Beauty sleep got its name for a reason. While we sleep, our body goes into restorative mode fixing and regenerating itself from a long day. It is also at this time that the skin starts to produce collagen.
Collagen is a long chained amino acid and a very important protein in charge of making our skin strong, healthy and elastic. Sleep deprivation will leave your skin looking dull, dry and lifeless. So you see why it is so important not to skimp on rest.
DO-get more than 6 hours of sleep
The recommended amount of sleep is anything between 7 to 10 hours for an adult. This varies between individuals. However studies have shown that anything below 6 hours is not enough for the body to fully rest and regenerate. Sleep deprivation will cause an increase in the production of the stress hormone cortisol.
Long term sleep deprivation can result in skin issues such as dermatitis, eczema, hyper-pigmentation, wrinkles and poor complexion. Fortunately this can be reversed and you will start seeing improvements in your complexion in less than 3 weeks. Read more about the connection between sleep, skin and hair on WebMD here.
DON’T- choose an uncomfortable position
Believe it or not but there are sleeping positions that can have an adverse effect on your sleep. While it may seem like the most comfortable position to sleep in, the fetal position can actually be just the opposite. Sleeping on your side can lead to neck pain, migraines, wrinkles, sleep lines and even stomach issues in some people. Using a high pillow will cause your skin to pull, resulting in wrinkles and fine lines to appear gradually over time.
Another position that will bring more discomfort than rest is sleeping on your stomach. The way that your body is positioned while you’re laying on your stomach leads to overarching of the smaller back. This is due to the upper body being slightly more elevated than the lower body, leaving the natural curve of the spine unsupported. The resulting pain from sleeping in an uncomfortable position will leave you feeling exhausted which, over time, will start to affect your complexion.
DO – think about supplementation if you’re having sleep problems
If you are dealing with insomnia or some other form of sleep disorder, your body suffers in more ways than you can imagine.
Many people simply turn to aggressive treatment too early on and become addicted to sleep meds. There are natural alternatives out there that might help you with the issue – one of the most effective ones is a sleep hormone called Melatonin.
It’s “natural” in the sense that our body produces it, but the over-the-counter varieties are usually synthetic. While it’s not a long term solution and might become addictive it does work for insomnia caused by “rough patches” of your life, when stress goes sky-high and good sleep is the first thing to go out the window.
Apart from it’s indirect effect of your skin and hair through the quality of your sleep, it’s also proven to be directly beneficial, especially for the skin.
DON’T – overdose on Melatonin
Yes you can overdose on melatonin, but this kind of OD is not as serious as it would be from prescription meds. Before determining how much melatonin is too much, know the basic facts
For example, be aware that it takes time to kick in. feeling that it doesn’t work since you’ve taken it just before going to bed and going back for more is the most common reason of a melatonin overdose.
So, if you are looking at Melatonin know that the answer to the common question, “Can I overdose on Melatonin?” is affirmative, chance of it happening are low. For more information on Melatonin overdose see this guide on TheSleepStudies.com.
DO- take your makeup off before sleep
If you’re tempted to skip taking your makeup off after a long day and just slump into bed and fall asleep-Don’t! Dirt and dead skin cells that become trapped under a layer of makeup prevent the skin from breathing, leading to a breakdown of the skin barrier and premature aging.
Sleeping with the makeup on will cause a build up of natural skin oils and product on the pillow that can lead to skin irritations, inflammation, and even worse, acne.
Regular exfoliating and cleansing encourages natural skin repairing processes which result in glowing, healthier looking skin.
DON’T- forget to moisturize
As you’re blissfully snoozing for hours, your body will start to lose moisture through the skin.
This is completely natural, but unless you’ve invested in a good skincare routine, it can leave your skin dry and patchy over time. Using a moisturizer before bed slows down the visual signs of aging and can undo the effects that the everyday stress has on your skin.
DO- eat light, hydrating foods
Just as your skin needs moisture, so does your body. The most logical step would be to drink lots of water before bed but frequent bathroom visits won’t result in a good nights rest. Instead of downing pints of water opt for fruits and veggies with natural high water content.
Go for a fresh salad with nuts or a fruit cup for dinner or a freshly squeezed fruit smoothie. This combination will keep you full and will gradually release hydration throughout the night.
DON’T -eat salty, starchy snacks or soda
Salt, starch and caffeine all cause water retention. If you’ve ever woken up looking puffy around the eyes and face in general, chances are you’ve had too much salt before bed. The same goes for coffee and soda. The high sugar and caffeine content in them will leave you restless and disrupt sleep.
DO- create a calming environment
Some nights sleep won’t come no matter how hard you try. Fortunately there are things that you can use before bed to prevent sleepless nights from becoming a reality. Aromatherapy has been known to help our nervous system to relax.
Go for soothing scents like lavender and chamomile that have natural, calming effects. Pair this with relaxing meditation music and you’ve got yourself a winning combination. One that will surely bring on a good nights rest and radiant, healthy skin in the morning.
DON’T- Use technology in bed
The luxury of modern technology allows us to spend time in bed all while keeping up to date with the latest events. It’s also become very easy to get distracted and before you know it, it is way past your bedtime and you have to be up very early.
The screen on your phone, tablet or laptop can actually stimulate the hormones that keep you awake and disrupt your natural sleeping patterns. Which why it is important to limit the exposure to technology at bedtime.
It’s ok to leave your phone on silent sometimes and hit the sack early, the world will still be there when you wake up.