Sleep: it’s praised as the holy grail in what seems like all area of our lives; from beauty to mental health, but are those Z’s really all they’re cracked up to be? And what can you do to make sure you’re getting enough?
The Benefits of Sleep
“Just like diet and exercise, sleep deserves your respect, New York dermatologist Doris Day MD believes. “You want to look at sleep as a source of fuel and energy and health, and not just look at it as something you have to do.”
But why should it be an important part of our beauty routines? “When you’re tired, blood doesn’t flow efficiently,” Michael Breus MD, author of Beauty Sleep told Fitness Magazine. Dermatologist Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD, of the University of California, agrees: “Lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate, causing the look of dark circles.”
Now for the good news! As you sleep, Dr Breus continued, your body creates human growth hormone which aids collagen production. Overnight, skin cells are regenerated and those facial muscles that tense up and cause wrinkles relax, says sleep specialist Rubin Naiman, PhD.
There have been countless investigations into the link between getting enough sleep and maintaining a healthy weight, one of which you can read about here. Prolonged sleep problems are also linked to heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, so it’s worth addressing the issue now.
Depression has been linked to chronic sleep problems- in fact, the National Sleep Foundation states that there is evidence to suggests that people who suffer with insomnia have a ten-fold risk of developing depression compared with people who get a good night’s sleep.
How to Improve Your Chances of Sleeping Well
The Right Bed
Sleeping in a comfy bed may sound obvious, but one that is not fit for purpose can really have you tossing and turning. You might find it beneficial to switch to a memory foam mattress such as one from the range here from Time4Sleep, as they are supportive, yet yield to your body where needed.
Minimising the amount of light your body is exposed to at night is one of the keys to restful sleep, so switch off televisions or computers before you try to fall asleep, don’t read from a backlit device, such as an iPad, before bed and switch your bedroom light bulbs to low-wattage options. These steps will ensure your body produces the melatonin it needs to get you off to sleep. When it comes to the sleep environment, make sure the room is as dark as possible. Help Guide advises you cover your phone or other electrical displays, block out any light from windows with blackout blinds, or simply put on an eye mask.
Getting into a regular sleep habit is essential for a good night’s rest. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and you are sure to feel more rested and alert. So how much sleep do you need? The experts at Wed MD recommend seven to eight hours nightly.
With all these benefits, why not take a look at your bedroom and sleep routine then make the changes you need for a more beautiful, happier, healthier you?