“What is beauty sleep and how can I get it?” I can hear you and perhaps over a million others ask that question! No doubt millions of women, and also more than a few men, would like these questions answered! Well, here we intend to answer them.
So what is beauty sleep? The answer to this is easy: beauty sleep is no more than deep, undisturbed sleep during which your body repairs the damage done to your complexion during the day. Basically, it is sleep that enables your body to recharge after the day’s physical and mental activity. It is sleep that keeps you looking fresh, young and beautiful.
Yes, you may argue that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is certainly true, although a lovely, glowing complexion is generally regarded as beautiful as opposed to a tired, lined face that looks like you have partied all night and never had time to recover!
Before you sleep you generally feel tired and perhaps lifeless. If you get insufficient sleep you look bleary, pale and your hair is everywhere! Your face can look lined and haggard and you may look several years older than you are. Here are some of the aspects of your looks that beauty sleep can help maintain or even improve.
Insufficient rest can leave your face looking lined, lacking color and perhaps even result in sagging skin. Beauty sleep helps prevent this by feeding your skin with various nutrients. While you sleep, your body has no need to feed large volumes of blood to your muscles to allow you to move and go about your daily routine. Instead, your blood circulation focuses on your skin, providing it with the nutrients needed to help it keep looking young and full of vitality and life.
Your body produces collagen while you are sleeping. Collagen is a protein that is a major component of skin, muscles and connective tissue. It not only improves the elasticity of your skin but also helps your lips to look more plump, luscious and kissable! Insufficient sleep can result in thin, wrinkle-lined lips. Seven hours of beauty sleep rather than four or five hours can prevent this.
If you don’t get enough sleep your eyes can become puffy and tired-looking. Not only that, but you can form bags under your eyes that discolor as they fill up with blood. Nothing destroys your beauty much more than puffy, discolored eyes. Add a wrinkled, dull, lifeless complexion to that, and you are desperately in need of some refreshing beauty sleep.
If you don’t get enough beauty sleep, your hair can lack nutrients, lose its luster, and grow fragile and weak. This can lead to your hair splitting and breaking. Lack of nutrition to your follicles leads to hair loss. Additionally, a lack of sleep causes an increase in cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that leads to stress that can also result in hair loss. Later, we will discuss preferred sleeping positions for protecting your hair.
Free Radicals and Beauty Sleep
You may have heard the term ‘free radicals’ and wondered what they are. They are atoms or molecules that have either gained or lost an electron. Specifically, in this case, they are oxygen molecules split into two single oxygen atoms, each with an unpaired electron. Electrons are compelled to go around in pairs, so free radicals will look around your body for electrons they can steal to make a pair. This chemical process is known as oxidation, a process that can be stopped by substances known as antioxidants.
Oxidation can result in cell and DNA damage, and your proteins can also be damaged. Not only that, but free radicals are created when your body is exposed to radiation (including excessive sunlight), smoking, drugs, pesticides and some other polluting substances. They destroy skin cells and can prematurely age you. Free radicals can be destroyed by eating foods rich in antioxidants that prevent cellular oxidation. So what are these foods?
Beauty Sleep, Cellular Oxidation, and Nutrition
Beauty sleep uses nutrients from the food you eat including antioxidants. Your blood gets to circulate around the capillaries in your face, including your lips, and around your eyes and destroys any free radicals it finds. This gives you back a plumped-up, pink complexion and helps beautify your eyes.
The natural aging process of your skin is slowed down due to the antioxidants in your food preventing the free radicals from destroying so many of your skin cells. This, along with the nightly improved blood flow through the fine blood vessels in your face, helps to retard wrinkling and even repair many of the fine wrinkles that would ultimately lose you your good looks.
Diet and Beauty
Your diet is an important factor in how quickly and effectively beauty sleep can repair the previous day’s damage and keep you looking fresh and beautiful. Nutrition is critical in providing the antioxidants to destroy free radicals. Among these nutrients are the various vitamins and minerals that you eat as part of your diet. This help replenishes those lost during your everyday life.
