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8 Healthy Habits You’re Better Off Doing at Night Than in the Morning

Maximize the payoff of certain healthy habits by timing them right.

iStock/Anna Omelchenko

Get clean

You might not feel like bathing at night after a long, exhausting day, but it’s best to wash away the dirt of the day before your head hits the pillow. Not only will showering the night before save you time in the morning, but you’ll rinse away any allergens, like pollen and dust, that could be clinging to your hair or skin. You’ll also wake up in the morning already feeling fresh, clean, and ready to conquer. If you have allergies, make sure you’re not falling for the allergy myths that could make your symptoms worse.

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Comb it out

Press the snooze button guilt-free knowing that you’ll wake up with fewer tangles. Shave minutes off of your morning routine by running a comb through wet hair at night. Instead of waking to a knotted mop, comb through your hair from top to bottom the night before, and consider sleeping in a braid to ward off tangles. The result: less damage, fewer split ends, and time shaved off the morning rush. (Related: Learn the bad hair habits stylists say can sabotage your locks!)

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Stop the funk

You’ve likely been swiping, rolling, or spraying on your antiperspirant in the morning hours, but, as it turns out, it’s best to apply the product at night. The added time it stays on your skin allows the active ingredients—usually a combination of an antiperspirant and odor reducer—to get into your sweat ducts. Worried about washing off the white stuff when you’re getting ready in the morning? Don’t be. By then the product will have sunken in, and the ingredients should remain active for 24 hours. Empty deodorant stick? Try these 11 homemade deodorizers.

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Baby your face

The same circadian rhythm that controls when we fall asleep and wake up also directs other dynamics in the body—including the behavior of our skin. Research shows that while during the day our skin is busy regulating body temperature and protecting against assaults like sun damage and oxidation, at night it goes into makeover mode, with cells being renewed and repaired. This is when cells need nutrients the most, and when their anti-aging benefits have maximum impact, so go ahead and apply a generous layer of essences, serums, lotions, and creams before you hit the sheets. Steal the overnight skincare secrets that dermatologists use themselves to get glowing.

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Use a razor

If you shave at night, stubbly legs won’t limit your options when you’re picking out your outfit in the morning. No nicks or razor burn from a rushed shave job is always a bonus. Moisturize just after you shave to lock in all-night hydration. Banish these common shaving mistakes to keep legs smooth and scar-free.

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Take it off

You probably know how important it is to clean off your foundation, bronzer, and blush, lest they clog pores and trigger acne. But it’s also a good idea to remove your eye makeup—mascara, liner, and eye shadow—to protect against brittle lashes, lash loss, and potential eye irritation (not to mention a dirty pillowcase). (Related: Learn which drugstore staple makes a great makeup remover along with other beauty tricks only stylists know.)

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Tie one on

Choose a soft hair tie—or better yet recycle a 1990s scrunchie—and sleep in a loose bun or braid. This small nighttime ritual can help prevent hair breakage, as you toss and turn and otherwise tangle your hair while you sleep. It’s also a neat hair styling trick: Braid your hair the night before and wake up to soft, beachy waves. Don’t miss the common hair myths we need to stop believing!

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Add humidity

Turning on a humidifier will help you breathe easier and potentially reduce your risk of colds and infections, as moist air is good for the natural germ filters in your nose but bad for viruses and bacteria. A humidifier can also keep skin soft and appear less wrinkly (dryness makes lines look more pronounced), and can help prevent dry throats and sinuses, reducing the risk of snoring while encouraging a good night’s sleep. Try these other doctor-approved tips to sleep better naturally without drugs.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest