Sleep More, Look Great!
Now that daylight savings time is about to end, we’ll have the opportunity to gain an hour of sleep. Most chronically sleep-deprived Washingtonians are no doubt looking forward to sleeping in. It’s no secret that lack of sleep can wreck your health and looks, but that doesn’t stop many of us from staying up late, working, socializing, binge-watching TV or obsessing over social media. Although I heartily concur with Coco Chanel when she declared that “nothing amuses me after 12 a.m.,” I do plead guilty to sometimes staying up to, ironically, read up on the latest in health and beauty.
Yes, insufficient sleep can produce dark circles, eye bags and dull skin. But these are the superficial manifestations of the greater problems occurring deep within. According to Dr. Robert S. Rosenberg, a board-certified sleep physician and author of Sleep Soundly Every Night, the brain’s lymphatic system flushes out neurotoxins during sleep. In addition, the brain also produces body-repairing hormones, such as growth hormones, which promote tissue repair and cell regeneration. The production of the health-destroying stress hormone, cortisol, is inhibited during sleep.
Simply put, lack of sleep puts the body into a state of stress. Over time, this can lead to the aforementioned under-eye circles, lines and puffy bags, as well as breakouts, sagging skin and deep wrinkles. Stress causes the body to release substances called cytokines that induce inflammation, which eventually causes the skin structures to break down. The resulting redness and inflammation can exacerbate such conditions as acne and eczema.
Quality of sleep is just as important as quantity. The skin enters into repair mode during the third and fourth stages of the sleep cycle (deep sleep). During these stages, body tissues repair themselves, the body’s hydration rebalances and the blood supply to muscles and tissues increases. Alas for all you light sleepers, light sleep or interrupted sleep lacks the benefits conferred by deep, continuous slumber.
To prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep, you should take the time to unwind every night with a self care ritual. And a warm bath, preferably with aromatherapy oils that promote relaxation such as lavender, rose and vetiver can facilitate sleep. A bath soak containing Epsom salt or mineral-rich natural salt can help soothe the nervous system. Magnesium, an all-imporant mineral for good health, induces sleep and keeps leg cramps from keeping you awake. Try making your own magnesium body butter with this simple, luxurious recipe.
The soothing scent of Tata Harper Aromatic Bedtime Treatment will ease you into a deep, restful sleep with its blend of lavender, clary sage and Melissa. You can also try misting your pillow with the lavender and vetiver infused This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray to help you drift off.
A nighttime skin care ritual will help you de-stress and mentally prepare for sleep. A good night cream can give you a beauty boost as you slumber — I like SanRe Organic Skin Food Lavender Dream Night Cream. Infused with lavender, geranium and chamomile, this cream moisturizes and rejuvenates your skin while you sleep. Don’t neglect your hair — apply overnight hair repair serum Sachajuan Overnight Hair Repair Therapy to get shiny, silky locks while you snooze.
At the end of the day, literally and figuratively, getting a good night’s sleep is essential to maintaining your physical and mental health and keeping your youthful facial contours. More sage advice from Mlle Chanel: “Sleep well, seven to eight hours. Get up early and work hard. It won’t hurt you, for it keeps the mind busy and will keep the body interested.” Wise words indeed. it’s time that we all take a more somnolent approach to beauty, wouldn’t you agree?