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Old 06-12-2008, 06:44 PM
Marlitharn Marlitharn is offline
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Beating the heat: cool shower vs. hot shower

My husband and I currently have no air condtioning and are having a disagreement about whether it's better to take a cool shower or a hot shower in our (mostly vain) attempts to cool off before bed.

He maintains it's better to take a hot shower, because it acclimates your body to a higher temperature, so then when you come out of the bathroom the house feels cooler.

I think it's better to take a cool shower to bring down your core body temperature. This has the advantage of not making me sweat like an old sow hog while I'm standing in the shower, which is just gross.

So who's right?
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2008, 06:48 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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He's either nuts or a reptile: us warm-blooded creatures don't "acclimate" to different temperatures.

A cool shower won't lower your "core body temperature" either (same logic), but what it does is make you feel cold for a little while, which is the best you're going to get.
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:09 PM
Geek Mecha Geek Mecha is offline
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We had the same discussion in our house.

Frankly, I didn't give a rat's ass about feeling cooler later. I wanted to stop being hot now, dammit. We go to bed after we shower and we sleep in a fan-cooled bedroom anyway. There must be something in my SO's head that makes him think his post-shower cool comfort is the result of his hot shower and not that big spinning thing on the ceiling.
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:10 PM
Stainz Stainz is offline
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What I've read, and what makes sense to me, is that you should take a warm shower.

Reason being, if you take a cold shower, your body will actually work harder to warm itself up, which is totally counterproductive.
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:41 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudreyK
We go to bed after we shower and we sleep in a fan-cooled bedroom anyway.
Now it goes without saying that the best way to be cool is to take any kind of shower and go to bed under a ceiling fan while still damp. That's how sweating works, after all.
  #6  
Old 06-12-2008, 10:08 PM
bouv bouv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stainz
Reason being, if you take a cold shower, your body will actually work harder to warm itself up, which is totally counterproductive.
Unless you're actually in the shower for a LONG time, and it's VERY cold, then you aren't going to lower your core body temperature enough for this to matter.

This reminds me of the "is it better to drink a hot or cold beverage' debate. It's basically the same thing..yes, in theory my body has to burn calories to get back the heat lost to the cold shower/drink, but in practicality this amount in trivial.

The simple thing to realize is you feel cooler /drink from a cold shower, whereas you don't from a hot shower/drink. I know that if I drink a hot beverage or take a hot shower on a hot day, I feel hot from the beverage/shower, and then I feel like I was before. If it's a cold beverage/shower, I feel cool for a brief period of time, then back to what I was. There's no period of coolness after the hot, and there's no period of hotness after the cold.
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:59 PM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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It 's the just warm shower. Too cool and it will close your pores. Too hot and it heats you up. Barely warm showers are refreshing.
  #8  
Old 06-13-2008, 05:08 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoe
It 's the just warm shower. Too cool and it will close your pores. Too hot and it heats you up. Barely warm showers are refreshing.
What Zoe said. A tepid shower is reputed to be the best cooler-downer, especially if you let the drips evaporate naturally off the body rather than towelling down.
  #9  
Old 06-13-2008, 06:55 AM
Gala Matrix Fire Gala Matrix Fire is offline
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Give me a cool shower when it's hot, no matter what anyone else says.
  #10  
Old 06-13-2008, 07:05 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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A hot shower will dilate your capillaries and bring more blood close to the surface of your skin, which, when you step out, will release just an extra bit of heat until they narrow again. Not enough to lower your core temp or anything, just to feel a bit cooler.

I start out cold, for the instant Ahhhhh! effect, then warm it up near the end until I am a nice shade of pink. Then out and under a fan!
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Old 06-13-2008, 08:28 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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I start out with a hot shower and then sneak the temperature down until it is very cold. Feels good.

