We don’t need to tell you how important sleep is for your physical and emotional health. You know how lousy you feel when you don’t get enough. But have you ever noticed how terrible you look when you’re sleep deprived? It’s not pretty. You need your beauty sleep, hon.
Sleep is critical for growth, cognitive function, overall well-being and for maintaining healthy-looking skin. Experts say most people need eight to 10 hours per night; it’s when your body produces human growth hormone, which is essential to overall cell repair and collagen production.
Life is hectic, and it’s hard to maintain good beauty sleep habits, but start now, before your skin starts to suffer. Beauty sleep is free, and you can begin tonight. Get serious about sleep by planning ahead like you do with your diet and exercise.
- Limit caffeine, salt and alcohol; caffeine keeps you awake, and salt and alcohol both promote fluid retention, which can cause puffy eyes.
- If you do tend to have puffy eyes in the morning, sleep on an extra pillow to raise your head to keep fluid from pooling in your face.
- Wash up and moisturize! Thoroughly washing your face before bedtime minimizes clogged pores and blemishes and removes dead skin cells that can leave your complexion looking dull. Use a high-quality moisturizer/anti-aging cream, especially around your eyes, to soften lines.
- Create a sleeping environment that’s quiet and cool, and as dark as possible, so you’ll get solid, uninterrupted sleep.
- Sleep on a satin or silk pillow, or at least one with a high thread count. It’s smoother and keeps hair from tangling, and it causes less friction on your skin. Change your pillow case often for your skin’s sake.
- Don’t sleep on your face! Pressing your face into a pillow for hours on end can hasten creasing of your skin.
- Give yourself time in the morning to wake gently and prepare for the day. Rushing out the door just adds to your stress, which, again, will show on your face.
Many sleep experts suggest using your bedroom only for sleep and light reading (well, and sex, too!)—but not work, TV watching or other potential stressors. Stop work, TV or phone/screen use at least two hours before bedtime. Keep things dark, as bright light from screens can stimulate your brain and make it difficult to fall asleep. (And who can sleep after watching a blood-pumping suspense thriller before turning in?) Read instead—something calming or peaceful. Or something boring that puts you to sleep!
Establishing good sleep habits early in life—as well as getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet—will help you maintain your health and your looks. Lack of sleep contributes to stress, and stress shows all over your face. Frown lines just don’t look good on anybody.
Joint the conversation. What’s your trick for getting a good night’s sleep? Do you follow a particular bedtime beauty ritual? Tell us about it. Read more about women and sleep during the many phases of a woman’s life, and take our sleep quiz.