When it comes to an effective beauty regime, the tips are endless. But the one thing you never hear enough about is the most important factor of all: beauty sleep!
Sleep is essential for the wellness of your mind, body, and soul. It’s your internal fountain of youth and a key element to beauty.
How exactly does sleep affect the way your skin looks? Rebecca S. Robbins, co-author of the book Sleep for Success!, explains that during a good night’s sleep, your body removes dead blood cells and other toxins that can build up in the skin.
If your sleep cycle is less than ideal, you can wake with skin imbalances, dehydration, redness, wrinkles, and even breakouts.
But it’s not just about the quantity of sleep you get each night. It’s also about the quality. Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., explains, “You’re likely better off getting high-quality sleep for 6.5 hours than low-quality sleep for a longer period of time.”
How can you achieve the deep, quality sleep your body craves each night? The experts at SiO Beauty are here to give you 16 simple tips for getting more beauty sleep so that you can face the day with smooth, younger-looking skin.
When most people sleep, they tend to lie on their sides, pressing their faces, chests, and stomachs into their pillows and blankets. Though it may be the most comfortable, side sleeping can lead to premature aging by allowing those pillows and blankets to pull on your skin. As a result, sleep creases and wrinkles deepen.
When there is too much pulling on your skin, it loses some of its elasticity. Sleeping on your back is the best way to avoid wrinkles caused by excessive pulling. You want to keep your skin as free of contact as possible. Treat your skin gently and it will stand the test of time.
Hydration is what keeps skin buoyant and fresh. But when you spend all night fast asleep, you aren’t hydrating by drinking water. As a result, your skin loses vital moisture.
To help prevent skin dehydration, run a humidifier in your bedroom. Humidifiers work by taking water from a series of chambers and pushing it into the air, making that air less dry and, therefore, gentler on your skin. For the best hydration results, turn on the humidifier after you apply a night cream.
Aromatherapy can be an effective aid for getting adequate beauty sleep. The scent of lavender, in particular, can help improve sleep patterns. According to a 2005 study conducted by Wesleyan University, lavender had a four-fold effect on test subjects:
Overall, subjects reported more energy in the morning after lavender exposure. The study concluded that the smell of lavender can be used to promote deep sleep.
There are two ways to take advantage of aromatherapy. The simplest way is to scent your room with lavender and breathe deeply each evening. Another option is to breathe in the aroma from a bottle of lavender for two full minutes at three 10-minute intervals before bedtime.
Avoiding light when you sleep is crucial to getting quality rest. An eye mask completely eliminates vulnerability to light, preventing it from interfering with your sleep. For the best results, use a silk eye mask. Since skin is susceptible to wrinkling, make sure that the material pressing against your face is as soft as possible.
For even more of the beauty sleep benefits silk has to offer, we recommend silk pillowcases and bedding. These bedroom essentials can greatly reduce redness and puffiness for beautiful skin after a night’s rest.
A low-quality mattress can create pressure points on your back, resulting in pain and poor sleep quality. Gone are the days of settling for discomfort. Memory foam is the best way to achieve restful sleep that promotes healthy skin.
Memory foam mattresses are an excellent investment. When it comes to better sleep, what you spend up front you’ll make up for in increased efficiency (and beauty!) throughout the day.
After a long, stressful day, you expect to fall asleep quickly. But often, the stresses of the day keep your mind running and prevent you from drifting off—even when you’re exhausted. Enter the “4-7-8” method.
The “4-7-8” method, endorsed by Andrew Weil, M.D., is a breathing technique that puts you in the right frame of mind and body to help you fall asleep faster. This breathing method slows your heart rate and gives your mind something to focus on other than the stresses of the day.
It also increases the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream and releases harmful carbon dioxide that can be toxic to your skin.
Here’s how you do it:
It’s hard to quiet your mind at the end of a long day. Your brain knows it’s time to go to sleep, but your body isn’t feeling it. The key to real relaxation is owning your breathing. With the “4-7-8” method, you can do exactly that.
It’s nearly impossible to wake with gorgeous, refreshed skin if you’re constantly tossing and turning through the night. And noise is one of the main culprits contributing to an interrupted night of sleep.
Opt for some earplugs and drift off without a hitch. According to the Sleep Foundation, earplugs help to block outside noise that can affect sleep quality. You can buy earplugs at any pharmacy, making this one of the most convenient beauty sleep essentials.
At night, your body’s natural temperature declines. Keeping the temperature in your bedroom low is good for both your metabolism and your blood flow. This is important because improving your blood flow helps oxygenate your skin, keeping it plump and even-toned for the day ahead. Maintaining a cool temperature in your bedroom will also help reduce redness in your skin.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping your bedroom between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for an optimal night’s sleep. “Why so cold?” you may ask. Because researchers believe this range best allows your body to redirect energy that would normally be used for maintaining temperature into other repair and rejuvenation functions.
Though you may set your thermostat in the 70s during the day, turn it down at night to help your bedroom reach the suggested range. If you’re worried about the expense and your thermostat is programmable, you can set the temperature to the suggested range just during bedtime. Then program the thermostat to allow your house to return to a more comfortable temperature early in the morning.
Keeping your hair off your face at night is critical for gorgeous skin. Your hair naturally accrues oil and dirt throughout the day, which can accumulate on your face while you sleep.
Since most of us only shampoo two to three times per week, letting your hair drape over your face at night could lead to breakouts.
