It is true what they say about beauty sleep – we definitely need it! Without it our skin doesn’t have the opportunity to repair itself. Multiple studies have confirmed that insomnia caused by stress can dramatically impair skin function and trigger various skin disorders.
Skin makes new collagen during sleep, as part of its natural renewal process. During the deep phase of sleep, the increased growth hormones allow for damaged cells to be repaired, and without this phase the daily small breakdowns in fibres accumulate instead of being reversed overnight. This results in more noticeable signs of aging.
Sleep deprivation can cause all sorts of beauty problems; from the increased cortisol levels breaking down collagen fibres, the appearance of dark circles under the eyes from minimised blood flow, and puffy skin from altered hydration levels. In the short term the impact is a tired looking appearance, however over time it can lead to chronic health problems and negatively impact your quality of life.
So for good health and a refreshed, youthful looking complexion, most experts recommend you get at least 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep each night. This can be tricky for many people who have busy schedules and multiple stressors to manage.
If you feel you need some lifestyle adjustments to improve your quality of sleep, try these tips:
Creating an environment that’s conducive to sleep helps to promote healthy sleeping patterns.
Go to bed and get up at the same time each day
Invest in a good mattress and pillows
Make sure the room is dark and quiet enough (use and eye mask and earplugs if necessary)
Make sure the room is not too hot and that it’s well ventilated
Only use the bedroom for sleeping and intimacy. No eating or watching Netflix!
Avoid caffeine after 2pm in the afternoon
If you use your mobile as an alarm, set it to flight mode or make sure notifications are disabled during sleep hours.
Turmeric protects from the symptoms of sleep deprivation by supporting the nervous system and alleviating anxiety, acting as an anti-oxidant and buffering the impact of the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked to insomnia.
Passion Flower is used in Western Herbal Medicine for insomnia and nervous conditions for its mild sedative effects. It can be taken as a tea or supplement.
Lavender is a traditional remedy for sleep that has been significantly researched. It has been shown to improve the quality and length of sleep. Lavender can be taken as a tea, supplement or used in aromatherapy in an oil burner of topical oil blend.
Magnesium is often referred to as nature’s tranquiliser. It relaxes muscles and helps decrease cortisol, the stress hormone that can keep you up at night. When purchasing a supplement containing magnesium, look for ‘Magnesium citrate’ as research suggests it is more bioavailable than the Magnesium amino acid chelate and oxide forms that are also found in supplements.
Yours in natural health,
Always consult your healthcare professional before commencing a new dietary or exercise regime, before using any supplements and before making any changes to prescribed medications.