Many vegetables and fruits, including carrots, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, red peppers, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, oranges and many more are high in antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, polyphenols (in green tea), and flavonoids.
Plenty sleep helps your blood to circulate these antioxidants round your body including the skin of your face and around your eyes. This gives more color to your face and cheeks and helps you regain the beauty you lose through free radical oxidation.
The Importance of Some Beauty Aids
Commercial beauty treatments can improve the results of your beauty sleep. As we previously mentioned, the increased blood flow in your face is due to your body diverting blood from the large muscle groups. You can assist this process by using a moisturizing cream or lotion at night. This keeps your skin hydrated so it doesn’t dry out and become wrinkled.
Some of these treatments contain a substance known as hyaluronic acid. Don’t let the term ‘acid’ put you off: it is not a corroding acid. Take ascorbic acid – its other name is vitamin C so not all acids corrode or burn. Hyaluronic acid absorbs water and just a small amount is enough to plump up your skin, face, and lips.
It’s the ultimate hydrating substance so check if it is contained in your moisturizer. Some hyaluronic acid skin preparations can be fairly expensive, though others are fairly low cost. This substance can absorb up to 2,000 times its weight of water: 1 gram can contain 2 kilos of water, so you only need a tiny amount. It helps your skin cells retain moisture, giving your face and lips a plumped up look that looks healthy and adds to your beauty. Not only that, but it can hold back the years as you age and your skin loses its elasticity. Your face will be less likely to show fine wrinkles and lines and will tend to maintain its texture.
The Importance of Your Sleeping Position
Beauty sleep helps you to retain your beauty when others are losing theirs. It helps you to keep your skin in great condition, retards the formation of wrinkles and lines, and gives you more self-esteem. However, there are certain things you can do to not only improve the quality of your sleep but also to keep yourself looking good while you sleep. Here are some suggestions you may want to try out for yourself, beginning with your sleeping position.
Most people have a preferred sleeping position, the majority sleeping on their side. Unless you change from sleeping on your left to your right side frequently, your skin on the side you sleep on most will become wrinkled. Your hair on that side will also tend to create creases in your skin.
The best position for your complexion and your hair is on your back. When you sleep on your side, your face is in contact with your pillow. So is your hair, so that your face is likely to be contaminated by any oil or dirt in your hair. So wash your face and hair before bed! This will remove any residual makeup still on your face, and remove natural oils from your hair that could make it brittle.
If you must sleep on your side it helps to use a smooth pillowcase such as silk. However, keeping the pillowcase clean and your face hydrated might be enough for you. Another factor is to consider the best mattress for back sleepers, and for side sleepers if you prefer to sleep on your side.
Final Advice on Beauty Sleep and How You Can Get It
The following additional advice will help you convert your normal sleep to genuine beauty sleep that will help you retain a beautiful glowing complexion that is key to genuine beauty:
- Drink plenty of water before bed rather than coffee or alcohol. This keeps your body hydrated, which in turn helps maintain facial beauty and also helps prevent excessive wrinkling of skin all over your body.
- Use a humidifier in your bedroom. This will prevent your skin from drying out during the night and tending to wrinkle.
- Pay special attention to hydrating your skin in winter: this is when your skin may be at its driest.
- Don’t eat salty potato snacks before or in bed. The sale dehydrates you when your skin needs to be properly hydrated.
- Clean your pillowcase and sheets regularly so you don’t sleep on increasing numbers of bacteria and allergens every night.
- Wash your face every night before bed – or whatever time you go to bed if you work unconventional hours.
- Some say that silk bedding is best for helping you keep your glowing facial appearance. It neither lines your face nor gets tangled in your hair.
The whole objective of getting the highest quality of beauty sleep that you can is to ensure that your skin does not dry out during the night, and is not subject to mechanical stresses.