What if I told you could literally sleep your wrinkles away?!
Now, that may be a slight exaggeration, wrinkles are a natural part of life, but you can take steps to lessen those lines and keep your skin looking and feeling fresh and youthful! One of the biggest components to clear and vibrant skin is not the the latest face serums or exfoliating masks. Nope - its sleep!
Sleep is a hugely underestimated part of life and so many of us think of sleep as a waste of time - there's so many better things we could be doing than just lying in bed, right? Wrong! Sleep is the building block for a good day ahead. Its when we are resting that the body and the brain has time to assimilate what has happened or what it has learned during the day. Its when muscles get repaired after a sweaty workout session, its when the gut has time to fully digest and for the liver to detoxify. Essentially, the time that we're asleep and dreaming, is when our bodies are doing all the magic of regenerating, repairing, producing and building - they're actually working pretty hard!
How Does Sleep Affect Our Skin?
As we said earlier, sleep is the time for the body to repair, and so the same is true for our skin. While we're sleeping our blood flow increases and inspires our skin to rebuild collagen, repair damage, produce new skin cells, and ease inflammation. Getting a good night's rest also enhances our mood and energy levels, resulting in less fatigue and stress during the day. We even have better self image and feel more attractive when we get enough sleep!
What Happens When We Don't Get Enough Sleep?
The effects of lack of sleep are profound and can almost be seen immediately. We all know the groggy feeling of waking up in the morning after a bad night's sleep. You feel heavy, tired and are most probably not in the best mood. Research shows that even one night of bad sleep can cause:
Dark circles under eyes
More wrinkles and lines
More droopy mouth corners
Furthermore, a 2017 study found that after two consecutive nights of not enough sleep the participants experienced negative effects to their mental health, with low levels of self image and feelings of attractiveness. So there is science to back the beauty sleep theory!
So Lets Get Better at Sleeping!
We all want healthy glowing skin, so before reaching for the topical creams and serums, lets "bio-hack" our sleep patterns to optimise our skincare routine and leave our skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated!
Setting the stage for a good night's sleep starts with your routine before bed. What do you usually do in the evenings? Is it a rush home from work and take out on the couch with Netflix? Because if it is, you may need to start switching it up to include a few more healthy habits that will benefit your sleep and your skin. Developing a night routine that helps you to unwind and relax after your day is key to getting good rest.
Creating Your Night-Time Routine
Here are a few tips and things to consider when developing your night routine.
Unwind Your Mind - your night routine should include all the things that help you to unwind and relax. Now I know chilling in front of the TV might be all you want to do, but this actually isn't very relaxing for our brains. So while you can still watch your favourite shows, make sure you limit this to 60-90 minutes in the evening and not right before bed. Consider adding things like meditation, journaling, reading, puzzling, or drawing to your evenings instead. A board game is a great option for the whole family to join in!
Leave the Screens Behind - in ancient times we rose and slept with the Sun, where's nowadays due to electricity and light we have the ability to stay up at all hours of the night. Blue light in particular is very powerful and has been shown to disrupt our circadian rhythm - the natural patterning of our sleep. Our cell phone screens, laptops and TVs all emit blue light and unfortunately many of us spend our evenings staring at them and absorbing all that blue light! By switching off your screens at least an 1-2 hour before bed you can help your eyes and brain relax and get ready for "sleep mode".
Set the Scene - your space has a big impact on the quality of your sleep. If your room is a mess, if the bed is rumpled, if you've got clothes lying around, or if its very stuffy, it will make falling asleep and having a peaceful sleep a lot harder. Making sure that your space is clear and comfortable is key to getting good quality rest. Make sure your bed is made and the sheets are clean. Tidy up any clothes, shoes or belongings lying around. Open a window to let in some air. Light a scented candle or burn some incense or calming essential oils, such as lavender, ylang ylang, sandalwood or jasmine. This creates an inviting space and sets the tone for a calm and peaceful sleep!
Early to Bed, Early to Rise - getting to bed on time and at the same time each night ensures that you're getting enough sleep (at least 8-9 hours) and gets your body into a good sleep routine. Aim to get to bed between 10pm-11pm at the latest. Getting to bed before midnight actually gives you a better quality of sleep and is more beneficial for restoring your body. In fact, every hour of sleep you get before midnight can be up to 3 times more worth it, as this is the time when the body is most actively producing new cells and repairing damage!
Get Ready For Bed - getting yourself ready for bed is just as important as getting your space ready. Don't go to bed with make up on (this also clogs your skin!) or in the clothes you've been wearing the whole day. Get yourself ready for a good night's sleep by washing off the day. Take a nice hot shower or bath, wash your face and moisturize your skin. Slip into a clean comfortable pair of pajamas and voila - you're sleeping beauty!
So get cracking on that sleep routine of yours and make sure to share your beautiful radiant selfies with me on Facebook!