Beauty Sleep: The Secret to Looking and Feeling Younger

Beauty Sleep: The Secret to Looking and Feeling Younger

Your alarm goes off, you hit the snooze button, and groan, “I need my beauty sleep.” We’ve all said it before, but is beauty sleep nothing more than a simple saying, or is there some truth to it?

A lot of things happen when you fall asleep. Your body produces growth hormones to repair damage, creates new cells so that your skin looks bright and vibrant, and distributes moisture so that you don’t wake up with puffy bags under your eyes. Lack of sleep has an effect on weight gain, immune system health, and stress. Beauty sleep, getting some shuteye, hitting the sack – whatever you choose to call it, here’s how to make the most of it.

Adjust Your Bedroom Acoustics

When it comes to improving your sleep, the obvious answer lies in your bedroom design. Your home is where you can express your personality via décor and colors, but your bedroom shouldn’t be so design-heavy that it isn’t comfortable. Paint the walls a calming color, opt for comfy pillows instead of decorative ones you have to constantly move about, and add a relaxing touch with artwork or photos. Use soft lights, such as a lamp or candles as opposed to harsh overhead lights, and minimize distractions by removing clutter and technology, closing openings (bathroom/closet door), and using a sound machine to block out noise. Turn the temperature down to anywhere between 60 and 68 degrees to help your body’s natural cool-down process prior to sleep, and consider putting up blackout curtains to block light and noise, and facilitate the production of melatonin (the chemical that regulates your sleep cycle).

Start a Regular Exercise Routine

Many people don’t realize it, but regularly exercising can improve your sleep and overall health. How? Adding physical activity to your daily routine can increase the amount of time you spend in the restorative, deep sleep phase. You’ll find that over time, you are able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer due to the energy you use while exercising, leaving you feeling tired and ready to sleep when bedtime arrives. Exercise is also a great stress reliever, helping you feel calm and peaceful as well as giving you a chance to work through various emotions and feelings that might keep you up at night.

In order to see the sleep benefits from working out, you have to stick to your fitness routine. For extra accountability and support, consider hiring a personal trainer from Become Better Sport Performance and Personal Training. In addition to moderate to strenuous exercise, add a low impact yoga session to the beginning or end of your day. These yoga poses courtesy of Yoga Journal are a great start.

Sleep and Nutrition Go Hand in Hand

Lack of sleep leaves you feeling tired and sluggish, but it can have an impact on your eating habits as well. Less sleep means less leptin and more ghrelin, the hormones that signal to your brain that you are full and hungry. Cravings set in during the day, and you’ll likely find that you reach for high-carb and fatty foods rather than healthy snacks.

In addition, if your sleep cycle is all over the place, it can alter your eating patterns. For example, if the midpoint of your sleep cycle falls at about 5:30 a.m., it could cause a delay, meaning you won’t feel hungry for dinner until after 8 p.m. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you eat earlier, you’ll be more prone to late-night snacking. The best nutrition plan will include a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains, but when it comes to sleep, opt for foods that contain tryptophan, calcium, and vitamin B6, as these all help produce melatonin to help you sleep.

It turns out beauty sleep is the real deal. The key to making the most of it is up to you. Make sure your bedroom is an ideal sleep environment, and add in exercise and nutrition to improve your sleep health. You won’t see an immediate change, but give it some time, and stick with it – you’ll be happy you did.

Article was written by Sheila Olson.

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