Are you curious about the single biggest thing you can do to look and feel great?
The best beauty treatment can also give you a clear head, great energy, and a better immune system as well as your best skin. It improves your mood. And best of all, it’s free.
Beauty Sleep is Real
Beauty sleep is a real thing. Blood flow to the skin is increased when we sleep which nourishes your skin. This gives it a healthy glow and keeps those dark under eye circles at bay. Collagen and elastin are produced during sleep which means fewer wrinkles and less sagging. Good sleeps also helps keep a fuller, more healthy head of hair.
Sleep is #1
Sleep is perhaps the #1 factor in staying healthy, yet many of us don’t get enough sleep. For many reasons.
In his brilliant book Why We Sleep, Matthew Walker tells us:
“Two thirds of adults throughout all developed nations fail to obtain the recommended eight hours of nightly sleep. I doubt you’re surprised by this fact, but you may be surprised by the consequences. Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night demolishes your immune system, more than doubling your risk of cancer.”
Why You Don’t Sleep and Some ways to Change That
If you don’t make time for enough sleep (this probably is actually more than 8 hours since time falling asleep doesn’t count), that is the place to start.
If you have trouble actually sleeping here are some ideas:
- Consistency- we all have a sleep pattern that determines when we go to sleep and wake. This is determined by habit and also by the complex of neurochemicals that cause us to sleep. Going to bed and waking at the same time every day helps to establish a healthy pattern and let the daily rhythm of our sleep hormones stabilize. I cannot overemphasize the importance of staying consistent in your sleep/wake times.
- Anxiety and Stress-This is the top reason people give for not being able to sleep. Chronic stress means cortisol rhythms are disrupted and don’t allow you to get sleepy. Which causes more stress. This is terrible for your cells, your organs, and your skin. Find practices that help you relax. Breathing meditation, getting away from the news and your devices, exercising, and our favorite, spending time outdoors and in nature.
- Speaking of exercise… it is an excellent stress buster and great for your health. But don’t do it too late in the day (within 2-3 hours of bedtime). Exercise raises your core temperature (temporarily) which makes it difficult to sleep.
- Ditto caffeine and eating. Caffeine has a long half-life (5-6hours) which means it stays in your system (and brain) long after you consume it. Try to avoid caffeine after 12-2pm at the latest. Going to bed on a full stomach interferes with sleep so try to have your last meal of the day at least two hours before bed.
- Blue Light-The light that is emitted from your devices (computer, phone, TV, etc) messes with those sleep hormones. That means your pituitary gland gets confused about when to release the neurochemicals that help fall and stay asleep. You can use apps that change the screen color or amber blue light blocking glasses, but shutting off the devices an hour or two before bed is the best way to go. 90% of adults use their electronic devices within an hour of bedtime. Don’t be a statistic.
Sleep is so basic to good health and longevity, it needs to be a high priority in your life.
Resetting your sleep patterns, and changing sleep sapping habits takes some work and some time. Go easy on yourself. Over time you can improve your sleep, and your health, mood, and, of course, skin.
A great night cream helps too.