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7 Tips for Better Sleep, & Thus, Better Skin!
Sleep is so important, and yet too many of us just don't get nearly enough. It seems as though the importance of adequate rest has become a much hotter topic recently, and I, for one, am super glad about it! Lack of sleep has numerous adverse effects on your overall health, which of course can affect the condition of the skin. So today I want to talk to you about how too-little sleep adversely affects your health and skin, and also share with you some of my favorite ways to get a better night's rest.
Channel Your Inner Sleeping Beauty
1. Turn Down the Light and Slow the Aging Process. When you sleep, your body and your cells regenerate and repair themselves. A disrupted sleep cycle will not only leave you feeling lethargic and sluggish, but your skin will show signs of aging more profoundly and quickly. If this cycle continues, those adverse effects will begin to accumulate on your face.
One powerful remedy for sleeplessness is to make like a bear and turn your room into a dark cave. Cover up the glow from any lights on your electronic devices. Turn off night lights and other ambient light sources. And be sure to use sleep time as the perfect time to give your beautiful skin some TLC! Apply a potent eye cream and let it do its magic while you sleep to reduce puffiness, dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles. A favorite of mine is HydroPeptide’s Eye Authority. If you experience a night or two of little sleep (and who doesn't?) you can also reach for instant-boosting eye masks for a more “awake” appearance. :)
2. Turn Down the Thermostat. It's so much easier to sleep when your room is cool, ideally between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. If you've ever suffered through a summer night with no air conditioning or a cool nighttime breeze, you know how uncomfortable it can be, and how disruptive it is to your ability to sleep. During the summer, open a window if the night breeze is cool enough or turn down the AC. During the winter, set your thermostat lower at night and snuggle into your covers. I promise you'll get a much better night's rest!
3. Avoid Eating a Heavy Meal Right Before Bed. Eating fires up your metabolism to burn off what you've eaten, making it harder to fall asleep. Eating something heavy and then laying down can also lead to stomach discomfort and heartburn. Again, not very conducive to a good night's rest. Get in the habit of eating dinner at least three hours before bed, and then if you feel a bit hungry, try a light high-protein snack. Did you know that honey is a natural relaxant? Try drinking a glass of honey and warm milk before bed. It'll curb your hunger pangs and relax your mind and body so you can drift off to sleep. If dairy isn’t on the list of foods you can eat, a glass of chamomile with honey is also a wonderful option!
4. Drink Plenty of Water During the Day, but Not Late at Night. You know that I always stress the importance of hydrating your body. Drinking plenty of water is just plain good for you, and it also keeps your skin looking dewy and fresh. So you do want to be sure to drink water throughout the day, but as you approach bedtime, cut back on your liquids. If you're like me, you know that nothing is more disruptive to sleep than having to get up during the night to use the bathroom! Cut back on liquids and enjoy blissful, uninterrupted sleep.
5. Stick to a Regular Bedtime. When you get in the habit of going to bed as close to the same time as possible each night, you'll find it easier to fall asleep. Same goes for what time you get up. I know if I get up early during the week and then sleep in on weekends, it throws my entire sleep/wake cycle all out of kilter. I know how tempting it is to sleep in on those rare days when you get the chance, but keeping the same routines on weekends as you do during the week will help you sleep better and wake refreshed every single day!
6. Turn Off Electronics at Least an Hour Before Bedtime. The blue light emitted from your electronic devices diminish your body's ability to produce melatonin, the hormone responsible for controlling your sleep/wake patterns. This blue light keeps your brain "switched on," making it difficult to fall asleep. If you've ever spent an hour right before bedtime scrolling your Facebook newsfeed on your phone, and then found yourself staring at the ceiling for hours when you try to go to sleep, you know what this feels like. Avoiding lights from your electronic devices will make it easier to fall asleep and to wake up refreshed. And don't forget to apply a potent nighttime moisturizer for some serious overnight hydration and nourishment for your skin while you sleep.
7. Develop Healthy Bedtime Skin Care Habits for a Lifetime of Better Skin. No matter how hard you try, there'll be times when getting enough sleep is all but impossible. Every new mother knows this all too well! :) The stresses of daily life and the demands on your time and energy all conspire to rob you of sleep from time to time, no matter how diligent you are about keeping healthy bedtime habits. When that happens, you can take steps to at least reduce the harmful effects of occasional sleep deprivation on your skin. You've heard me say it so often -- no matter how tired you are, clean your skin before bed and remove your makeup. Exfoliate regularly. Use a moisturizer for your skin type, age, and time of year. Again, your skin care professional is a tremendous resource for selecting just the right products for your skin.
I cannot stress enough the importance of sleep for the overall health of your mind, body, and skin. Developing healthy sleep habits, sticking to a routine bedtime and adopting relaxing techniques to wind down at night will help keep you feeling and looking your best. Consistently getting a good night's sleep is one of the best skin care routines I can recommend. Pair it with a diligent cleansing routine and a handful of staple skincare products and you’ll be well on your way to keeping your skin looking healthy and radiant.
Let's hear from you. What things do you do each night to help you fall asleep and wake up feeling great?