Beauty sleep could be the secret to the complexion of your dreams.
Maybe you went to bed too late, or perhaps you’ve tossed and turned the night away. The next morning you might notice your lack of energy and vitality is quite literally written on your face, with a dull complexion, redness, and lines and wrinkles that seem to have sprung up overnight.
Lack of sleep leads to a spike in the hormones that cause inflammation and collagen destruction. The result is dehydrated skin and an increase in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. It’s enough to make you want to lie down!
According to the Sleep Health Foundation Australia, healthy adults should be getting seven to nine hours of shut-eye per night. However, many of us are falling seriously short – so much so that the Australian government is currently holding an inquiry into our sleeping habits.
They’ve found that about four in 10 Australians aren’t getting enough of their required sleep at least a couple of nights a week. Sound familiar?
We know that sufficient sleep is crucial for feeling and performing our best, but it’s also important to help us look our best, especially when it comes to a healthy complexion. In the past 20 years, scientists have discovered that our skin cells have their own internal clocks, which control their circadian rhythms and direct the activity that’s performed at different times of the day. In the afternoons and evenings, for example, our cells are all about protecting skin from UV damage.
At night, when they’re less likely to be interrupted by common assaults such as stress or pollution, they move into production mode, using this time to produce more skin cells. Scrimping on sleep means that we’re depriving our skin of the time it needs to perform these nightly tasks.
Our skin is our largest organ, so it makes sense that it needs rest. Sleep allows for cell renewal, collagen production and the reversal of some of the free-radical damage we experience throughout the day. We also produce important anti-ageing hormones during the night.
Get More Out Of Your Beauty Sleep
To complement and enhance your skin’s rhythms, try using different products for night and day. Our skin behaves differently at night, so it’s best to add a little nutrition boost to your evening skincare routine.
For example, our skin is more susceptible to transepidermal water loss – that is, hydration escaping – while we sleep. Most people prefer a lightweight moisturiser during the day, but using the same one at night might leave your skin feeling dry.” As well as using a richer formula, Kelly recommends looking for a few key ingredients in your night cream.
Essential Fatty Acids are considered essential nutrients for the skin. They serve as the essential building blocks of the skins’ surface layers, creating a smoother, more even, younger-looking and healthier complexion, no matter your age or skin type. With cell renewal peaking at around midnight – if you’re sleeping – the combination of sleep and essential fatty acids is vital for healthy, glowing skin.
A good night cream or serum, like rosehip oil, will also include antioxidants to fight free radicals and enhance hydration. Having an evening skincare routine can be an important step that helps body, mind and skin prepare for bed.
If your selfcare routine of choice is a calming practice, such as moisturising, having a bath or conversing with loved ones, then these make wonderful inclusions in evening routines. Selfcare is critical to remaining healthy and functioning in these modern times – after all, you cannot pour from an empty cup.
We need to take control of our sleep routines to look and feel our best. Your body needs clear prompts to wind down at night, and establishing a routine for a good night’s sleep has almost unlimited wellness benefits.
Cheryl Fingleson is known as The Sleep Coach. Here is Cheryl’s checklist for preparing for sleep at the end of the day:
- Choose a set bedtime and stick to it seven days a week.
- Eat healthy, regular meals to keep the body balanced.
- Avoid caffeine after midday.
- Turn of all screens at least one hour before bed.
- Find something that helps you relax – whether it’s meditating, reading or doing light stretches.