Natural beauty expert Carla Oates shares her favourite beauty sleep remedies
There’s nothing quite as satisfying, comforting or soul-nourishing than a deep, restful night’s sleep. But deep, quality sleep does more than simply make you feel good. In fact, getting enough sleep helps to support your gut health and immunity, improves your mood and cognitive function, balances your hormones and keeps your metabolism firing. Not to mention the positive effects getting enough sleep can have on your skin.
Run yourself a bath, place lavender essential oil on the soles of your feet or try a yoga nidra guided meditation to promote a sense of inner peace and calm.
Unfortunately, however, deep sleep can be elusive for many of us. with an estimated 7.4 million Australians not enjoying an adequate amount of sleep for optimal health and wellbeing. With sleep deprivation linked to a bunch of health issues including an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and depression, it’s no wonder sleep has become a large topic of discussion and is, perhaps, the most important part of your wellness routine.
The link between gut health & sleep
You may not think it, but your gut health and beauty sleep quality are intimately linked. Research shows that simple disruptions to your sleep cycle — also known as your circadian rhythm — can disrupt your microbiome. But this link between gut health and sleep goes both ways and the good news is, when you get enough shut-eye, the beneficial bacteria found in your gut help to boost your body’s supply of melatonin, your sleep hormone. Your microbial health is therefore not only integral for your sleep quality, but when you sleep well, your immune system, metabolic health and mood also benefit.
Rituals to cultivate better beauty sleep
If you struggle to get enough shut-eye, rest assured there’s a number of simple lifestyle practices you can implement to help encourage deeper, more restorative sleep.
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
Your body possesses an innate intelligence and automatically releases hormones that tell you when you should be awake and when you should be sleeping. This is your circadian rhythm and, just like the natural world, you should sleep with the moon and rise with the sun. The trouble is, so many of us don’t pay attention to our bodies’ cues and we often find ourselves staying up late all week and sleeping in on the weekend.
One of the simplest ways to combat this perpetual cycle of over-tiredness is to establish a consistent sleep schedule. According to research, adults should be seeking out seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night. Above all else, consistency is key, so aim to have a regular bedtime. If you’re a night owl and usually don’t get to bed until after midnight, simply try to wind back your bedtime by half an hour each week. Although this may seem challenging at first, your body will begin to recalibrate.
Be mindful of your caffeine intake
Caffeine is a stimulant, so if you’re struggling to sleep, being mindful of your caffeine intake throughout the day is key. While one cup of coffee or a green tea in the morning may not leave you feeling wired at night, if you drink several cups of coffee each day or consume caffeine too close to bedtime, you could be disrupting your sleep cycle. According to research, excessive caffeine intake may also be a contributing factor in cardiovascular issues and increased mortality.
When it comes to your skin health, caffeine can be incredibly dehydrating and cause blood vessels to contract, leading to a dull, lacklustre complexion. Opt for hydrating, relaxing herbal tea blends instead, such as chamomile, lavender or peppermint. As a bonus, blends like peppermint also help to soothe digestion.
Develop a sleep sanctuary
For deep, restorative sleep, it’s essential to make your bedroom as inviting as possible. Invest in good-quality linen, blackout curtains or shutters and a comfy pillow. Even more importantly, remove all sleep disruptors from your bedroom, including televisions, computers and phones. Research shows that the blue light emitted from these screens actually suppresses melatonin production, disrupting your natural circadian rhythm. Not only that, but endless scrolling through social media and emails in the evening keeps your brain wired, making it even more difficult to fall asleep.
Create a bedtime routine
Just as it’s important to establish a regular bedtime, creating a regular bedtime routine can also encourage deep, restful sleep. Your body and mind need time to unwind in the evening, so try incorporating some self-care rituals into your routine. Run yourself a bath, place lavender essential oil on the soles of your feet or try a yoga nidra guided meditation to promote a sense of inner peace and calm. Even hopping into bed a little earlier to read a good book is a great way to help quieten your mind and drift into slumber.
Consider a supplement
If you struggle with restlessness at night, incorporating a magnesium supplement or more magnesium-rich foods in your diet can help your muscles and mind to relax. Good wholefood sources of magnesium include nuts, legumes, leafy greens, seeds and dark chocolate. Likewise, a supplement containing natural sedative herbs and ingredients that encourage relaxation — including passionflower, lemon balm, lavender, chamomile and valerian — can be helpful. A cup of chamomile tea after dinner could be just what the doctor ordered.
Beauty Sleep Repair Facial Oil
This is a beautiful night-time oil rich in vitamin E, pro-vitamin A, nourishing fatty acids and essential oils to help relax the senses and rejuvenate the skin.
- 30mL sweet almond oil
- 15mL rosehip oil
- 5mL hemp oil
- 6 drops lavender essential oil
- 4 drops chamomile essential oil
- Mix the oils together and pour into an amber glass bottle. After cleansing the skin, apply a few drops of the oil to the skin and massage gently.
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