Beauty Sleep: Are You Doing It Right?
Getting plenty of rest (at least seven hours each night) is one of the most important aspects of self-care. A good night’s sleep is vital to our personal health, happiness and appearance – and it’s no secret that when our sleep suffers, we wake up feeling and looking less than fab (thank you, beloved coworker who loves to tell you how tired you look, we appreciate the gentle reminder).
Dreaming of a better night’s sleep? Healthy sleep habits can have a huge impact on the quality of our ZZZs and the quality of your glow. Here is our most sound sleep advice + fave dream-worthy finds, guaranteed to deliver your best, most blissfully balanced beauty sleep ever:
1. Rely on Relaxing Rituals
Taking it easy and incorporating some Ayurvedic-inspired activities into your evening routine can help you fall asleep faster and snooze more soundly. Try these five.
- Gentle exercise before an early healthy dinner (2-3 hours before bedtime) helps your body and mind wind down after a long day.
- Practice a series of soothing yoga poses or relaxation-inducing meditation for just 20 minutes before bed can help you score some truly restful ZZZs.
- Did you know that there are nearly 15,000 nerves in your feet? A pre-bedtime reflexology foot massage stimulates reflex points throughout the body and aids in deep sleep. Give one to yourself or get your partner in on this naturally pampering practice.
- Prepare yourself for sound sleep with a cup of calming tea (caffeine-free, of course). Look for ingredients like chamomile and lavender to help soothe stress and tension. Bonus points if you add a teaspoon of ashwagandha.
- Before you drift off, consider your head placement. Proper sleep position can actually help optimize sleep. According to Vastu principles, our body acts as a magnet, with our head as its North Pole. Based on the magnetic fields of our body and the earth, it’s best to direct our head south or east.
2. Get on a Sleep/Wake Schedule
Get into the routine of going to sleep and waking up at the same time seven days a week. Just like eating healthy and working out, when it comes to sleep, consistency matters. It’s best to rise and rest at the same time everyday (yes, even on the weekends). According to the Sleep Foundation, this helps keep your biological clock in balance.
3. Turn the Lights Out
Dim the lights, avoid looking at bright screens and turn off all electronics at least an hour before bed. Light and darkness are intrinsically connected to our circadian rhythm. Lowering the lights signals to our mind and body that rest is near.
Similarly, too much visual stimulation can cause a problem when it comes to snoozing. A new study from the University of California at Irvine found a link between social media usage and lack of sleep. This means rather than scrolling through Instagram (we’re all guilty), we need to put down our devices and enjoy some well deserved pre-bedtime downtime.
Peace and quiet is pivotal to falling asleep. Even if you live in the city or a noisy neighborhood, you can still create an atmosphere of serenity with an app or sound machine (or, a sound machine app) that plays soothing sounds.
5. Lower the Thermostat
When it comes to sleep, it’s important to chill out, literally. As we snooze, our core body temp lowers. If our bedroom is too hot, it can interfere with this process – causing restlessness and interrupting our REM cycle. So what’s the ideal temp for some solid shut-eye? Experts say, the sweet spot is 65 degrees.
Staying cool at night may be simpler than you think...
- Before you leave in the morning, close blinds, shades or curtains to block out the sun, and close windows when it heats up outside.
- When it comes to bedding, look for lightweight, naturally breathable fabrics like bamboo, linen and, our fave, silk. At the end of a long day, there’s nothing better than laying down on luxurious pure mulberry silk. Since silk naturally stays cool, you’ll stay comfortable all through the night. And then there are the beautifying benefits: the smooth fibers help keep skin and hair hydrated (unlike cotton, which can actually draw away moisture). And silk has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties and contains natural substances that ward off various allergens, making it an ideal for those with skin sensitivities, allergies as well as acne. And if you’re looking for bombshell hair, silk is for you. It’s less damaging, which mean you can say goodbye to breakage and tangles and hello to smooth strands. It even helps extend the life of your blowout, so you wake up well rested and well coiffed.
6. Breathe Deeply
Air quality definitely affects sleep quality! Indoor plants improve air quality by absorbing toxins (greenery also reduces stress and fatigue). If you’re struggling with allergies or respiratory issues try an air purifier.
Certain scents can trigger biological responses and even help induce sleep. Organic Tonic To Sleep is a nightly remedy for those who have trouble getting to sleep. Simply apply a few drops of the organic tonic in your palm, rub hands together and apply to temples and inner wrists. Breathe in and relax as a blend of patchouli, chamomile, lavender and clary sage de-stresses, calms nervousness and anxiety.
We recently read this article on how sleeping naked is better for your health -- from lowering your body temperature (which promotes deeper sleep, delays aging, and helps prevent diabetes), to increasing circulation, to lowering cortisol and the belly fat that gets stored with this hormone -- and we've become this rule's #1 fan. Sleeping in the nude is great for your health, great for your sex life, and great for your relationship to your body.
Bonus: Overnight Beauty Boosters
- Sakara Night Water mixes high-quality spring water with trace minerals and chlorella for the ultimate detoxifying, nourishing hydration to end your day! Chlorella is a single-celled micro-algae with a molecular structure that helps increase the “good” bacteria in the intestine in order to improve digestion and boost immunity. It creates excess oxygen in your body so that cells can repair and rejuvenate rapidly and binds to toxins to kindly escort them out of your body, giving your insides a healthy clean sweep.
- Beauty sleep takes on a whole new meaning with Weleda Iris Hydrating Night Cream. It gives your skin the restorative nourishment it needs at night so you wake up looking balanced and beautiful in the morning.
- Thick, creamy and extra rich, Hurraw! Night Treatment Lip Balm has some serious staying power. The vanilla and peru balsam scent helps lull you to sleep. Packed with blue chamomile extract and vitamin-rich avocado, argan and rosehip seed oils this balm work to soothe, restore, moisturize and heal lips for some true beautiful zzzs!
Sweet dreams, Sakaralites!