Sleep would have to be the most underrated and underestimated health, beauty and skin habit, which is why it has become a key element of education in my Skin Whisperer’s Quadrant.
We have all experienced sleepless nights when things are a little stressful or we have a newborn baby or sometimes we just don’t get enough sleep by the time we work, clean the house, be the chef, the chauffeur and the many other hats we wear as business owners, mothers/fathers, and wives/husbands.
I remember when my kids were little and if they were awake at night so was I… sometimes it felt like I had just gotten into bed and it was time to get up and get ready for work and somehow have my A-Game on. Who else can relate to this? Hello, three coffees before I had even left the house! Let’s be honest, our skin is definitely not looking its best when we do not get enough sleep – dark circles appear, fine lines are more noticeable and our skin becomes dry and irritated (inflamed).
From personal experience, I sometimes struggle with sleep when I have a lot going on and my mind finds it hard to slow down. I have had to really get a sleep plan in place because I know it affects not only my skin but also my ability to perform at a high level. Adequate and quality sleep is so important to your overall wellbeing.
Poor sleep can lead to an increase in cortisol – the stress hormone – which compromises the immune system, disturbing the barrier function of the skin and possibly triggering or exacerbating inflammation disorders such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, or dermatitis.
Sleep allows greater circulation and oxygen flow to the skin and this is where repair mechanisms go into action to help build more collagen & fluids and drain toxins. While sleeping, the body’s hydration levels are rebalanced so not enough sleep results in poor water balance leading to puffy bags under the eyes as well as dryness and more visible wrinkles… In short, getting enough sleep helps your skin repair itself.
Not only does poor sleep affect the skin but it also affects our moods (I’m definitely guilty of being cranky when I don’t get enough shut-eye!), our ability to focus and our ability to access higher-level cognitive function (when we sleep our brain has a shower and reboots itself, so to speak). Sleep patterns have a physical effect on our brain’s creativity intelligence; simply getting enough sleep can enhance confidence and decision-making. While not getting enough sleep can also affect sex drive, cause weight gain and increase chances of depression and lead to serious health issues. My advice is to make bedtime a positive experience. My essentials are a beautiful silk pillowcase and a comfy bed mattress! I’ve also put together ten tips to help you find your ideal sleep pattern…
My top 10 tips for a great night’s sleep
- Set a sleep schedule so you go to bed at the same time get up at the same time every day
- Exercise in the morning or early afternoon
- No caffeine after lunch
- Ensure you’re eating a balanced and healthy diet
- Take time to wind down before bed
- Practice breathing exercises and meditation before bed
- Have a ‘no phone & devices in the bedroom’ policy
- Eat a few hours before going to bed so your body has time to digest your food
- Indulge in a chamomile tea before bed
- Read a book when you get into bed to make you sleepy