If you’ve landed the perfect bedtime ritual, and wake with great skin and a spring in your step, then keep doing your thing. But if you feel tired, stressed, or sluggish throughout the day, it might be time to reevaluate your slumber schedule and make some changes.
Did you know there’s a term for your nightly bedtime habits? The behaviours or rituals you practice around sleep are known as sleep hygiene. Staying up all hours, snacking at midnight or late-night caffeine indulgences are all obvious examples of poor sleep hygiene.
Improving your sleep routine is a lifestyle change your body will thank you for. Stick to our steps and before long you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the world. No caffeine needed.
Unfortunately there's still no cure for small children keeping you up all hours ruining your best laid plans at a great sleep, so keep at it and don't give up on your ideal sleep pattern. There will come a day when your sleep habits pay off!
Why is good sleep hygiene important?
Sleep is your body’s scheduled time for repair and rejuvenation. Sleep is the human equivalent to being plugged in to charge. Without the necessary hours and quality, we start to feel - and look - less than our best.
More specifically, night time is when fresh, healthy skin cells rise to the surface and repair any damage that occurred during the day. Our moisture levels become balanced again (hello fresh, dewy skin) and the molecules that produce glowing skin, collagen and hyaluronic acid, have time and energy to replenish our complexion.
When we’re deprived of adequate sleep, more than just our beauty suffers. A proper sleep regime is critical to maintaining your mental, emotional and physical health. It’s safe to say we’ve all experienced the wrath of a sleep-deprived individual - whether we’re on the giving or the receiving end. Poor sleep prevents us from regulating our mood and keeping focused and motivated throughout the day. It disrupts hormones leading to weight gain and higher than needed stress levels. Poor sleep is even being indicated as a contributor to chronic diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Enter good sleep hygiene!
How can I create better bedtime habits?
Set aside your stresses
For some reason, it’s always at night while we’re trying to sleep that our worries emerge. Work worries. Money worries. Family worries. The list goes on. But in order to wake up refreshed, take some time to put those worries to rest before going to bed. Easier said than done, we know. But it’s an activity worth doing for the sake of your mental wellbeing.
If something’s bothering you, find a way to settle your mind. Whether that’s jotting your thoughts down in a journal, a phone call to a friend or a relaxing breathing exercise. Soothe those racing thoughts before bedtime and you’ll be happier about it come sunrise.
Invest time in your bedroom setup
For better beauty sleep, keep your bedroom temperature low. At night, your body’s natural temperature declines and a cooler room is good for both your metabolism and blood flow. This helps oxygenate the skin, which ensures plump and even-toned skin the next morning.
Another element to consider is your exposure to light. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that’s controlled by light exposure and helps regulate your sleep-wake pattern. When it’s dark, your brain produces more melatonin making you more sleepy and less sleepy when it’s light. In order to succumb to sleep easily and make the most of those hours, eliminate night lights and any blue light devices in the bedroom. And invest in black out curtains.
And that lumpy mattress you’ve used for a decade? That has to go. Instead, invest in a great quality mattress that will support a great night’s rest. Don’t let the price tag scare you either, what you’ll spend up front you’ll make up for in productivity (and beauty) throughout the day.
Create a routine you can stick to
In the last hour before bed, try following the same activities each night to establish a set routine. Remember, the aim of your routine is to prepare you for dreamland - not to finish any last minute errands. In doing so, you’re psychologically training your brain to recognise it’s time for bed.
During our evening wind-down phase, here are a few things we like to do.
- Remove all screens from the bedroom.
- Stop eating at least 3 hours before bed. (your body needs the energy to regenerate, not digest)
- Try meditation, breathing or gratitude exercises.
- Take a warm bath.
- Read a book by a soft lamp.
*All dependant on the cooperation of the small people in the house!
Use the power of scent
You know the smell of freshly baked chocolate cookies and how that makes you feel? Then you’ll understand the influence smell can have on our mood. Using aromatherapy, we can choose scents that promote relaxation to prepare our body for rest. Try incorporating essential oils like lavender, ylang-ylang and sandalwood into your nightly regime.
There are plenty of great ways to apply these oils, just make sure they’re pure essential oils and not “scented oils” which are a whole other toxic thing entirely. You can massage a few drops into your skin, create a spray to spritz over your pillow or invest in an aromatherapy diffuser.
Wear a silk sleep mask
Like we mentioned, avoiding light is key to getting some quality shuteye. Besides dark curtains, an eye mask is perfect for eliminating light and stopping it from interfering with your slumber. For the best results, we recommend investing in a silk eye mask. Since the skin is rather susceptible to wrinkling, ensure that the material pressing against your face is as soft as possible.
Getting your beauty sleep is a saying for a reason. It’s not a cliche, in fact, it’s a must for happy living and a healthy body and mind.