A good night’s sleep, or lack of, really will affect how you look on the outside very quickly. When you miss out on vital sleep, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to inflammation in the body. This shows up in the skin in the form of skin irritations like acne or eczema, meanwhile the body’s metabolism also becomes unbalanced when sleep-deprived. You need to know these 20 tips to look and feel well rested, trust me!
#1 Make Every Night a PJ Party
A big part of getting into the right mindset for a good night’s sleep is feeling totally comfortable and cosy. Soft and loose PJs are one of the best bits about relaxing before bed, as the minute you slip from those chaffing denims or work attire to the silky softness of a PJ set your mind shifts into chill out time. We adore these by Anthropologie (€50) for serious luxe nightwear.
#2 Have a Light Alarm and a Gradual Alarm
Before you head to sleep, organise exactly how you’re going to wake up! Waking up in a rush, already late for the day, ruins whatever good sleep you had. Invest in a good alarm clock that will wake you up gradually at the time when your body will respond best. Either a gradual light alarm or a sound version will wake you more gently, exiting your deep sleep. Philips Wake Up Light Alarm (€112) is a trustworthy option.
#3 Hot Drink
If you find it hard to wind down from a long day and get into a relaxed enough mode for sleep, try have a caffeine-free hot beverage while you’re resting before bed, whether you’re reading or watching telly. Herbal tea is the best option as there are many more health benefits. Pukka and Teapigs are excellent options!
#4 Skincare Regime
Consider it a ‘treat yourself regime’ to compile a soothing cream or oil makeup remover like the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (€20), then following with another cleanser like Cetaphil (€21.99), a toner such as the Nuxe Gentle Toning Lotion with Rose Petals (€15) and a moisturizer. Use an exfoliator and mask once or twice a week at least.
#5 Nice Sheets
When you’re all tucked up in bed, you want to be wrapped in the best sheets possible. If you can, silk pillowcases are far better for your skin and hair. Get sheets in a neutral or soothing tone to match the restful atmosphere of the entire room and lull you to sleep.
#6 Linen Spray
Another way to set yourself off to sleep is my appealing to your sense of smell! A linen spray will essentially help bring your mind back to a calmer state if you are someone who finds it hard to wind down and switch off. The This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (€20.48) is still the best by far.
#7 Perricone MD Sleep Booster Pill
Sometimes an inability to get a deep sleep all night long may point to a nutritional deficit, so you should look to your diet and supplementary intake. If you feel happy with these, then try the Perricone MD Sleep Booster (€32) before bed to help depleted melatonin and magnesium levels.
#8 Face Mask Overnight
Overnight is when your skin absorbs the most skincare possible and renews itself. Therefore this is the time when you should really treat your skin to help keep it looking in its best condition. A lack of sleep causes loss of collagen production and hyaluronic acid, so let your skin repair with the 6-8 hours sleep and use a sheet mask as a booster! Korean brand Tony Moly have a three pack for €10.
#9 Silk Eye Mask
Yes, an eye mask can look a bit pompous and silly but there is an actual benefit to them. When you sleep, if you sleep on your side or stomach, the delicate skin around your eyes can be damaged over time by rubbing against the pillow. Wearing a silk eye mask will prevent this and also block out any distracting light.
#10 Eat Earlier
There is a common misconception that as our metabolism slows down during the night, any undigested food is stored as fat and therefore leads to weight gain. New studies dispute this though, and it’s more likely that we tend to opt for unhealthy snacks at night and unconsciously overeat!
#11 No Phone Zone
In this modern era, we are attached to our tech devices more than ever. Bringing our phone and laptops into the bedroom means it’s no longer a zone where we switch off. The line between our hectic daily lives and our home life is disturbed. Leaving phones outside the room means our brains fully compute it’s now time to stop mindlessly scrolling through emails, YouTube or social media.
#12 No Caffeine Three Hours Before
If you’re ingesting any caffeine products in the hours before you sleep, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Even if you think you can handle it, your body really can’t rest properly with caffeine in its system. Switch to herbal tea or if you want a treat, have hot cocoa!
#13 Sleep On Your Back
To further prevent your skin being damaged by being rubbed against the pillows and linens, try to lie flat on your back. This will take a bit of getting used to and may feel unnatural for the first while, but you will adjust and your skin will benefit. So too will your posture!
#14 Change Pillowcases Weekly
No matter what way you sleep or what type of pillowcases you use, you really should change your pillowcases weekly! During the night, you do sweat and the natural oils of your skin can lead to breakouts if you let them soak into the pillowcase and spread bacteria over an extended period.
#15 Wear Your Hair Up But Not Tightly
Continuing with the theme of protecting your skin, wear your hair up and away from the face. This means the oils from your hair that are needed to remain healthy, don’t brush against your face constantly as you sleep and cause breakouts. Don’t wear it up too tightly though, as this will irritate the scalp and can cause hair loss.
#16 Stay Hydrated
It’s been etched into us over the years that we need to drink more water. Most of us don’t drink enough by far, so you should definitely increase your intake, drinking at least two litres a day. However, simultaneously you shouldn’t chug water in the lead up to going to bed. This will lead to broken sleep as your body will wake you to go to the bathroom.
#17 Switch Salty Bedtime Snacks for Veggies
Going back to how your diet affects your sleep, if you must have a bedtime snack, make the conscious decision to switch to healthy snacks. In particular, don’t eat salty or sugary snacks, as your body will feel bloated and pumped full of fake energy. Instead, opt for veggies with a healthy dip or nuts.
#18 Relaxing Bath or Shower
Oftentimes we’re still caught up in our hectic day by the time we are changing into our nightwear and arranging our hot drink and healthy snack. If you have the time and feel you need a little extra help switching off, run yourself a warm bath with soothing lavender or rose scented bath foam, like the L’Occitane Lavender Foaming Bath (€23).
#19 Foot and Hand Massage
Our limbs, back, neck, hands and feet are often achey and sore by the end of the day. Most of us don’t think to really treat ourselves to something like a foot or hand massage, even though these are the body parts that do the most work. After a hot bath, use a body oil or lotion, focusing on the feet and ankles, moving on to massage the hands before you call it a night.
#20 Facial Massage
This is a great soothing addition for all of us to our skincare regime, but especially for those who have bad circulation or sinus issues. Massage in a spiral motion from the centre of the face out towards the temples. This will alleviate the muscles and help drain the sinuses. You’ll wake up with glowing skin.