For guys, a bad night’s sleep is written all over your face
Dark circles, bags under your eyes, a dull complexion …. and the awful moment when someone asks “Are you OK? You look tired”…!
We’ve known for a long time about the negative effects of lack of sleep to a man's health – but there’s no denying that the immediate effects are seen in the way you look.
The concept of beauty sleep is definitely not a myth. A bad night’s sleep is written all over your face.
Below, we set out 14 ways to maximise the beauty benefits of sleep. For men that means waking up with smoother, healthier-looking skin, a glowing complexion, and feeling on top of your game!
Whilst you know you need it, getting the right amount of deep, quality sleep can prove elusive!
So we show you how to improve the quality of your sleep, plus three fail-safe ways to beat insomnia and drift off when you’re having trouble sleeping.
A good night’s sleep doesn’t only improve a man's health
In this stressful modern world, lack of sleep has become a real issue.
Chronic insomnia has been linked to serious issues including diabetes, heart disease, depression and obesity.
But for most guys the visible effect of a restless night is dull skin and bags under your eyes … and the sinking feeling that you might not make it through the day without nodding off!
The beauty benefits of quality sleep
Studies have shown that missing out on sleep makes you look tired and less healthy, and therefore less attractive to others.
It can lead to premature skin aging, a weakened defence system and breakouts (as well as under-eye bags and dull, dry skin).
So it’s worth working out a few strategies to make sure that you’re getting enough.
In fact, a good night’s sleep may be the closest thing there is to an elixir of youth.
While you snooze your body has a chance to repair and recover leading to a long list of great benefits for your looks.
A good night's rest gives a man a healthier appearance, with smoother skin, fuller hair, brighter eyes and fewer breakouts.
And the best part?
You only need one or two nights of high-quality sleep for the positive effects to start showing.
Sleep better, look better
Skin can repair and regenerate whilst a man is sleeping
During the day skin's primary role is to act as a barrier and protect from the effects of pollution, the sun and other damaging free radicals.
But at night, when we're sleeping, your skin has a chance to repair and regenerate.
There's an increase in blood flow, improved collagen growth and faster cell regeneration.
Getting good quality beauty sleep is worth it.
The benefits of beauty sleep
Here are the six key beauty benefits for men of a good night's sleep:
During your sleep cycle there is a release of growth hormone which stimulates collagen formation. This typically happens during ‘deep sleep’, stages 3 and 4. And more collagen means your skin is smoother and less likely to develop fine lines and wrinkles.
However, the collagen levels drop rapidly after you reach 40 years of age leading to skin losing its elasticity and firmness. Wrinkles start to form more quickly, becoming deeper and more visible.
This is made worse by a lack of good quality rest.
Encouraging collagen growth by getting enough sleep will help to lessen this process and lead to smoother, tighter skin.
A glowing complexion
While you're sleeping your body increases blood flow to the skin. This not only transports essential nutrients to skin cells, it also results in a healthy glowing complexion the next morning.
Reduce under eye bags
Dark circles or bags under your eyes are the first things that people notice when you don’t get enough sleep.
When you’re low on sleep, and blood isn’t flowing well, it can collect under your eyes causing puffiness. This can also become visible asf dark circles.
Improved blood flow (as a result of getting a good night’s sleep) minimizes this puffiness, and the dark circles.
Healthier, fuller hair
Lack of sleep can have a direct impact on the quality and fullness of a man's hair – leading to breakage and hair loss.
Hair growth begins in the hair follicles, and for them to function properly they need nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from blood flow. The increase in blood flow when we’re sleeping means more nutrients, resulting in stronger hair and improved growth.
Lack of sleep can also lead to more stress and the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Another cause of hair loss!
A happy, healthier appearance
When you’re tired, your facial expressions change in subtle ways. We tend to frown more, and the corners of the mouth turn down slightly.
Insomnia also makes you more likely to suffer from depression.
But when you’re well-rested, you look healthier, you feel happier and you smile a lot more.
Skincare products work better
The higher cell turnover which comes during sleep, coupled with the increase in blood flow, helps your skin to benefit from all of the regenerating ingredients in your skincare products.
How to maximize your beauty sleep
Adopting these night-time habits will make sure that your skin and hair get the full benefit of an excellent night's sleep.
Six essential tips to maximise the beauty benefits of sleep:
Tip #1 Sleep on your back
Sleeping on your back stops your face from rubbing up against the pillow.
And it prevents 'facial asymmetry'! It may not seem as though it would make a difference, but years of sleeping on one side or the other can result in noticeably more ‘sleep lines’ on the side that you sleep on.
Tip #2 Wash your face before going to bed
It’s always best to go to bed with clean, exfoliated skin.
