Are you taking your beauty sleep seriously? If you want to improve your skin, you should. Prioritizing your sleep may be all you need to restore a healthy glow, clear up acne and look radiant.
Why You Need More Sleep
Lack of sleep is a global epidemic.
Worlwide, 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep and report feeling tired most of the time. Even worse, 30 percent of people function on fewer than six hours of nightly rest. That’s not enough for physical and mental rejuvenation, let alone repairing your skin. Sleep deprivation is a major stress on your body—and so is darkness in general.
Have you ever wondered why your skin looks better in the summertime Or why you feel more sluggish, have worse PMS and are prone to colds during winter? It’s because light deficiency has a significant negative impact on your health.
Here’s what happens to your skin during stress, including nighttime darkness:
Lowered thyroid function means reduced blood circulation, so your skin is less nourished. Waste products aren’t removed promptly, so your skin is more vulnerable to bacterial invaders.
Cortisol and Adrenaline Rise
Cortisol and adrenaline are stress chemicals. High levels can suppress your immune system, trigger breakouts and promote skin aging.
Endotoxin Absorption Increases
Endotoxin are toxins made by gut bacteria. They, too, can lower immunity and lead to inflammation and acne.
Estrogen accelerates all aspects of skin aging. It is implicated in thinning skin, acne and pigmentation.
Your best defense against these stressors—and the number one thing you can do for your skin!—is to get a deep and restorative sleep every night.
How Much to Sleep and When
If you’re between 18 and 64, you need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Teenagers should get eight to 10 hours, while seniors may only need seven to eight hours.
The best time to go to bed is between 8pm and midnight. Remember, as soon as the sun sets, the stress substances that can harm your sleep quality (and therefore your skin) will begin to rise.
How to Improve Your Sleep
Get More Light
Go outside during the day if you can. Also try indoor light therapy up until bedtime, especially in the winter. A good technique is to sit under bright incandescent lights (250 watt BR40 bulbs, with a 10-inch metal surround) to keep your metabolism up and stress hormones down. Red light is highly beneficial as well. More about red light therapy will be available soon so make sure to subscribe to be the first to know.
Reduce Blue Light
The short-wavelength blue light emitted from computers and cell phones is bad for health and sleep. You should use LowBlueLights blue light-blocking glasses and blue light-free bulbs in the evenings to limit these effects. You can also download f.lux, a free software that adapts the colour of your screen according to the time of day.
Make sure to switch off all electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime. Try not to exercise later in the day, and avoid caffeine close to bedtime.
Increased body temperature improves sleep, so take a warm shower or bath before bed. Even warming cold feet with cozy socks can make a difference.
Eat a Bedtime Snack
Consider having a glass of milk with a little salt and honey. Or try some orange juice with salt and gelatin or collagen hydrolysate (Iike Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides). These combinations help maintain body temperature, lower stress hormones, balance blood sugar, and produce better, longer sleep. If you wake up in the night, they can also help you get back to sleep. Be aware that eating carbohydrates or protein alone can trigger hypoglycemia and stress hormones.