Rest Well, Be Beautiful
Time flies so fast and we all have so much to pack into our days that we are all guilty of perhaps not taking as much time to rest and relax as we should. Generally, we are much more aware of our diets and our exercise and know that what we choose to feed ourselves with alongside the amount of movement we do on a daily basis has a bearing on not only our physical and mental health, but also our beauty too. We all know how good our skin looks after a brisk walk in the fresh air, blooming and full of vitality. However, many of us forget just how important rest and relaxation are as part of our beauty routine.
If you look in the mirror in the morning and your skin is dull, lacklustre and pale, or you have dark circles and breakouts, it could quite simply be down to what scientists call “bad sleep hygiene”. This is, quite simply, not having a good routine at night that allows you to wind down into a relaxed sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready to face the day when you wake up.
They have identified certain things that many of us may be doing wrong, as we try and fail to get enough sleep to keep us going.
Fix your bedtime; fix your getting up time: It sounds so easy, right? Simply making yourself go to bed and get up at the same time every single day, but it can make all the difference. Training your brain to know it’s that time of day when you can actively switch off and climb under the covers is one of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep. It may take a while, and you must be certain that you’re getting into bed before midnight (and preferably before eleven if at all possible), but given time this does work. Even if you have a few bad nights, don’t be tempted to sleep in past your agreed getting up time. Slowly but surely, your body will learn to adapt.
Avoid certain foods and drinks after a certain time: It’s usually recommended that for the best possible chance of drifting into a restful slumber, you must try and avoid alcohol, caffeine and heavy, sugary and spicy foods for around four to six hours before bed. Many people wrongly believe that alcohol will send them to sleep, which it will, at first, but as the body processes the alcohol, blood sugar levels can drop which can leave you waking up earlier and feeling irritable. Eating heavy foods before bed can put too much pressure on your digestion, which can end up breaking sleep patterns, making you feel groggy and listless when you wake.
Make your bedroom a bedroom and not an entertainment room: That means no television, audio equipment, computer gadgets and phones, anything that could provide a distraction. It isn’t easy, but removing anything that makes a noise or could possibly cause you to wake up can really help make sleeping easier. If you find, after thirty minutes of trying, you haven’t fallen asleep, then get up, go into another room and read or listen to some relaxing music until you feel sleepy.
Try to set up a bedtime ritual: This is so your body starts to train itself to wind down. This could involve a relaxing bath using some really good quality bathing products, followed by half an hour reading a good book, a light snack and a milky drink or cup of chamomile tea. Make sure the bedroom is a steady temperature, not too hot or cold, though a cooler bedroom is often more sleep inducing than a warm one.
Using a spa-ritual to relax and unwind
One of the best ways of helping to relax is to try out and enjoy some spa treatments. Anything from a relaxing massage through to a calming and soothing facial can help to wind down and restore a feeling of well being within you. Just taking half an hour to an hour once a week to have some sort of therapy can make such a difference to not only how you look but how you feel. It can also help to get some advice on herbal medicine and nutrition too, as this can really help with sleep problems, insomnia and completely rebalancing and nurturing a weary mind and body.
When we relax and pamper ourselves we allow the blood to flow properly and freely around our body. A full body massage or skin treatment relaxes muscles and soft tissues and can mean that the nutrients we take in from our food are more readily absorbed too. By the time we come to sleep at night, we may find it easier to lull ourselves into a proper slumber.
An hour’s sleep before midnight…
Having the right skincare products, the right diet and vitamins to supplement your health and an exercise regime which suits both your level of fitness, age and ability is a great start to having uber healthy looking skin. Combining all of the above with a proper sleep routine is the best way to ensure that you’re not only looking well, but feeling well too. In many ways, the old adage that you might have heard your mother or grandmother say to you when you were younger and burning the candle at both ends speaks volumes about our sleeping habits: “an hour’s sleep before midnight, is worth two after”. Indeed, it does have more than a grain of truth in it. The later you leave it to go to bed at night, the less chance your body has to really rest and recharge itself. Get yourself into a good sleeping routine and you could effectively turn the clock back on ageing. The skin is the body’s largest organ. Look after it and it will look after you!