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March 09, 2015

3 Products To Help Improve Your Beauty Sleep

We've all heard the term beauty sleep bandied about but what does it really mean and is there any real substance to it?

Beauty sleep is defined as:

"A period of regular restful sleep, especially when attained by going to bed early. Also called beauty rest."
“(It comes from the belief that such sleep helps preserve an attractive and youthful appearance)”

Sleeping earlier which is the first stage of your sleep cycle, is said to be crucial to beauty sleep as it's during that time that the body typically produces a surge in the growth hormone, which helps cell regeneration and works to repair and rebuild your body tissues.

Chronic lack of sleep or poor quality sleep has an incredibly negative effect on the way we look and feel.

And what's the recommended number of hours of sleep that we need? Well experts recommend between 7-9 hours of sleep, if you are aged between 26-64.

I came across a quote in the daily mail that talked about study of the body clock – chronobiology, which suggests that there are set times when our body clock dictates that various processes take place in the skin and hair

" From 8pm to 11pm is the time for hydration and stimulation, while 11pm to 3am is the time for nutrition and regeneration and 3am to 5am is the time for resting"

But what do you do when you can't get enough sleep, find it hard to shut down or even struggle to sleep at all?

Over the last few months, I have been incredibly busy, have been pulling a lot of very late nights and as  result have definitely seen the negative effects across my skin and health. 

I generally feel more stressed, never feel very rested and have put on a bit of weight. Deep sleep  (of which I haven’t been getting) helps to negate the bad effects of the hormone cortisol, a stress hormone which has been known to increase your body fat percentage - thus fighting against you gaining weight around your stomach.

So I decided to get a handle on it as part of my moving into a healthier state this year.

Some of the things I have been doing include:
  1. Forcing myself to go to sleep earlier (not easy but it has to be done),
  2. Not going on my iPad or phone whilst in bed (yes Instagram I'm side eyeing you on this!)
  3. Avoiding drinks like tea, coffee and hot chocolate (they all contain caffeine which is too stimulating at nightime) 
  4. Ensuring that my room is a cool/neutral temperature. Being too hot or cold keeps me awake.

These three products have also been working wonders.

Magnesium Flakes £9.99 - I already raved about the oil version in a previous favourites blog post.
Magnesium is responsible for the correct metabolic function of over 325 enzymes in the body. It is found in certain foods like leafy green vegetables, nuts and dark chocolate, however many of us are deficient in it.

It also plays a big part in hydration, muscle relaxation and the deactivation of adrenalin. It can be taken as a supplement, which if taken should be in chelated form as it’s easier for the body to digest. I like using it in transdermal form, the oil is one form or as a footbath for 20 minutes. You can also have a full relaxing bath with it.

A relaxing tea about 45mins to 1hour before bed. My current favourite is Dr Stuarts Tranquillity tea £2.99, which is a calming herbal infusion of lime flower and hawthorn to help you relax

Spraying my bed linen and pillowcase with This Works Deep Pillow Spray £16.00 which is scented with the soothing and calming essential oils of Lavender, Vertivert and Wild Camomile.

Do you tend to get to bed early and have a good nights sleep or are you a late night owl?
If you do, what difference have you noticed in your health and appearance?
What are some of your tips for getting the best beauty sleep?
Leave a comment below and let me know.

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