Cleaning will wash off the oil and grime of the day before going to sleep.
And exfoliating gets rid of dry dead skin cells that can make your face look dull and clog your pores, leading to breakouts.
Exfoliation also accelerates cell renewal and stimulates your skin’s natural repair mechanism while you’re sleeping.
In fact, gently exfoliating before you go to bed is one of the best things you can do for your skin.
But the key word is ‘gently’…
Avoid using a facial scrub to exfoliate your face! They are too harsh for facial skin, damaging the surface and causing your skin to become dry and irritated.
The best solution: You need a good quality, non-drying face wash that includes an exfoliating Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (an AHA).
OTIS Daily Face Wash does double duty - cleaning and exfoliating in one quick, simple step.
And it’s gentle enough to use every night without leaving your skin feeling tight.
So when you’re tired, and you just want to collapse into bed, a quick wash with our exfoliating Daily Face Wash keeps your face fresh and clean - and dead skin cells never have the chance to build up and block your pores.
We've got more on the best way to wash your face here: “CLEAN: the best way to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy".
Once your skin is nice and clean, the next step is to quickly apply a moisturizer.
Whatever your age, and whatever your skin type, using a good moisturizer before you go to sleep is a must if you want smoother, younger looking skin.
Your skin can lose a lot of water while you sleep.
So to wake up with a smooth, hydrated complexion in the morning, make sure to use an anti aging hydrating moisturizer (like our Hydrating Daily Moisturizer) before you go to bed.
Amongst other things it contains Hyaluronic Acid, which attracts water to your skin, and helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles.
Skincare products work better during the repair cycle of your skin, which happens when you are sleeping.
The cells of the skin are regenerating at night so you should give them everything they need.
Using the right moisturizer will maximise cell renewal, repair daily damage and also deliver hydration – all in one go.
Great for rejuvenating your skin after a long, tough day at work!
But this doesn’t mean you have to slather on a rich cream.
The best moisturizer: We don’t believe that you need to use a heavy night-time cream.
We created our Hydrating Daily Moisturizer especially for a man’s skin – and we designed it to be used day and night.
It’s packed with Hyaluronic Acid to deeply hydrate your skin while you sleep.
It's full of the best anti aging ingredients.
While you sleep, this lightweight moisturizer...
- hydrates and smooths your skin
- evens out your skin tone
- reduces signs of aging, especially the fine lines around your eyes
- prevents those wrinkles from becoming deeper.
So you wake up with fresh, smooth, hydrated skin.
Tip #5 Moisturize around your eyes
The eye area has virtually no oil glands and is the first place to show signs of aging, so it’s essential to keep the skin here well hydrated.
Tap moisturiser lightly onto your cheekbones before you go to bed. This will help to reduce puffiness and also firm the delicate skin around your eyes.
If you tend to have bags under your eyes in the morning, try elevating your head slightly by sleeping with an extra pillow. When you lie flat, fluid can gather around your eyes.
The best solution: you don’t need to buy a separate eye cream. Our Hydrating Daily Moisturizer is so light that it is perfect for the delicate eye area as well.
It will hydrate and soften your skin and diminish the look of any wrinkles. And with anti aging peptides it improves circulation, stimulates collagen and protects the delicate under eye skin from free radical damage, reducing the bags under your eyes and any dark circles.
You’ll wake up looking bright eyed!
Tip #6 Hydrate by drinking water
Skin loses more water when you sleep than it does when you’re awake. So as well as applying a hydrating moisturizer, try to drink plenty of water during the day to compensate and help your complexion stay hydrated overnight.
How much sleep do you need to see the difference?
It’s clear that both quality and quantity of sleep is directly linked to how we feel and how we look. But how many hours is enough?
There is plenty of discussion about the exact optimum amount you need, with the consensus being between 7 and 9 hours. However, each individual is different, and generally you know better than anybody if you’re getting enough or not.
The only thing that the studies and all of the experts do agree on is that less than 4 hours will have a negative effect!
How to get better quality sleep
Given all of these benefits, it’s obvious that you should try to get good quality sleep every night. Knowing how good it is for you, it should be easy, right? You simply close your eyes, and ….. lie there!!
For many of us, sleep can be elusive. The stress and anxiety of the day make it hard to just switch off and fall asleep at night.
Below are 5 things you can do to make falling asleep easier and improve sleep quality. And we’ve added an extra three fail-safe ways to fall asleep for when you’re really struggling.
Consistency is key
Try to keep to the same bedtime and wake time every day, even at weekends.
This ties in with our internal bodily mechanisms that regulate sleep - the Circadian Rhythm and Sleep-Wake Homeostasis.
For the same reason it’s good to try to avoid being exposed to bright light just before bed.
