Sleep. Most of us should get a little (or a lot!) more of it than we do. It's the one thing that can make a whole lot of difference to your wellbeing when you start getting some more of it.
A 2016 study by the Sleep Health Foundation has shown that 33-45% of Australian adults don't sleep enough, causing lower productivity, irritability, fatigue, mental health issues and many other symptoms.
Lack of sleep also affects the appearance and health of your skin. During the night the skin repairs itself from environmental damage and produces collagen which is responsible for keeping skin supple and free from wrinkles. No amount of topically applied beauty products will be able to remove the signs of sleep deprivation completely. Make-up and creams can help reduce the affects of sleeplessness to a certain extent, but in the long-term it doesn't solve the problem.
Not sleeping enough can also increase your cortisol levels (stress induced), which in turn can make your skin more prone to inflammation, causing red patches, acne, sensitivities and other skin related issues.
HEALTHY SLEEPING, HEALTHY SKIN
So how do we get better sleep?
The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is between 7-8 hours per night. The amount of time you do sleep each night depends on your lifestyle choices, health and habits. Some things you can do to improve the quality of your sleepy time are listed below:
- Go to bed the same time each night and wake up the same time each morning. Your body will get used to this rhythm and make it easier for you to fall asleep at night by releasing hormones which control sleep.
- Set yourself an evening routine. Having a dedicated routine you stick to every evening will help your mind know it's time for bed and switch off. Your routine could consist of any of the following: drinking a relaxing cup of chamomile or herbal tea, yoga poses for relaxation, listening to calming music, journaling, a warm shower/bath, or meditation. Choose an activity that you like and that suits your lifestyle.
- Avoid screens at least 1-2 hours before bed time. Switch off your laptop, phone, tv and other screen-based devices in the evening. Screens can confuse our body's internal clock due to the blue-light that can affect levels of the sleep hormone melatonin.
- Try not to have any caffeinated drinks or other stimulants later in the day. These include black tea, green tea, coffee and caffeinated soft drinks, as well as sugar.
- Make your bed a cosy haven that you enjoy and look forward going to at the end of the day. Having comfortable pillow, sheets and a quiet, cool bedroom can make a big difference to how easily you fall a asleep.
- Light... light bulbs
- If you stay up worrying during the night you can try taking Bach flower essences. Talk to a nutritionist or naturopath to find the right extract for you.
- Magnesium is also known to relax the body and mind. By adding just a little to your diet magnesium supports the body in managing stress.
- If you are struggling with long-term sleep issues or insomnia talk to a health care professional, they will be best able to advise you on improving your condition.
We hope the above tips help you improve your sleepy time. Wishing you all healthier & more restful sleep. 🐚