Can the right amount of sleep for your personal needs be a better anti-ageing treatment than a 10 step K beauty regime?
I believe it can.
Because for most of my life as a Beauty Therapist (38 years now!) I have watched my skin glow because I have had enough sleep which in my case is 9 solid undisrupted hours or even 10 – or watched my face age because I have only had 7 – 8 hours or 9 disrupted hours for long periods of time.
This is whilst using my simple yet highly effective skincare routine the same way – without change except to up it a bit when I am sleep deprived every week/month/year.
Instead of spending hours in the morning trying to make our sleep deprived skins and bodies look good – spend that time sleeping!
I used to be an amazing sleeper – then with my body going through the menopausal change and not changing my workload to assist my body go through the change – I became the world’s worst sleeper.
Finding what works for you is extremely important – but more on that later.
There is ongoing research and more and more science behind the concept of beauty sleep.
Sleep is when all of our important organs and epidermal recovery takes place.
How does lack of sleep affect your skin?
In 2013 researchers found that one night of poor sleep can cause:
- hanging eyelids
- swollen eyes
- red eyes
- darker undereye circles
- paler skin
- more wrinkles and fine lines
- more droopy corners of the mouth
A 2017 study found that two days of sleep restriction negatively affected participants’ perceived attractiveness, health, sleepiness, and trustworthiness.
So, what may seem like an overnight issue could transform into something more permanent.
First and foremost, you should understand that sleep is the time when your body repairs itself. This is true for your epidermis as much as it is for your brain or muscles.
Therefore, not only do you need sleep for your skin – but also for muscle growth – which assists weight loss, hormone balance, hair growth – because our hair needs the same nutrients as our skin to become healthier.
During sleep, your skin’s blood flow increases, and the skin rebuilds its collagen and elastin as well as repairing damage done from UV exposure, reducing wrinkles and age spots.
Second, sleep is when your face inevitably comes into contact with the elements directly around it for a long time, especially if you’re getting the recommended seven to nine hours each night – based on your personal needs.
So how can you get good quality beauty sleep?
- Shower before bedtime or bath – washing your face and body before bedtime does 2 things – slows and calms you down – and removes dirt, sweat, pollution, sunscreen and makeup off your skin, all of which age and harm your skin, causing issues like rashes, acne breakouts, infections, inflammation and large pores.
- Apply nourishing clean chemical free skincare products to your skin – not only your face, but also your body as this is the time your skin will absorb all the ingredients from your skincare into your blood stream – which is marvellous for skin and body repair – but not good if your skincare contains toxic chemicals (which many skincare products do!) use products such as the Everything Skin Range which are 100% chemical free and organic.
- Ensure your room is dark and quiet. If you cannot achieve this – purchase a silk eye maskand invest in good quality earplugs.
- Ensure that your room is cool, you have plenty of fresh air and your bedding, bed and pillows are perfect for your needs and warm. You can purchase special pillows or silk pillow cases – but from experience I find that these mess around more with my sleep instead of improving it – I personally have an ergonomic pillow for my neck – and love my cotton pillow cases. If you like me don’t care for silk pillowcases (my head slips off them) at least sleep in /on cotton or linen sheets. If you suffer from acne – you need to change your pillowcase daily to keep it clean and bacteria free.
- If you are easily woken – look at a white noise machine – or if your room is stuffy – a stand fan can double up as a white noise machine and circulate the air at the same time – plus in summer keep you cool!
- If you snore – elevate your head – this will open your airways, and also help with acid reflux, plus it can help reduce bags and circles under your eyes by improving blood flow and preventing blood from pooling. You don’t need to pile all of your pillows up on top of each other – you can even just use a wedge under your mattress at the top of the bed – or pop wooden blocks under the bed’s feet – or if you are lucky enough you can buy an electric bed which you can use to raise your head and or feet higher.
- Put your phone in aeroplane mode 20 minutes before bedtime and avoid looking at it.
- Ensure that you drink enough water in the evening so that you do not wake up dehydrated – although wine helps us fall asleep – it wakes us up during the ‘liver hours’ around 3 am – 4 am when the liver detoxes itself and is often dehydrated from the alcohol you drank before bedtime.
- Eat earlier in the evening – allow your body to digest your food for at least 2 – 3 hours before bedtime (good for weight loss as well).
- Drink a herbal calm tea or detox tea the later to help digestion – have with raw honey as it assists with anxiety and is calming.
- Avoid caffeine after 12 pm in the afternoon – caffeine stays in your system for 12 hours.
Every person has an ideal sleep style – work out what your style is. Do you sleep better on a carb-heavy dinner? Many people cannot sleep when they don’t load up on carbs at night – by which I mean eating potatoes, pasta or rice. Carbohydrates help us sleep – they make us sleepy.
Other people cannot sleep when they eat after a certain time or eat red meat before bedtime as it causes them to suffer from indigestion.
Some people need 7 hours sleep, others 10 – some need to sleep naked, others rugged up with socks and all.
Work out what helps you sleep – do you need essential oils before you sleep on your pillow, or something for anxiety? Do you grit your teeth at night because of stress – I highly recommend using these fabulous homeopathic tablets starting at least from 5 pm or taking these every day until the cause of the stress is gone ( also comes in a spray form or liquid form – completely harmless but extremely effective!).
If you wake around 1 pm with an active mind – you most probably are suffering from stress – it could be subliminal for example: I am not a fan of renovating – it throws out my daily rhythm which makes me anxious. Even when I am consciously excited about renovations moving forward, I wake up around 1 pm with an extremely active mind before the tradesmen turn up the next day – a couple of the calm tablets and I fall asleep again. If you asked me if I was stressed, I would tell you no!
Do you sleep better after you meditate before bed? Or read a book?
Make a sleep diary – write what you did the day / night before a great sleep – and visa / versa – you will notice a pattern very quickly!
Need personal help getting this right?
Book a glowing skin consultation and I will take you through the steps (minus the breasts for obvious reasons lol)
Thank you for reading my blog!
I am Yvette van Schie, I am a holistic beauty therapist, skin nutritionist, skincare developer and makeup artist. I am passionate about sharing real beauty advice with a whack of reality.
For over 30 years I have worked with the best in the beauty and health industry as a trainer, educator and product formulator and I still do – so my knowledge is diverse – I am not blinkered when sharing my information with you because everyone I speak to shares what they know, and I turn it into easy to digest information because I want my readers to feel empowered to make their own decisions and to feel that they are fully in control of their beauty and well being.