The biggest thing is not drying off. You will feel cooler with that cold water on you.
  #12  
Old 06-13-2008, 09:12 AM
liberty3701 liberty3701 is offline
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When I was growing up, we'd take cold showers in our nightgowns and go to bed like that. During the summer, I take a lot of very cold showers. Whether it's better in the long run, I can't say. I just know that, when my head is killing me from the heat and I think I'm going to die, the cold water helps tremendously. Only way I survive the heat.
  #13  
Old 06-13-2008, 09:24 AM
The Lovely Margo Lane The Lovely Margo Lane is offline
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I usually like very hot showers, but when it's nasty hot out I take a tepid one (just barely warm) and then crank it over to cold for the final rinse, especially my head. I find if I do this right before going to bed with a fan blowing in the bedroom, I can handle the hot night better. I usually leave my hair pretty wet, too, so that the evaporation can cool me off for a couple hours.

My fiance hates this though, since he hates being wet- hisses at me like a cat if I touch him while I'm clammy. He does the hot shower to cool down thing, and he's gotten me to try it, but I'll only do it if I'm not already sweaty and overly hot, just anticipating a hot night. I still finish off with a cold blast, though.
  #14  
Old 06-13-2008, 11:40 AM
jeepus jeepus is offline
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Before we had air conditioning installed in this house, I would soak my thin nylon nightgown in warm water, wring it dry, then put it on when still warm. It cools almost immediately, but it's easier to put a wet garment on when it's warm. I'd turn on a fan to blow over the bed. Much easier to sleep. Way better than just a shower. As for the shower temperature, I'd go with tepid.
  #15  
Old 06-13-2008, 01:35 PM
Elysium Elysium is offline
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We didn't get our AC unit until after the big heat spell hit last weekend, and I found a tepid shower and a body-temp bath did wonders. The bath was my favorite. I threw in an Avocado bath bomb, set the water so it was JUST warm to my touch, and after getting in I really never wanted to leave. It was incredibly refreshing.
  #16  
Old 06-13-2008, 03:16 PM
even sven even sven is offline
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Body temp is the way to go.

The best way to stay cool is to rig something up so that a thin wet sheet hangs over your bed kind of like a tent- I draped it over my mosquito net, but I be you don't have one of those. When a fan blows on it, it feels like air conditioning.

Also, try freezing some water in a big water bottle and snuggling with it at night.
  #17  
Old 06-13-2008, 03:26 PM
maladroit maladroit is offline
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when I was having big hot flashes I'd freeze a damp washcloth in a baggie, wrap it lightly in some fabric (pillowcase, towel whatever) and slip it under my head to sleep. kept me cool and the pillow dry
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:27 PM
Marlitharn Marlitharn is offline
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So we were both right. Or both wrong, however you want to look at it.

We got our air conditioner fixed today so we're both much happier now.
  #19  
Old 06-13-2008, 05:01 PM
BrknButterfly BrknButterfly is offline
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I like a cold shower. It takes away the misery of feeling hot and sweaty. Plus I don't have to use the propane to take a hot shower..

Last edited by BrknButterfly; 06-13-2008 at 05:01 PM.
  #20  
Old 06-13-2008, 05:23 PM
WF Tomba WF Tomba is offline
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You feel cooler when your skin temperature is lower. What lowers your skin temperature more, cold water or hot water? Cold water, obviously.
  #21  
Old 06-13-2008, 05:49 PM
Throatwarbler Mangrove Throatwarbler Mangrove is offline
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Am I the only person who read this as "Beating the meat"?
  #22  
Old 06-13-2008, 05:59 PM
Fly Pusher Fly Pusher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot
I start out cold, for the instant Ahhhhh! effect, then warm it up near the end until I am a nice shade of pink. Then out and under a fan!
I think this is the way to go. Best of both worlds really.
  #23  
Old 06-13-2008, 06:56 PM
rocking chair rocking chair is offline
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i have done the freezing cold bath until my teeth chatter and my nails turn blue. i'm good for about 4 hours after that. this will only be on very, very hot 100 degree days with 99 percent humidity.

ice packs are amazing at pulse point on your neck.
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