From a beauty standpoint, sleep is vitally important because this is when skin repair happens. After you finish your evening skincare routine, you need adequate hours of sleep in order for your beauty products to do their job. No matter how expensive your products are and how well you take care of your skin, if you’re not getting enough sleep, then you will not see results.
During your sleep your internal organs rest and recover, tissue repair happens, muscle growth occurs, and protein synthesis takes place. The hormones that regulate appetite control, stress, growth, metabolism, and other bodily functions are released. With adequate sleep, you’ll have more energy, a stronger immune system, heightened awareness, a boost in mood and sex drive, and clearer skin.
If you’re not getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night, you may be at risk for weight gain, increased risk of chronic disease, increased risk of accidents and injuries, decline in cognitive function, and increased anxiety.
If you’re 18 years or older, you need 7-9 hours of sleep each night to function at your best. Struggling with insomnia? Here’s how to fall asleep fast.
Reduce daytime stimulants
Love your daily cup of coffee? Us too. But be sure to keep your coffee time before 12pm so the caffeine doesn’t affect your sleep. Try to avoid eating 2-4 hours before you go to bed so that your belly isn’t digesting food as you fall asleep. Do your best not to watch TV, look at your phone, or use your computer a couple hours before you go to bed. Read a book instead or connect with your partner! If this seems impossible, try using f.lux on your computer to make the screen orange instead of blue, which will protect your eyes. You can always get orange glasses for watching TV too! Sounds silly, but it’s so worth it.
Improve your diet
Eating a variety of foods and limiting your sugar intake can help you fall asleep. Aim for lighter evening meals and try to nix the late-night snacking. Instead of snacking, distract your stomach with restorative yoga, journaling, or reading a book. Try get plenty of water in the morning and early afternoon and limit evening beverages so that you’re not interrupting your sleep with bathroom breaks.
Create a peaceful environment
Your bedroom aesthetic has a lot to do with how well you sleep. Start by cleaning out the clutter in your bedroom. After all, the saying goes, “A cluttered space is a cluttered mind.” It’s true! Create a more peaceful environment by using more neutral colors instead of bright and colorful decor. Place a diffuser by your bed and use lavender essential oils every night. You can even add a drop of lavender to your pillow case before you go to bed. Remove all electronics from your room. This includes TVs, computers, laptops, cell phones, video games, tablets, e-readers, etc. These objects emit that same blue light that can interfere with your sleep.
Reduce exposure to light and sound
Make sure your blinds are shut or that your curtains are thick enough to block out any light. Cover up or hide anything in your room that has a light on it. For example, you could put your alarm clock under your nightstand or under your bed so that the light doesn’t distract you from a good night’s sleep. You can also roll up a towel under your door if there’s light coming in from another room. You may even want to invest in a comfortable sleep mask.
Make sleep a priority
Lastly, if you really want to get restorative sleep, plan ahead for it by choosing a time that you will absolutely go to bed. Try to stick to the same time every night. Create a bedtime routine that lets your mind and body know it’s time for bed. Maybe meditation or a few restorative yoga poses are a part of that routine to help your body wind down. If you have busy brain at night, keep a journal by your bed to write down any thoughts you have so you can let go and fall asleep more easily.
Kate Wilke is a 200-RYT yoga instructor, meditation teacher, and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She teaches and works with clients in Nashville, TN. She believes in self-care in the form of colorful, healthy cooking, daily walks with her dog, and a glass of red wine. Follow her on Instagram — @meditatekate