[By Sherine Alsagoff]
2015 has been going well so far and we’re still feeling as productive and active as an Energiser Bunny. But as great as you feel (with the help of a midday double macchiato), do you notice you’re starting to look a little ragged? Some of us are probably still recovering from our busy back-to-back schedule towards the end of the year, only to find ourselves staying up even later these past few weeks! And honey, when you skimp on your sleep, it shows. A study done in Sweden pointed towards a strong implication that sleep deprivation makes others perceive one as being less attractive and less healthy. Notably, lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate, contributing to the appearance of dark eye circles. Sleep deprivation may also lead to stress, which not only makes one appear tired and older, but affect your immune system adversely as well.
An optimal eye shut of 7 to 9 hours is recommended to leave you waking up with clear, luminous skin. While you sleep, your whole body goes into a state of repair and rejuvenation, and this extends to all metabolic changes in the body— including the skin. Beauty sleep is therefore not a myth, and here are 5 great pointers to help you sleep well, and wake up as gorg as gorgeous can be!
According to sleep experts, creating a sleep pattern helps promote better slumber. Going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time in the morning keeps your biological clock constant which translates to better rest. The steady rhythm created for your body allows it to sync the release of sleep-triggering hormones such as melatonin. You’ll feel sleepy naturally and this will ease you into a restful night. Melatonin is also a strong antioxidant and has been shown to be able to mar the damage inflicted by UV rays upon skin cells. So as important as living a healthy and balanced life during the day is to your outwards appearance, it is during nightfall where all your cells including the ones in the skin are being reconstructed and reformed.
Good sleep not only helps promote good skin directly, but it also reduces stress and stress-related hormones which indirectly affect skin health. So make it a point to visualise happy events prior to going to bed and you will surely fall into a peaceful snooze.
During our sleep cycle, growth hormone is released and this is linked to collagen stimulation and rebuilding of tissues. Skin specialists encourage the use of anti-aging and nourishing ingredients before we go to bed, since cellular renewal of our skin is most active while we sleep. When we apply specially formulated night-creams just prior to bedtime, it helps our skin gain the most benefits as absorption of nutrients isat its absolute peak. Furthermore, some skin foods are susceptible and degrade in sunlight, hence are useful for the skin only before we hit the sack.
If firm and supple skin is what you desire to wake up to, try the award winning Sloane Inc. Skin Superfood Red Algae for some post slumber magic. Containing Astaxanthin, the world’s most powerful antioxidant (6,000 times stronger than Vitamin C), this non-greasy skin saviour penetrates deep into the skin to boost overall skin health while you snooze. Its anti-aging compounds work in overdrive to neutralise free radicals on the skin, restoring skin elasticity and preventing formation of fine lines and wrinkles, turning dreams of dermal perfection into reality.
Be a Back Sleeper
Some specialists advocate sleeping on your back, rather than on your side or on your stomach to avoid formation of facial wrinkles. While you rest your face on the pillow the force of gravity causes your face to press against your pillow which creates a network of creases and lines. When you do this for years, eventually the lines stick and they become permanent wrinkles as your skin loses its ability to bounce back to shape. Furthermore, with the correct type of pillow providing good support, sleeping on your back also helps prevent acid reflux. By maintaining the head, neck and spine in a desirable neutral position, this will also help prevent post slumber neck and back stiffness.
Does thread count really count?
When one shops for bed linens, it is common practice to look for those with high thread count, promising pure comfort and luxury to lull you into a restful slumber. High thread count can certainlymake a difference, but this isn’t the sole determining factor of quality or softness. Material, fibre quality and weave all chip in to a higher quality bedsheet which is kinder to your skin, feeling as comfy as a baby nestling in its mother’s arms. Some say Egyptian cotton in sateen finish gives the softest feel, while others vouch for Italian cotton or Belgian linen for the sweetest sleep experience. But what I would recommend is to ignore all that, and go to a shop that allows you to browse and feel all the different textures of their sheets. At the end of the day, the one which feels silkiest and nicest to your own touch is really what that matters.
Keep it the white way
Just as calming as an Edelweiss which is ‘small and white, clean and bright’, the colour white gives a picture of serenity and harmony. A sleep haven dressed in white creates a tranquil and peaceful environment which helps prepare for a blissful slumber. Surveys even say that the reason why a hotel bed feels simply amazing is because the linens are usually pure white! White is associated with luxury, and when you sleep on a white bed, how can it not feel amazing? The best hotels always boast to be a home away from home, but with the correct beddings, we can now bring that ritzy feel back home to create our own private slumber heaven.
Be Rested, Be Radiant and let sleep be your source of fuel for healthy skin and general well-being.
* Selected as Article of the Month Feb 2015*