Super Skin Practice #1 for a Calm Mind and Clear Skin is …Sleep
Getting your beauty sleep is so important, for so much more than just the fact that you’re less likely to “look tired”, washed out and have dark circles or bags under your eyes.
Sleep is a time of detoxification and cellular repair. Our liver goes to work clearing and eliminating toxins, chemicals and hormones that are no longer needed.
We also produce melatonin as we sleep. Melatonin is known as our chief anti-aging antioxidant and is incredibly important for supporting our immune function.
When we don’t get enough sleep it’s a stressor on the body, driving our cortisol levels up, increasing inflammation and causing issues with blood sugar regulation.
We become less resilient, less able to plan, prioritise and make decisions, which has an impact on how we perceive and deal with stressful events in our lives.
We have an abundance of immune cells in our skin that are hyperresponsive to cortisol.
If a lack of sleep is increasing our stress load and systemic inflammation, it can trigger these immune cells in skin leading to inflamed skin and skin issues like acne eczema and psoriasis.
Not getting enough sleep has also been shown to slow down wound repair and weaken our skin’s protective barrier function.
Research has shown that most of us on average are only getting around 6 hours sleep a night, which really isn’t enough!
We need to be looking at getting 7-9 hours sleep in a pitch black room.
My top tips for getting a good night’s sleep …start in the morning!
- Have a wake-up light as an alarm clock. I use a Phillips Wake-Up Light as an alarm clock. It turns on about half an hour before I need to wake up and gently lights up the room – without those cortisol-spiking alarm clock noises or inane morning radio presenters that can shoot us into fight-flight mode from the moment we wake up in the morning. Instead I gently wake up as the room lights up.
- Get up and get some natural light early in the day. When you do wake up, get out and into the light as soon as possible. Getting that natural light into your visual field early in the morning will help to reset your circadian rhythm and make it easier to sleep at night.
And then on the flip side at night time…
- Instal f.lux software on your computer. If you’re working on the computer after dark, make sure you have f.lux installed. It’s free software that gives your computer screen a rosy glow when the sun goes down, this reduces the amount of blue light and stimulation you get from your computer screen. You can download it here
- Turn down overhead lights. And switch on soft, low lights – I love my salt lamps for this, they emit a really soft rosy glow. Candles are also great and the bonus is …they’re also a kind of romantic!
- Blue Blocker Glasses. If you’re going to watch TV, you can wear these funky looking orange lens blue blocker glasses to help block the stimulating blue light from the TV.
- It’s all about maximising the rosy amber light at night time. This simulates the setting sun and tells your body its time to wind down and start producing melatonin, your bodies chief sleepy time hormone and anti-aging antioxidant.
- Banishing blue light from electronic devices. It’s a good idea to start switching off electronic devices an hour before bedtime and I like to relax before bed with an Epsom salt foot bath.
- Set a “time for bed” alarm. To get 8 hours sleep, it’s a good idea to reverse engineer your bed time based on what time you need to get up in the morning and set yourself a “time for bed” alarm
So that’s your Super Skin Practice number #1 for reducing stress and tension – Getting Your Beauty Sleep
Now over to you, what have you found to be really helpful for getting a good night’s sleep?
And what have your observations been with your skin when you don’t get enough sleep?
Leave us a comment below and please share this video and blog post with anyone you know who might be struggling with their skin and struggling to sleep well – the two often go hand in hand!
Wishing you silky smooth skin!
Want to put some of this great info into practice?