Sleep is vital for allowing the body to repair and renew itself. And the impact of sleep on our skin is no exception. Our bodies produce proteins while we sleep to restore and repair skin damage occurring from UV light exposure, stress, pollutants and other age-accelerating factors we deal with daily.
While many adults find it increasingly difficult to maintain healthy sleep habits, the fact remains that getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep is essential for great skin. Here are a few ideas for healthy habits that can benefit your sleep quality, and, in turn, positively impact the health of your skin.
5 steps to a better night’s sleep:
- Develop a sleep-wake schedule
Going to bed and waking up at different times every day confuses the body and disrupts your routine. Determine the best sleep and wake time for your schedule, and try to create consistency in your sleeping pattern.
- Create a sleep-conducive environment
A noisy, crowded bedroom creates stress that disrupts your sleep. Clean up the clutter, hang light-blocking blinds or drapes and get rid of anything that makes noises during the night, such as a loudly ticking clock (or incoming emails on your cell phone).
- Establish a pre-bedtime routine
Adopt a soothing, pre-bedtime routine that tells your body and mind it’s almost time for sleep. Take a bath or sip a cup of your favorite decaffeinated tea while reading a book. Avoid stimulating activities like TV or computer time. Boost the effects of sleep on your skin with an age-defying night cream (like this one from Jurlique) before bed to help you wake up with fresher, younger-looking skin.
- Nix the nightcap
Forgo drinking alcohol right before bed. A recent article in the Huffington Post talks about the ways alcohol can be devastating to your complexion, especially right before bed. A nightcap can also lead to wakefulness in the middle of the night, reducing sleep quality.
- Plan for bouts of sleeplessness
Don’t feel discouraged if there are nights when you still can’t sleep. Avoid turning on the television, and opt for soothing music or a book. Resist the urge to look at the clock as it fuels the fire of sleeplessness.
Healthy sleep habits are developed in a similar way to other healthy lifestyle changes. Be patient as you make changes, and realize that new habits take at least six weeks to become a natural part of your routine. As you endeavor to follow through on your new sleep routine, you’ll reap the benefits of younger, healthier skin due to cell regeneration—and enjoy the added bonus of an increase in energy!