Having a good night’s rest is imperative, however many of us aren’t getting enough sleep. A good night’s sleep enhances our overall well being including skin health, assistance with inflammation (associated with heart disease), muscle growth and weight management.
When we consider skin health, we need at least 7 hours of sleep for optimal skin repair and rejuvenation. During this time when we sleep, our body boosts blood flow to our skin providing all the essential nutrients it needs (creating that healthy morning glow). It also encourages the production of collagen (part of the repair process) which means plumper skin and less lines. As many of us may have experienced, a lack of sleep can cause puffiness and dark circles under the eyes. If you’re concerned with puffiness, elevate your head slightly with an extra pillow before you sleep to help with lymphatic drainage.
If you’re struggling to get a good night sleep, here are a few tips to help you out.
· Make sure you’re associating your bedroom as a sleeping zone and not an activity zone.
· Try to maintain the same bed time - a consistent sleep routine can help us to drift off more easily.
· Avoid sugary foods or caffeine in the late afternoon/evening. Excessive alcohol intake should also be avoided as it prevents us falling into a deeper sleep stage.
· Exercise regularly during the week. Small things like moving around in the office and getting up from your desk will help. Go for a walk on your lunch break or ditch the car in the morning and take your bike.
· Do something relaxing before going to sleep. Making sure you don’t watch TV right before bed because bright lights can interfere with sleep and is best to shut off devices an hour before bedtime including (mobile phones and tablets). Ensure you don’t do any work before bed so you can go to bed feeling calm
· Lie down and spend 5 minutes breathing. Focus on lengthening your inhalations and more importantly your exhalations. Conscious breathing links to the side of nervous system that promotes relaxation.
· Use a couple of drops of lavender oil on your pillow before you sleep.
· Invest is an eye pillow... it works wonders in stimulating relaxation and helping us to drift off.
A few simple things that can have huge effects. Try it for a week and soon enough you should see an improvement!