Sleep your way to glowing skin: our top 10 tips and hacks for better snoozing.
It’s common knowledge that most of us don’t get enough sleep. What most people don’t realize is that the hours we spend asleep are actually just as beneficial, if not more so, as your skincare routine.
During the day, your skin cells are in defence mode, doing their best to protect themselves from UV exposure and free radical damage. When the sun goes down, your mind and body switch into an active regeneration mode – repairing daytime damage and boosting the production of substances that protect and renew.
In short, quality sleep is crucial to both skin health.
Here’s what happens while you snooze away:
- Melatonin, known for its antioxidant (a.k.a. anti-aging) properties, is produced at night.
- Levels of the stress hormone cortisol fall during sleep, which helps your skin repair damage done during the day.
- The body produces more collagen, which minimizes fine lines.
- More human growth hormone is released, increasing muscle mass and strengthening your skin.
So now you know why you should be getting the right amount of sleep (usually between 7-9 hours), but the big question is, how?
Our top tips and tricks to fall asleep faster, and sleep longer.
1. Get some rays (of sunshine).
Sounds a little backwards, right? Stay with us. The human body functions in cycles, known as circadian rhythms, matching to day and night time. Basically, our bodies are hardwired to set our sleep cycles by the sun, helping us to feel alert during the day and sleepy as the sun goes down. But first, your body needs to know it is daytime!
Studies show that getting outside into some sunlight can reduce sleep disturbances by an hour, and improve sleep efficiency by 13%.
2. Skip the caffeine.
Stay calm, we don’t mean all together! But the fact is, caffeine is a stimulant. Caffeine can stay in your system for about 6 hours, so you shouldn’t have any past mid afternoon, at the latest!
3. Alcohol is a no-no, too.
Hold it - alcohol is a depressant, right! Surely we can have that to help us fall asleep?
You’re going to think we’re party-poopers, but in the long run (say, around 3am), alcohol is going to affect the quality of your sleep.
It may help send you off to sleep initially, but you will feel less rested in the morning.
Why? Alcohol can worsen snoring and sleep apnea and interfere with your oxygen intake altogether. Plus, it can inhibit the production of melatonin, which we mentioned earlier, is the chemical your body releases to prepare you for sleep.
4. Try some essential oils
Ah, now we’re getting to the good stuff. Scents such as lavender, patchouli and sandalwood have long been known for their anxiety-releasing and sleep-inducing properties. Use a pillow spray or a rubbing oil to massage over your chest and hands as you get ready for bed. Breathe deep!
5. Create a sleeping sanctuary
All the lead up is not going to be much help if your bedroom is chaos, or just a non-relaxing, comfortable place. Turn off all screens (away from the bed, if you can!) - this includes watching TV in bed, that cheeky Instagram scroll before tucking in, or a quick check of your work emails on your laptop.
Try to remove or block out any ambient light, and cancel out any noise. These can be tough, depending on where you live, but things like blackout curtains and white-noise apps are great ideas to try!
We will have Part 2 available soon, with the last 5 tips!