We’ve all heard of the importance of beauty sleep, but what is it really? Images of Sleeping Beauty may come along – with her asleep quietly behind a wall of glass, waiting for her Prince Charming to kiss her awake. But behind her beautiful red lips and clear skin, there’s only a poison apple-induced coma to be found. Jumping back to reality, beauty sleep is not just a myth from fairytales – it is actually a clinically studied form of anti-aging that anyone can do to help maintain a youthful, healthy-looking complexion! Keep reading to find out how beauty sleep may benefit you!
What is Beauty Sleep?
First, we’ll address what beauty sleep actually means. While “beauty” is in the eye of the beholder, having a clear complexion and healthy-looking skin is definitely something we can all agree as desirable. A good night’s sleep is a better way to describe beauty sleep, which means actually getting the full recommended (and uninterrupted) 7-9 hours of restful sleep each night as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. (The 7-9 hours amount is accurate for most adults, but kids and teens need a few more hours of sleep each night to achieve healthy developmental milestones.)
Many of you may be sighing and wondering how in the world you’ll ever be able to achieve this recommended amount of sleep? If you work long hours, hold multiple jobs, or have a family to take care of, this amount of sleep may seem even more daunting. The trick is to set aside as much time as possible to get a good night’s sleep. If 7 hours is all you can get, that’s OK. Just adding an extra hour or two to your nightly routine will help promote optimal health and wellness.
6 Sleep Support Options
If you’re not sure how to get better sleep, try these options to help you unwind and fall asleep easier tonight.
1. Exercise Regularly
There are several benefits of exercising regularly, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Not only does it helps get your blood flowing and help you burn calories to manage a healthy weight and decrease your risks of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, but exercise also helps decrease feelings of stress and anxiety, which are some of the major culprits of insomnia. In addition, exercise causes a biochemical reaction in your body, which naturally increases your body temperature, and afterwards, “the post-exercise drop in temperature may promote falling asleep.”
2. Don’t Eat or Drink Before Bed
If you find yourself with the constant urge to use the bathroom at night, consider what – and when – you’re eating and drinking your last meal of the day. Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and spicy foods can keep you awake at night, especially when consumed just before bedtime. It is recommended that you not eat or drink anything within 90 minutes to 2 hours or longer of your bedtime to reduce the urge to urinate in the middle of the night.
3. Unplug and Unwind
The blue light emitted from electronic gadgets, such as your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or TV can disturb your natural ability to fall asleep. Instead, make your bedroom a technology-free zone, and don’t use any electronics at least an hour before bed. Instead, try unwinding at night by reading a book, or listening to soft music.
4. Try Natural Sleep Support Supplements
You may have heard of melatonin. Simply put, it is a hormone made by the pineal gland that helps you sleep. Your body produces it naturally, usually when the sun sets, and it can also be taken in dietary supplements to help balance sleep patterns. If you’re looking for a natural sleep supplement for support, we recommend Kavinace products by NeuroScience. Kavinace contains a blend of ingredients involved in the synthesis and activity of GABA, a neurotransmitter important for sleep in the human body. Kavinace includes a line of non-addictive, natural-based products without the “heaviness” or negative side effects typical of other over-the-counter sleep aids.
5. Try a Mindfulness Meditation
A lot of stress can be attributed to feelings of self-doubt and anxiety caused by self-judgement and constant criticism – worrying about the “what ifs” of the day, the regrets of yesterday, and the fears of what tomorrow will bring. The best way to calm those negative thoughts is to gently push them away through a focused meditation called mindfulness.
According to Mindful.org, “mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”
6. Try Essential Oils for Sleep
Another natural way to help fall asleep is by using plant-based essential oils. Place a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil by Plant Therapy on your pillow at night, and you’ll feel more at ease and relaxed. Some people also choose to diffuse a few drops of essential oils into the air when diluted into a water mixture but be careful about which types of oils you use if you have pets, as some can be harmful to cats, dogs, and other animals.
6 Benefits of Beauty Sleep
The good news is that when you do get enough sleep, your body is able to heal properly, and your blood flow improves – especially to the organs that perform important functions throughout your body, including your biggest organ – your skin. Here are some more benefits of beauty sleep.
1. Fewer Wrinkles: When you sleep, your skin make new collagen, which helps with the appearance of healthy, firm skin and reduced wrinkles. You’ll even reduce the risk of having a droopy mouth or weird, tired facial expressions.
2. Healthy-Looking Complexion: During sleep, your body also pumps more blood flow to the skin, so you won’t have to worry about having a dull complexion when you wake up.
3. Less Puffy Eyes: If you stay hydrated throughout the day and elevate your head a bit with an extra pillow while you sleep, you’ll have a better chance at waking up with puffy eyes or dark circles under your eyes. (And if you do wake up with those icky features, just put a slice of cold cucumber on each closed eyelid for five minutes to reduce swelling.)
4. Healthy-Looking Hair: When the blood flow in your body is working at its best, especially during the sleep cycle, it helps heal and grow hair follicles, so you have fuller and more nutrient-rich hair.
5. Healthier Mood: According to Harvard University studies, “not only does sleep affect mood, but mood and mental states can also affect sleep.” When you’re stressed, it can lead to insomnia. Finding ways to reduce stress will help you get a better night’s sleep and improve the quality of your beauty sleep (and your mood the next morning) too.
6. Healthier Skin Overall: Getting enough H20 every day (drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water) and applying a creamy nighttime moisturizer to your face, in addition to getting enough beauty sleep, will ensure your skin is soft and subtle, looking healthier overall. So GLOW, baby, glow … it’s time to get your beauty sleep!
How much beauty sleep do you get each night? Share your story by leaving a comment below.
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