Dark circles, bags under your eyes, dull complexion …. and the awful moment when someone asks “Are you OK? You look tired”…!
Yes I look tired! Because I am tired.
We’ve known for a long time about the negative effects of lack of sleep on your body – 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 rest is written all over your face.
But whilst we know we need it, getting the right amount of deep, quality sleep can prove elusive!
Below, we show you five things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep, plus three fail-safe ways to drift off when you’re having trouble sleeping.
We also set out six simple tips to maximise the beauty benefits so that you wake up with smoother, healthier-looking skin, a glowing complexion, and feeling back on top of your game!
A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP DOESN'T ONLY IMPROVE YOUR 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 of us the visible effect of a restless night is dull skin and puffy eyes … and the sinking feeling that you might not make it through the day without nodding off!
THE BENEFITS TO YOUR LOOKS OF QUALITY SLEEP
Studies have shown that missing out on sleep makes you look tired and less healthy, and therefore less attractive to others. And since it can lead to premature skin aging, a weakened defence system and breakouts, as well as under-eye circles and dull, dry skin, 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 benefits for your looks.
A good night's rest gives us all 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 beneficial effects to start showing.
SLEEP BETTER, LOOK BETTER
Skin functions differently during the night compared to the day.
During the day its 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 are sleeping, there is an increase in blood flow, improved collagen growth and faster cell regeneration. This means that your skin has the time to repair and regenerate as you doze.
Getting good quality beauty sleep is worth it.
Here are six of the key beauty benefits of getting enough rest:
Smoother skin –
A glowing complexion –
Brighter, less puffy eyes –
Healthier, fuller hair –
A happy, healthier appearance -
Products work better –
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Regulate your breathing
MAXIMISE THOSE BEAUTY BENEFITS
Adopting the following night-time habits will make sure that your skin and hair get the full benefit of excellent sleep.
Sleep on your back
Wash your face
Use the right products
Take care of your eyes
Hydrate by drinking water
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!
Night time habits to adopt...
- Stick to a consistent routine
- Start a bedtime ritual
- Exercise every day
- Create an ideal sleep environment
- Eat right
If you're still wide awake at 2 in the morning, try these ...
- Use a Sleep Sound App
- Regulate your breathing
- Practice visualisation
And to maximize the beauty benefits...
- 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
Adopting these night time habits will lead to your eyes looking brighter and your skin and hair looking younger and healthier during the day. Ready to take on anything!
For more on the best healthy things you can do for your skin, check out our article here - "6 Free Ways to Get Great-Looking Skin".