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Are you getting enough beauty sleep?

Sleep is a vital aspect of human life and plays a significant role in mental and physical health, as well as physical appearance. With up to four out of 10 people in Australia suffering from sleep deprivation, we take a look at beauty sleep and how you can improve your sleep hygiene.

During sleep, the body goes into a state of restoration and repair of tissues, muscles, bones and collagen, as well as the formation of new cells. Lack of sleep has been linked to premature ageing, poor skin appearance, slowed wound healing, acne and more serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, anxiety and depression.

Sleep for beauty

Reduces dark circles and puffy eyes: Getting enough sleep helps reduce dark circles and puffiness around the eyes. This is because when you are sleep-deprived, blood vessels dilate, which increases blood flow. The skin underneath the eyes is very thin, which makes the increased blood flow to this area appear more noticeably dark.

Promotes glowing, taut skin: During sleep, the body kicks into rest and repair mode; it is during this time that the body’s best healing work is done. Several studies suggest that sleep deprivation causes lowered skin barrier function, integrity and repair, reduced collagen synthesis, increased skin ageing and poor perceptions of appearance. This is likely due to lack of sleep increasing oxidative stress and lowering the immune system.

Helps to reduce acne breakouts: Lack of sleep has been associated with the severity of acne caused by the interplay of both psychiatric and physiological mechanisms. Studies have shown that ongoing fatigue correlates with worsening acne. Furthermore, lack of sleep increases stress hormones, such as cortisol, which is associated with acne breakouts. Getting adequate sleep helps to reduce stress levels an fatigue, promoting clear, healthy skin.

Sleep for physical health

Optimising your sleep is not just essential for physical appearance but is also critical for overall health and longevity.

Boosts the immune system: Sleep plays a vital role in boosting the immune system. During sleep, the body produces cytokines, which are proteins that help fight off infections and inflammation. Lack of sleep can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness and infection.

Reduces the risk of chronic diseases: Lack of sleep has been linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Getting enough sleep helps to reduce the risk of these diseases by regulating hormones that control appetite, blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

Enhances mental wellbeing: Sleep is critical for mental health and emotional wellbeing. Lack of sleep can lead to depression, anxiety, heightened stress and other mental health disorders. Getting enough sleep helps to regulate mood and emotions, improving mental wellbeing.

Improve your sleep hygiene

Getting enough sleep is essential for beauty and health, but it is not always easy. Here are some tips for getting better sleep:

Aim for 7-9 hours: While the amount of sleep required varies from person to person, most adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to function at their best.

Stick to a sleep schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Ideally go to bed before 10pm to ensure you are optimising your natural melatonin stores.

Create a sleep-inducing environment: Dim the lights in the house after dinner, keep your bedroom cool, quiet and dark to create a relaxing sleep environment, keep screens out of your bedroom and ensure it is just for sleeping and intimacy.

Limit screen time: Avoid using electronic devices such as phones, tablets and laptops ideally two hours before bedtime, as the blue light can interfere with melatonin production and impact sleep.

Practise relaxation techniques: Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation or yoga to help calm your mind and body before sleep. Write down your to-do list or any worries you may have so they do not ruminate in your head when it hits the pillow.

Utilise herbal medicine: Sip on a calming herbal tea such as lavender, camomile, passionflower or peppermint before bed to induce sleepiness. If you are still struggling, have your naturopath blend you up a tincture of herbs to support your sleep; these can be incredibly beneficial without the side effects that medications have.
Take 300mg of magnesium bisglycinate before bed: This super mineral can help your body relax and support a deep, restorative sleep.

Adequate sleep will help you to look and feel your best by promoting healthy skin, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, boosting the immune system and enhancing mental health. If you are not hitting seven hours a night, it is time to prioritise your sleep and make it a part of your self-care routine. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can improve your sleep and reap the many benefits that come with it.

Article Featured in WellBeing 205

Emma Nuttall

Emma Nuttall

Emma Nuttall is a nutritionist (BHSc) and freelance writer. She combines evidence-based nutritional medicine with mindset strategies to support her clients in achieving their goals. You can find more about Emma here https://www.healthservedup.com/

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