Why Your Skin Needs Some ZZZ's
Updated: Apr 18, 2019
If you think it's just some old wives' tale, you are sorely mistaken. Getting a decent amount of sleep (we're talkin' 8 hours, folks) can do wonders for your skin, let alone your overall heath, well-being, and happiness. Take a clue from Benjamin Franklin who is quoted as saying, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." He probably meant to include that it makes your skin glow, but it just didn't rhyme. That's okay, Ben.
How It Helps
Believe it or not, your body does some serious work while you're snoozing in dreamland. Sleep allows the body to rehydrate and also prepare excess water for removal. These processes are crucial for reducing fine lines, dry skin, and puffy eyes.
No short-cuts. You might think that by staying up late to study for your exam, you're getting more done, but you're actually minimizing the efficiency of your brain. That stressed-out brain takes longer to process data and is less likely to recall information (sort of important when you're taking that test). Take the time to get proper R&R; in turn, you will be more productive. You will also feel more attractive, which definitely makes you look more attractive. Confidence is everything!
Not only does stress cause breakouts and inflammation, it also causes tightened capillaries which make your skin look dull. Stress is also linked to flare-ups of common skin problems like eczema and rosacea. The simplest way to reduce stress is to stop what you're doing and get your slumber on.
How to Get It
For some people, getting a good night's rest is easier said than done. If you have trouble sleeping, follow these guidelines:
Do not eat close to bedtime. If your body is trying to metabolize food while you're sleeping, you are likely to have restless sleep.
Minimize screen time before bedtime. There is a tiny mechanism in your brain called a suprachiasmatic nucleus (fancy, we know). It measures the light coming in through your eyes and sends this information to the rest your brain. The more light it receives, the more your brain thinks it is daytime and you need to be awake.
Meditate. It's important to calm the mind before sleep. All day long, your mind is creating, thinking, reading, making decisions, planning, calculating. It's difficult to quiet the buzz. Try to sit quietly, mediate, and let your thoughts fall away. You can get back to them tomorrow.
Limit caffeine consumption. Caffeine stays in your body much longer than you'd think. While the initial buzz might be gone in a few hours, caffeine effects can linger as long as 14 hours.
Skip the nightcap. Those in the 21-and-up crowd are well-advised to avoid alcohol near bedtime. The sugars in alcohol metabolize and this disrupts REM sleep, which is necessary for restoration.
Exercise. Get out there and get moving. Just make sure you don't exercise too close to bedtime.
Aromatherapy. Essential oils like lavender and roman chamomile are known to calm the mind and inspire tranquility and peace. Use them in a diffuser or add a few drops to your bath.
Take a nap. Short naps can actually help you sleep better at night. They super-charge your energy level and provide a much-needed reset to help you shine throughout the day.
What about you? How do you get to sleep and stay asleep? Let us know in the comments!