash away would end up as just another added stress.