Many people assume the notion of beauty sleep is a myth and don’t really buy into the idea. We know it’s good for our health to get a regular seven to nine hours a night, but benefits to our looks? Really?
Yes, really! A research study recently measured levels of attractiveness after subjects stayed up for thirty-one hours. Suffice to say the results weren’t too pretty. Swollen eyelids, droopy mouths, wrinkles, dark under-eye shadows, sad expressions, and bloodshot eyes all combined to make participants in the study look particularly haggard. Photographs of the volunteers before and after their sleep deprivation were shown to independent onlookers, and they were asked to gauge which photographs were more appealing: before or after? Well, no surprises: after pulling an all-nighter, candidates were viewed as considerably less attractive.
Eight hours away from great skin
Sleep is viewed by many in the medical establishment as one of the best free beauty tonics going. The benefits for the skin are most easily measured. A good night’s shut-eye plumps up the epidermis, making it look dewy and glowing with health. Sleep is when our bodies fall into their repair and maintenance schedule so the more we get, the better maintained we are – just like a finely-tuned engine.
Giving us bright eyes, quick smiles and sharper minds, regular deep sleep helps us tackle stress and depression and is also a strong ally in the fight against heart disease, weight gain, diabetes and a range of other health conditions. Good sleeping habits combined with a healthy diet and active lifestyle show up in our complexions, our bodies and our general demeanor. The rules are simple: sleep well, look well.
Some people can snooze on a washing-line, others find themselves counting sheep until dawn: no two sleepers are the same. But there are things we can do to help our chances of getting a good night’s sleep.
Need sleep? Do this
First of all, check the basics. Is the bed comfortable? Once you find a bed that delivers the ultimate in comfort, sleep often follows a close second. Try out a number of beds to see how they compare. Choose something that offers adequate support without being too firm or too soft. Consider quality brands such as Tempur beds that know a thing or two about nocturnal niceties and the benefits of an undisturbed night’s sleep.
Try and hit the sheets at the same time each night to get the inner body clock running at its best. Avoid oversleeping at weekends. Although this is tempting, it really knocks sleep rhythms for six – so rise and shine at the same time every day.
Sleep in a room that is comfortable, quiet and dark. The temperature should be just right and remember to switch over summer and winter bedding to avoid night sweats or shivers that may cause wakefulness.
Avoid eating or drinking close to bedtime and cut down on caffeine-loaded drinks from lunchtime onwards. Regular exercise helps make our bodies more amenable to sleep so try and fit at least twenty minutes of something energetic into the day. Before bed, take a relaxing bath, sip on calming chamomile tea and splash drops of lavender essential oil over the pillow for a soothing, nighttime aroma. Soon enough, morning will come, and the perfect slumber will have left behind the perfect skin… Now just wait for the compliments to start flooding in.