6 Steps to Optimal Beauty Sleep

Sleep allows the mind and body to rest making it vital to well-being. Not getting adequate sleep can negatively impact your health and productivity. As you may have noticed, almost anything will work again if it is powered off then powered on after some time. The same applies to you. We know there are many factors of life beyond your control like family responsibilities and work challenges that may interfere with your sleep but lack of sleep can lead to stress, swollen eyes, wrinkles and dull skin to name a few. The good thing is that you can control how you sleep and below are some steps to do this.

  1. 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 will approach these issues and when they will be dealt with so that your mind is free from stressful thoughts and ready to drift to peaceful sleep. Try to do this at least 1 hour before bedtime and form a routine of decluttering your mind nightly.

  2. Limit your drinking: Consuming alcohol and coffee can affect sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee and it blocks the sleep-inducing chemicals in our brains. This makes it impossible to fall asleep so try to avoid coffee at least 6 hours before bedtime. If you must have a caffeinated drink, swap coffee for green tea which has 20% the amount of caffeine in coffee and also helps you focus. Although alcohol is usually taken to induce sleep, that effect wears out after a while 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. More so, excessive consumption of alcohol causes the body to become dehydrated leading to dull skin. Another thing to limit is your water intake right before bedtime so that your sleep is not disrupted by bathroom breaks.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 so be patient and consistent with your exercise and you will reap the full sleep enhancing benefits. However, avoid exercising right before going to bed because physical exertion elevates your body temperature thereby making falling asleep more difficult.

  5. Eat right: Eating the right thing at the right time helps you stay healthy but it also helps you sleep well. Avoid having dinner just before going to bed. Leave at least three hours between bedtime and dinnertime as eating late leads to sleeping difficulties because your body is still trying to digest the food. As with alcohol, excessive consumption of salty foods also leads to dehydration causing your body to compensate by gathering fluids in the face thus leading to puffiness. A regular eating pattern just like a sleeping pattern will also help your body work better in preparing for your daily activities.

  6. Set the mood: Light tends to keep the body in a state of activity whether its from the sun, lighting or electronic devices. Form a habit of avoiding 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 your sleep cycle ends after the sun is up, use blackout curtains to avoid sun exposure as this can be damaging to the skin. 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.

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