You’ve been busy all day. Now, it’s 9pm and you can finally sit down, grab a book or catch up on that show you’ve been meaning to watch all year, have some tea, and leisurely make your way to bed when you begin to feel oh so sleepy. Hahahaha, yeah right. There are lunches to be packed, clothes to lay out, backpacks and workbags to ready, and probably more dishes to do, there are always more dishes somewhere, somehow. And don’t even get me started on the laundry. Seriously. And that’s on an easy night. Sleep will have to wait, it just isn’t as important. Here’s the thing though, when I was younger I could make sleep low priority and pull off a late night getting it all done, and function reasonably well the next day. But, hello 40’s. Not only do you get up three times to pee, but you feel like your nights are too short and too long all at once. How is this even a thing?! Just like you can literally eat ice and carrots and gain weight. Wow, thanks 40… you’re my hero.
First, lets reevaluate how we prioritize our sleep and exactly why we need our beauty rest. I am not just talking beauty here either my friend, sleep affects your entire body and overall health. Consistently not getting those precious seven to nine hours each night not only makes you look like you’ve pulled an all-nighter at a frat party but also puts your physical health at risk. During sleep your body heals itself and restores balance in your system. Without proper slumber your body and brain systems will not function properly. This is where coffee comes in, but no matter how much we joke… coffee will not make you smarter. During sleep pathways form between nerve cells helping you remember new information. Your nervous system also controls your coordination skills, so you can avoid accidents more easily. Ever had a long night and been stumped on spelling the word AND or been on your cell phone looking for your cell phone? #truestory #itsscary Not to mention, the mood swings are real. Continual sleep deprivation can actually cause depression, paranoia, and another frozen pizza night eating your feelings.
Without proper sleep, your immune system is deprived and is prevented from building its army of good guys as well. Remember, when you sleep you heal. Your digestion system is the command center, I talk about this a lot. Sleep affects the levels of two vital hormones leptin and gherlin which control the feelings of hunger and fullness. Ever wonder why after a bad night you turn into an episode of Wayne’s World and consume a bag of chips on the couch watching Netflix so long it asks if you are still there? Hormones, but these we can control with sleep. Without enough sleep your body reduces leptin and increases ghrelin which is an appetite stimulant. I need this said NO ONE EVER. Insomnia and poor sleep is also linked to stroke and heart attack, the largest threat to women’s health. Heart disease kills more U.S. women that all forms of cancer combined.
What Does lack of Sleep Actually Do?
So now that we know what happens to your system, let’s talk how it affects us beauty wise ladies.
Skin makes new collagen when you sleep. More collagen = plumper skin. Collagen also helps you to stay hydrated at optimal levels.
Want your glow back? Try getting more sleep. When you snooze, it helps to increase blood flow which aid in a healthy glow.
I remember my Grandma ushering us to bed early saying, “you’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed.” Well, this is why. Your eyes are the first thing compromised after a stunted night’s sleep. You will notice puffiness, sagging, and even dark circles. The blood will pool under your eyes due to poor circulation. On the contrary, after a good night’s sleep you will notice improved blood flow and a rosy complexion riding yourself of that vampiric look. Sorry Edward, I don’t pull of the undead look as well as you do.
Yes, lack of zzz’s can mean more than a bad hair day. Hair gets less nutrients and minerals because they have a harder time being absorbed. No sleep usually means stress which can also cause you hair to fall out. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
A Happy Appearance
When you’re tired from lack of sleep it can cause your skin to droop. We tend to frown and furrow more often when we are tired. Ever had anyone say to you, “you look tired”?
I always want to say something snarky back but am usually too foggy to form a complete and witty response. I can only utter a mumbled, “thanks buddy, thanks”.
So, what can we do?
Here are some tips and tricks to help you get a goodnight and restorative slumber…
I like a bath right before bed to relax me. Take a look at my blog on detox bathes. I always take a shower or bath before bed. It’s a ritual which gives my body the signal it’s time for sleep and those little rituals are important and help you prepare for nighttime. Plus, scientifically speaking, when your body temperature drops after getting out of a warm bath, it helps the body naturally relax. Some tricks I use are Epsom salts and essential oils. Lavender is one of my many favorites.
A sleep schedule helps. Until this year I have never been great at this. My husband swears by it. It helps to regulate your body’s clock. I guess that’s why he can literally fall asleep and snore within 45 seconds.
Exercise… YAY that pesky word always seems to find its way into something healthy. Activity helps your body, just to be tired. Just don’t do it too close to bedtime.
Be careful how you nap. Even a 10-minute power nap can ruin my night’s sleep, but everyone is different. I am not a napper unless I need to be up late. I’ve always wished I lived in Europe where they take naps and stay up to all hours of the night drinking wine and luxuriously dining for several hours. But, I am from Illinois and apparently that’s frowned upon.
Have a comfortable bed and pillow. If anyone wants to play pillow match-maker for me, please send them my way. I feel like pillows come to die at our house. I still haven’t found my perfect pillow.
It’s all about the room. They say the perfect temp for a bedroom is between 60-67 degrees. This is where my husband and I throw down. If I am hot, I will not sleep. Also, the lightening in your room needs to be optimal. I like it dark, like coffin dark. My best friend since I was 10 tells me I really am a vampire. If there is a crack of light I will not sleep well. I am all about a good sleep mask. And of course, creating a tech free zone before bed helps. Screens mimic daylight and can keep your brain going. Shutting down is a challenge, but I promise you one that comes with numerous benefits.
I don’t know about you, but I could go for a nap now! If you have any sleep hacks, as always send them my way on my Instagram or Facebook. Until then, sweet dreams Beautiful!