We hate to break it to you, but not getting enough sleep plays havoc with your skin and your hair – not to mention your energy levels. During those important overnight hours, your skin works hard to repair itself and that should come as no surprise.
When you wake up feeling rested, your skin looks better, it’s plumper, firmer and should look fresher. Late nights and early mornings mean dark shadows forming under your eyes, lines look more obvious and skin droops – because it quite literally feels tired.
As for your hair, sleeping well contributes to its healthiness because when you sleep, your body releases enzymes and growth hormones that work hard behind the scenes helping your hair to grow.
However, as we all know, the day-to-day stresses and strains can often interfere with a quality night’s sleep. That’s why it’s important to develop good habits and quite literally go to bed feeling like a goddess – so when you wake up, all that hard work you’ve put in will make you look like a goddess too! And why not! You are a goddess so pamper yourself as you deserve.
Create a Pleasurable Ritual
Preparing for bed should be a pleasurable experience. It shouldn’t be a quick scramble to get between the sheets with half your make up still on and the noise of the TV blaring in the background while you fish around in your bedside drawer for an old pot of moisturiser!
Change the way you approach your bedtime routine and adopt a new routine. Turn it into a ritual, something that’s soothing and calming, that makes you feel good and helps you to float calmly into bed. As we’ve mentioned in our Sleep Philosophy, we are all creatures of habit – by incorporating a new habit to prepare for bed, your body remembers that it is time to go to sleep.
The obvious ritual is to run a pleasant bath about 45 minutes before you plan to go to sleep. Make sure it’s warm, not too hot and drop some essential oils into the water. Natural is always best and lavender essential oil is known for its soothing, calming properties. Light a drowsy soya candle (coming in very hot – watch this space!) and enjoy the sensation of the water over your limbs. Listen to some of your favourite tunes but make sure they’re not upbeat – the idea is to drift towards a relaxed state of mind. Don’t forget to dim the lights, you could even turn them off entirely and rely on candlelight.
After your bath, use a good all-over body moisturiser to rehydrate and then apply your skincare. A quality serum will replenish skin with lost moisture and penetrate deep into the epidermis to help your skin restore itself over night. Then, gently apply your face cream using upward strokes to encourage skin to firm up.
Little Pleasures for Bedtime
Your sheets and your sleepwear do make a difference. Reaching for an old T shirt or your partner’s old rugby top won’t give you as good a night’s rest as natural fibres. Your skin needs to breathe, feeling sweaty or hot can interrupt sleep. Choose 100% pure cotton sheets with a high thread count (Egyptian cotton is super-soft and comfy), the same applies to your sleepwear, either cotton or linen work well. You could also sleep naked!
Swap your pillowcase for 100% silk, it’s kind to skin and stops creases forming overnight, it’s also kind to your hair too as it prevents snagging. While on the topic of hair, tie long hair back using a snag-free band and if hair is very dry and damaged, you could coat it in coconut oil, washing it out in the morning for really smooth, soft tresses.
Just before you slip between the sheets and turn your bedside light off, check the temperature in your bedroom. Open a window slightly for good ventilation, the optimal temperature for a good night’s sleep is 18.3 Degrees C. Your sheets should keep you nice and warm without being too hot.
Once you’re in your cosy bed, banish all technology for the night, with the exception of a relaxing sleep app, if you want to use one. Here are a few recommendations:
- Sleep Cycle
- Relax Melodies
- Relax and Sleep Well
- Sleep Station
There are lots of similar apps available – choose the one that works for you!
Reading is a great way to relax the mind, especially by reading positive affirmations. Then switch off the lights and get ready to rest.
Don’t worry if you don’t fall asleep straight away. Perhaps for you, the biggest problem is lying awake concerned that you haven’t fallen asleep – that’s what keeps you awake! Remember, even laying still and letting your mind drift (perhaps listening to a sleep app) counts as relaxation and rest.
Finally, keep a regular bedtime and aim to get at least 8 hours sleep. Upon waking, if you’ve followed some of the above ideas you should feel nicely refreshed. This is a good moment to give your skin an extra treat by drinking a glass of hot water with a squeeze of lemon (if you can, replace your usual morning coffee or tea). This helps to get rid of any impurities and toxins in your body, boosting your complexion. If you’ve used coconut oil on your hair, you’re in for a treat! Once you’ve washed it and styled it, it should look silky and feel fabulous. With your glowing skin, smooth hair and that rested feeling – who says you’re not a goddess!