If you want an easy anti-wrinkle fix, it’s time take a tip from Sleeping Beauty and get yourself a good night’s slumber. Responsible for the secretion of anti-ageing growth hormones and the preservation of proteins, beauty sleep allows the body to rebuild tissue and repair the day-to-day damage caused by factors such as stress and sun. It’s the simplest route to skin that is both radiant and revitalised. We can’t think of a better reason to hop right into bed. Well, maybe one.
Boost your chance of a blissful slumber with these sleep-inducing tips from relaxation guru and Cult Beauty expert and author of celebrity favourite anti-exhaustion guide called SPENT, Dr Frank Lipman.
1. Create a regular routine. Getting up and going to bed around the same time, even on weekends, is the most important thing you can do to establish good sleep habits. Waking and sleeping at set times reinforces a consistent sleep rhythm and reminds the brain when to release sleep and wake hormones, and more importantly, when not to.
2. Keep the room cool. A sleeping temperature of 16-18°c is best for most people, even in the dead of winter. Our bodies need time to produce enough sleep neurotransmitters to allow you to sleep, and lowering ambient temperature sends a feedback signal to the brain’s sleep centre that it is night time, and that it needs to release more sleep hormones.
3. Don’t use the bedroom for anything but sleep and sex. Like Pavlov’s dogs, we can unwittingly condition ourselves to not be able to sleep in the bedroom. If you find you can’t fall asleep within 45 minutes, get up and out of the bedroom. Read a book or do some other calming activity for another 1 – 1 ½ hours before trying to sleep again. Staying in bed only causes stress over not sleeping.
4. Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars. This will raise blood sugar and inhibit sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low you might wake up and be unable to fall back asleep.
5. Get off sleeping pills. Sleeping pills can actually make insomnia worse, not better. Since these pills are addictive, and higher mortality rates are associated with chronic sleeping pill use, don’t take them. Your doctor can help you design a regimen to wean yourself of them.
It might seem like a quick-fix, but DON’T…
Use the weekend to make up for lost sleep. This harms the body clock’s ability to regulate healthy sleep patterns. Our bodies crave regularity and need a consistent sleep schedule.
Drink alcohol to fall asleep. Although it has an initial sleep inducing effect, when broken down by the body, alcohol can lighten sleep and cause frequent and early awakening. It also blocks the brain’s oxygen sensors, cutting oxygen and complicating sleep conditions, particularly sleep apnea.