Sleep allows the mind and body to rest, making it vital to wellbeing. As you may have noticed, almost anything will work well again when powered off then on after some time, and this also applies to you. It’s true that there are many factors of life beyond our control like family responsibilities and work challenges that keep us awake, but lack of sleep can lead to stress, swollen eyes, wrinkles and dull skin to name a few. Want to get optimal beauty sleep? Here are six steps:
Clear your mind: Instead of worrying about obligations, personal concerns or future activities and allowing stress to set in, take out your planner and write down your ideas, intentions and tasks for the day ahead. Remember to include how you’ll approach these issues and when they’ll be dealt with so that your mind is free from stressful thoughts and able to drift to peaceful sleep. Do this at least 1 hour before bedtime and form a routine of decluttering your mind nightly.
Limit your drinking: Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee and it blocks the sleep-inducing chemicals in our brains. Avoid coffee 4 – 6 hours before bedtime or try green tea which has 20% the amount of caffeine in coffee and also helps you focus. Alcohol also affects your sleep. At first alcohol might induce sleep, but that effect wears out and it starts to act as a stimulant. This means that even if you succeed in getting to sleep, your sleep will be interrupted and restless. Drinking too much water right before bed could lead to bathroom breaks during the night so try to meet your daily water target at least 2 hours before going to sleep.
Set your bedtime: Following a daily routine allows your internal clock to function as intended. This internal or biological clock is responsible for the way you respond to certain activities because it forms patterns or routines around those activities. According to scientists, human beings need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep so observe what time of the night you start feeling sleepy and what time in the morning you wake up feeling well rested then strive to go to bed and wake up at those times every day.
Exercise your body: Forming an exercising habit of at least 3 times a week will improve the quality of your sleep as studies show that regular exercise can relieve insomnia and increase vitality. Exercise releases endorphins that help your body deal with stress but avoid exercising right before bed because physical exertion elevates your body temperature and makes it harder to fall asleep.
Watch your diet: Eating the right thing at the right time helps you stay healthy but it also helps you sleep well. Avoid having dinner just before bed. Leave at least 3 hours between dinnertime and bedtime as eating late affects your sleep because your body is still trying to digest the food. A regular eating pattern, just like a sleeping pattern, will help your body work better in preparing for your daily activities.
Set the mood: Light tends to keep the body in a state of activity whether its from the sun, lighting or electronic devices. Keep away from intense light including light from your phone and devices at least one hour before bedtime to keep your melatonin levels high. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulating your sleep rhythm. When your eyes are exposed to light, your melatonin is lowered making it harder to fall asleep. If you find yourself awake during the night, use dimmed lights to get around as this will keep your eyes from fully readjusting to your awakened state.