Start a bedtime ritual
This sends the signal to your body that it is time to wind down and go to sleep.
This could include taking a warm shower just before bed. When you get out of a warm shower, the air temperature around you will cool your body, sending a chemical reflex to the brain that will induce sleep.
Respect your body. Aerobic exercise is one of the most effective ways of reducing stress hormone levels, enabling you to sleep more deeply. Just try not to exercise before bedtime – it will make your brain more active, and increase your heart rate, both of which are counterproductive to sleep.
Create an ideal sleep environment
- Try to keep your bedroom cool. Your body temperature needs to drop to induce sleep, so keep the room temperature low. 16-18°C is thought to be the optimum temperature to promote good sleep. And make sure that your duvet doesn’t have too high of a tog rating.
- Ensure your bedroom is as dark as possible. Try to avoid any blue light from phones or TV’s in the bedroom, and you could consider installing blackout blinds, or using an eye mask.
- A comfortable mattress and pillow can’t hurt either.
Avoid eating a heavy meal up to 2 hours before bedtime. There’s also evidence to suggest that the following foods can have an effect on your sleep:
Foods to try
Bananas have a high magnesium content which helps to relax the body They also contain serotonin and melatonin to moderate your sleep-wake cycles.
Almonds and nuts are full of minerals and amino acids which encourage your body to relax. They contain good levels of magnesium and are a great source of vitamin E, which helps repair skin tissue and retain skin moisture.
They also contain sleep-regulating melatonin which is especially helpful if you suffer from insomnia, or are recovering from jet lag.
Almonds and nuts contain melatonin to help regulate your sleep
Honey, a natural sugar which raises insulin levels and allows tryptophan to enter the brain more easily. You could stir some into an herbal tea before bed to help you sleep. It’s also chock full of anti-aging antioxidants as well.
Kiwi fruit is packed with Vitamin C, vitamin E, folate and serotonin. A study found that four weeks of eating kiwi fruit twice a day improved sleep onset, duration and efficiency.
What to avoid
Cheese eaten before bed has been shown to lead to indigestion, and nobody can sleep through that!
Coffee! It’s obvious, but you should drink coffee to wake you up, not calm you down. If you’re having trouble getting to sleep try to avoid drinking any coffee after noon.
Alcohol reduces your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and interrupts your natural circadian rhythm, so whilst it can help you to fall asleep faster it also contributes to poor quality sleep. Meaning you wake up feeling lousy!
And if you need extra help falling asleep...
If none of the above are working, and you’re still struggling to fall asleep, here are three proven, fail-safe ways to drift off.
But firstly, go easy on yourself!
Don’t expect to fall asleep immediately. It’s OK to lie there for a while. Your body is still getting the benefits of rest even if you haven’t managed to actually fall asleep.
There's a lot of evidence to suggest that simply resting with your eyes closed, or 'quiet wakefulness', has similar benefits to having a nap. It's compelling because it eliminates the stress around trying to fall asleep - which is often what keeps you awake!
If insomnia is wearing you out you could try:
A Sleep Sound App
For example, the Rain Rain™ sleep sounds app has over 100 different sounds – from ‘rain on a windowpane’ to ‘ocean waves’ and ‘crackling fires’ – which can be set to slowly fade away on a timer. It will lull you to sleep in no time.
Regulate your breathing
Try slowing your breathing down to half your normal rate. This will slow down your heart rate, and calm your mind.
You could also try the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise developed by Dr Andrew Weil. Essentially, you breathe in for four counts, hold for seven, and then breathe out for eight counts. Always inhaling through your nose and exhaling out through your mouth. The four-count inhale allows you to take in more oxygen. The seven-count hold gives the oxygen more time to permeate the bloodstream, and then the eight-count exhale slows the heart rate.
Imagine yourself lying in a black velvet hammock, in a pitch-black room. I have no idea why, but it always works for me!
If you follow this guide you’ll see the results very quickly.
One or two nights of good quality sleep and you’ll be back to looking your best!
To maximize your beauty sleep...
- Sleep on you back
- Wash your face before bed
- Use the right products
- Take care of your eyes
- Hydrate by drinking water throughout the day
Night time habits to adopt...
- Stick to a consistent routine
- Start a bedtime ritual
- Exercise every day
- Create an ideal sleep environment
- Eat right
And if you're still wide awake at 2 in the morning, try these ...
- Use a Sleep Sound App
- Regulate your breathing
- Practice visualisation
Adopting these night time habits will lead to your eyes looking brighter and your skin and hair looking younger and healthier - ready to take on the day!
For more advice on looking younger and healthier, check out - "Look Younger: Your Complete Anti Aging Plan".
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