As an added bonus, wearing your hair up while you sleep can also prevent it from frizzing and breaking. So before bed, braid your hair to the side or pin it back into a ballet bun.
It’s vital that you do not skimp on moisturizer at bedtime. Day creams are beneficial, but they’re not enough to keep your skin hydrated overnight. As you get older, you need a night cream as well. Moisturizing is the most crucial key to younger-looking skin that’s free of wrinkles.
After you remove your makeup and cleanse your face while getting ready for bed, put on a heavy moisturizing night cream. This will radically reduce your risk of premature aging by maintaining the moisture in your skin while you sleep.
Electronics such as tablets, laptops, smartphones, TV, and even some light bulbs (e.g., LED) emit blue light, which delays the release of melatonin and can keep you awake long into the night.
Dr. Nakamori Suganuma of Osaka University conducted a study in 2007 on a total of 5,875 Japanese internet and television users. His findings, published in the journal Sleep And Biological Rhythms, suggest that “While heavy computer and television use before bedtime has a small effect on sleep duration, it may have a significant effect on sleep quality.”
Replace bedroom light bulbs (such as LED and other energy-efficient designs) with bulbs that emit a more natural white light. This will help your brain prepare to release melatonin, which in turn helps you get restful beauty sleep.
Exercise is another healthy habit that will help you get the ultimate beauty sleep. There is a mountain of research that shows physical exercise improves sleep quality.
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, for example, note that exercise causes a rise in body temperature followed by a sharp fall in body temperature. This decline in body temperature, “which lasts for two to four hours after exercise, makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.”
A study (found in JAMA Internal Medicine) on individuals with insomnia showed that “regular exercise may be a useful therapeutic modality in the treatment of patients with sleep disorders.” A different study, found in the Sleep Medicine journal, revealed that aerobic exercise of at least 30 to 40 minutes of exercise per day, four days per week, can “improve sleep quality, mood, and quality of life.”
As you can tell, the link between physical activity and sleep is well-established. Decades of research show that getting plenty of exercise is “a healthy, safe, inexpensive, and simple means of improving sleep.”
Medical professionals recommend exercising in the evenings but not too close to your bedtime. Try to exercise for 30 to 40 minutes three to five hours before you get your beauty sleep. It’s best to work out at least three times per week.
Stress and sleep are deeply intertwined. Studies have shown that high levels of stress can disrupt sleep. At the same time, a lack of sleep can cause stress.
The American Psychological Association performed a study that found “43 percent [of American adults] report that stress has caused them to lie awake at night in the past month.”
That’s why reducing stress is essential for you to get the best beauty sleep possible! And, of course, reducing stress levels isn’t just good for your sleep cycle; it’s also great for your health in all sorts of important ways.
Here are some techniques for reducing stress before you hit the hay:
Learn which methods help you to relax, and put them to use before you fall asleep.
To get the ultimate beauty sleep you deserve, go to bed and wake up at the same time every single day. This allows your body to develop a natural sleep cycle, sometimes referred to as your body’s circadian rhythm.
To develop a healthy sleep schedule, simply choose an eight-hour block of time for sleep and stick with it. Perhaps the ideal sleep schedule for you is from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Or if your work requires you to rise a bit earlier, perhaps 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. is best. Whatever times work for you, just remember to be consistent.
We should note here that it’s important to always go to sleep and wake up at the same time. This includes weekends and holidays! It can be tempting to stay up later than normal and sleep in when you have the chance, but this can disrupt your sleep cycle.
In addition, researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that “going to bed early actually makes insomnia worse.” This is true because you may sleep less deeply and wake up earlier than normal, which will lead to feeling fatigued the following day and perhaps needing a nap.
To get the most restful beauty sleep possible, go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even if you haven’t slept well or feel super tired.
Creating a nightly routine can train your body and mind to prepare for going to bed. As you repeat the process, your body will learn to associate those particular actions and behaviors with beauty sleep.
It’s similar to the idea of Pavlov’s dog salivating when he heard the bell ring. In some ways, we humans aren’t so complex after all!
We’ve already discussed some effective methods for relaxing and reducing stress before bed. Incorporate these activities into your evening routine and wake up refreshed!
Here are a few suggestions for other activities you can include in your routine:
While all of these activities are excellent ways to get ready for a good night’s sleep, there are also some things you should avoid doing in the afternoons and evenings. For example, taking a nap after 3:00 p.m. is generally a bad idea because it will prevent you from sleeping soundly that night.
Here are some things that you should leave out of your nightly routine:
Follow these simple guidelines to craft your evening routine and get amazingly restful beauty sleep!
Finally, it’s worth noting that sleep experts advise doing anything in your bedroom except sleeping and being intimate with your partner. Just like creating an evening sleep routine, using your bed only for beauty sleep and intimacy forms an association in your mind between the bed and sleep.
If you have a television in your room, consider removing it. Avoid looking at your phone, tablet, laptop, and other electronic devices in bed. Don’t eat in bed, even if it’s just a little snack. Never do work or other stress-inducing activities while in your bedroom.
Basically, treat your bedroom like a sanctuary. It should be a relaxing place where you keep stress and negativity out. You and your partner can use your bed for intimacy and sleep but nothing else!
Following this advice will help you to feel ultra calm and comfortable in your bedroom and allow you to improve the quality of your beauty sleep.
Sleep is your body’s way of repairing and rejuvenating itself. Without the necessary sleep duration and quality, you can start to feel—and look—less than your best. But taking the above steps to get a good night’s sleep can help you wake up feeling refreshed and beautiful.
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