Beauty sleep is a real thing and here's how to get it
A bad night's sleep can play havoc with your mood and your appearance, right?
It's not just you, it's all of us. And it's because sleep deprivation is actually a form of stress that can cause your body to produce more steroids. These steroids can have an adverse effect on your looks by decreasing the formation of collagen in your skin, which in turn can cause wrinkles.
Lack of sleep can also weaken the barrier function of the skin and decrease blood flow which can all contribute to things like penetration of toxins, infections and visible signs of ageing.
What’s more, poor sleep can cause weight gain and a higher likelihood of obesity. And don't even get us started on the science that says sleeping on your stomach or side causes wrinkles.
Getting your beauty sleep, then, refers to the great things that happen to your appearance when you get enough (and the optimal amount) of uninterrupted rest.
Remember those days? Oh the days before stress and family and work and ... well everything, meant that eight hours was, well, impossible.
Believe it or not, there is a science behind the idea of getting specifically eight hours of sleep. Research suggests that any more (or less) can have adverse effects on things like your mood, memory, appetite and yes, your looks. Getting your eight hours will also help to ensure that you avoid those dreaded bags under your eyes when you wake up.
Here's our prescription to help save your skin while you sleep, and some tips for actually getting all the zzzs you really need.
Don't binge on the booze before bed
Aside from interfering with your sleep patterns, when you consume a lot of alcohol, your body becomes dehydrated. To compensate, it starts collecting natural fluids around the eyes, among other places. And if you're prone to puffy eyes, a similar thing happens with salt -- so be careful what you eat before you retire. If you indulged in some chips and a glass of Chardonnay anyway, try using that extra pillow to help drain fluids.
SLEEP ON A SATIN OR SILK PILLOWCASE
Nothing says bad night's sleep like the bird's nest on top of your head, so a silk pillow case helps smoothe the hair. And their texture softens wrinkles and fine lines because it causes less friction between your skin and the pillowcase. "Silk is easier on hair -- it helps avoid tangles and breakage," according to dermatologist Jesleen Ahluwalia. "It's also better for the skin because the material glides easily and prevents creasing and wrinkles."
Use some tricks of the trade for overnight beauty
For many of us, waking up with puffy or dehydrated skin just gets worse as time goes on. Staying well-hydrated and elevating your head with an extra pillow at night. can help reduce swelling when you wake up. If you're prone to dry skin, take note -- your skin loses more water when you sleep than it does during the day, so apply a creamier moisturiser before bed and drink plenty of water during the day to help your complexion stay hydrated overnight -- and you may want to invest in a humifier to keep skin moist.
A face roller is the perfect way to massage and relax the muscles in your face and calm the skin before bed. This traditional Chinese anti wrinkle and anti aging beauty tool has been used for thousands of years to promote youthful appearances and smooth the skin. Keep it in the fridge and it give it a whirl first thing too to help depuff your face...
HAVE THE BEST BEDDING
Make sure those eight hours between the sheets are comfortable! Lumpy pillows and scratchy sheets do not make for an optimal sleep, so invest in quality bedding. Constant tossing and turning all night will only make you wake up feeling less than rested, which can have an on-flow effect on the rest of your day.
"We spend up to 1/3 of our lives sleeping, so any money spent making sure it’s a good sleep is money well spent," Lysn psychologist Noosha Anzab told 10 daily. "Also keep in mind that it's important that the temperature of our bedding is just right -- not too hot, and definitely not too cold. The wrong temperature will cause even more tossing and turning -- and we know heat leads to frustration which leads to aggression, causing us to feel restless, stressed and that’s the perfect ingredient for sleep deprivation."
Check your lighting and use scent
Light can have a dramatic effect on a good night’s sleep, especially light exposure at the wrong time of the day. Exposure to artificial light during sleep or right before bed can send wake-up messages to the brain and suppress the production of melatonin (the sleep-inducing hormone our bodies need for sleep). Lighting can affect the body’s internal sleep clock, making for a rough night’s sleep. Ban artificial light, mobile phones and screens before bed and invest in some quality blinds. Burn some incense or apply calming aromatherapy oils before bedtime, or spray a calming blend onto your pillow before bed.
Exercise during the day, not at night
"Exercising throughout the day can help to make your body feel tired and ready for sleep," said Noosha. "However, be sure to watch the time that you exercise – don’t do it right before bed. Exercising releases endorphins which can create a level of activity in the brain that can have the adverse effect and keep you awake. Exercise in the morning or in early afternoon to help you fall asleep and improve your sleep’s quality."
Above all, eliminate the pressure
Tell yourself that you have an important thing on tomorrow and you desperately need to sleep and your brain kicks into overdrive. There’s no way it’s going to let you sleep and soon you find yourself tossing and turning because you are so frustrated at yourself for not sleeping. Yep, we know that the best slumber comes when we are at our peak of relaxation. "Putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves such as 'I need to sleep' or 'Why am I not asleep yet?!', only cause us to start stressing as we count down the hours left of our precious sleep," Noosha told 10 daily. To combat this, try retiring to bed with the mentality that you are going to relax first and then sleep."
"If you find yourself wide awake after one or
two hours of laying in bed, try calming the
voice of your mind and let yourself know that
there is no pressure to fall asleep, that you
are relaxing and that rest is as good as sleep."
"You’ll be so surprised how quickly you’ll drift off if you eliminate the forcefulness of it all. Try repeating 'I’m not sleeping, I am just resting, rest is as good as sleep' to yourself a few times, and you’ll be out like a light!
Feature Image: Getty