Not getting enough shut-eye isn’t something to be taken lightly! Like breathing, getting enough sleep is crucial for optimal health. We’re all for hacks that can help cut corners, but, spoiler alert, sleep is not an area where you can cheat! So, memorize the reasons why sleep should be your top priority and stop feeling guilty about giving your body the sleep it so desperately craves!
Sleep to De-Stress
If you can’t relate to being stressed, our hats are off to you. However, for most of us, stress and its side effects are a daily part of life. Getting adequate rest is essential for managing stress as it helps regulate hormones that can take a toll on our health, not to mention our sense of well-being. Skip sleep and it can throw your body’s biological clock into a tailspin. Your body has a built-in watch, called a circadian rhythm, which regulates your body’s processes throughout the day. Failing to log hours between the sheets is like neglecting to wind your watch – your body won’t work properly as hormones become imbalanced and stress levels rise.
Sleep Is Serious
It is not normal to always get sleepy when you are reading or driving, or to stumble through life feeling lifeless and hard-pressed to think and remember clearly. If this sounds like you, we urge you to see a physician or specialist to get to the bottom of your issue.
Snoring is usually one of the first symptoms to appear indicating that sleep may be a problem. If you’ve been told that your snore shakes the house and you regularly wake up exhausted, it may be a symptom that you have a sleep disorder. Feelings of anxiety, depression, and indecision are additional symptoms of sleep deprivation that bear your attention. It isn’t just the noise that disrupts your household (and neighbors!), but the fact that when you snore, your tongue, throat muscles, and soft palate are limiting your intake of air. Your sex and weight play a role as well; with men and those who are overweight being more affected. Your doctor can prescribe a sleep study to observe how many times you wake up during the night to catch your breath and determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea. Sleeping on your side with a tennis ball sewn into your nightshirt may do the trick. Otherwise, using a CPAP machine can help circumvent the associated sleep apnea risks of heart disease, stroke, and even osteoporosis.
Studies show that chronic sleep deprivation causes the body to increase production of the stress hormone cortisol. It also keeps our brains from washing away toxic metabolic waste. Over time, both factors impair memory, with research suggesting a link between poor sleep and Alzheimer’s.
If you’ve been a night owl for as long as you can remember, chances are you might have Delayed Sleep-Phase Syndrome (DSPS). This disorder involves the body producing the sleep hormone melatonin at 12 a.m. or later, which can cause sufferers not to meet their sleep quota. Getting outdoors first thing in the morning, with a protective skin care cream of course, is a great way to rewire your internal clock. If that doesn’t work, melatonin can re-educate your body to “keep time” better. Natural food sources include raspberries, almonds, sunflower seeds, tart cherries, flaxseeds, strawberries, poppy seeds, and walnuts. If getting melatonin through food isn’t realistic, supplement versions are non-habit forming and have antioxidant benefits. Trying the smallest .3mg dose may be worth a shot to help trick your body into thinking darkness is arriving a little earlier. (Note: check with your doctor before starting this or any supplement.) Light therapy is an additional method used to literally shed some light on your sleep challenges and reset your 24-hour sleep-wake cycle.
Health issues with the cardiovascular, immune systems, and metabolism are also found to be triggered by poor sleep. Hypertension, getting sick frequently, complications from weight gain, and obesity are all linked to lack of sleep. Additional problems found with sleep deprivation include excessive sleepiness during the day, inability to stay alert, concentrate, and remember information.
Lack of sleep disrupts cognitive abilities, with obvious risks while driving, operating heavy equipment, and beyond. Reduced sex drive and poor immunity also occur — putting a damper on enjoying a quality life.
Ever wonder why they call it beauty sleep? That’s because beauty is truly more than skin deep and starts from within. Your body repairs and recharges itself while you get your zzz’s. It’s not magic, it’s biology! Undisturbed sleep helps boost circulation, with blood carrying vital oxygen, nutrition and the human growth hormone, somatropin, to the skin; facilitating collagen production, cell renewal and repair. If your sleep is disrupted, it’s like taking your phone off its charger too early. It simply doesn’t have time to recharge itself. The same applies to your body and skin. With a sleep shortage, your skin’s barrier function becomes impaired, making it vulnerable to factors in the environment. It also causes a spike in collagen-damaging cortisol, leading to signs of aging. These skewed hormones and out-of-whack circadian rhythm are a recipe for skin disasters.
Tips to Fake Beauty Sleep:
Studies reveal that those who don’t get enough sleep appear sickly and less attractive. Don’t let that be you! While getting adequate rest is essential, it is okay to fake it now and then with natural skin care products that help you rise and shine beautifully. First, use a sulfate-free natural skin cleanser to remove makeup, dirt and oil, and keep pores clear morning and night. Then, apply a skin care cream with natural skin care ingredients like Squalane and Safflower Oil to help shore up your skin barrier. If fine lines and wrinkles are cropping up, Pevonia Marine Collagen Cream will help support production of naturally occurring proteins and provide essential age defense. Finally, depuff and revive tired eyes with the Pevonia C Evolutive Eye Gel - the best natural eye cream to leave you smooth and bright-eyed. That being said, remember… to maintain vitality and youthful-looking skin, sleep is non-negotiable.
Top Sleep Disruptors
There are a number of factors that detract from a good night’s sleep.
- Failing to hit the hay at a time that allows for that early morning alarm clock is the biggest culprit.
- Excess caffeine, which is a stimulant, is a well-known robber of quality rest. This includes caffeinated coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks. An often overlooked source of caffeine is chocolate. Yes, we know that there are good antioxidants in some of these, but even if you fall asleep okay, they can detract from the quality of sleep that you are getting.
- All forms of light signal your body that it is time to be awake. Daylight, indoor lighting, blue light emitted from electronics, moonlight, and streetlights filtering into your bedroom through your windows can keep you wakeful.
- Noise throughout the day and night raises hormone levels (adrenaline and noradrenaline), which keeps your body on high alert, not ready for slumber.
- Chronic pain, anxiety, and other mood disorders can also set up a vicious cycle of restlessness; with one begetting the other.
- Alcohol causes you to wake up between REM cycles plus keeps growth hormones from completely doing their jobs. Who thought that saying, “yes” to an adult beverage could leave you waking up crying like a tired baby?
- If you have the urge to move your legs while trying to get some rest, Restless Leg Syndrome may be at the root of your fatigue. Massaging your legs with the Pevonia Marine Magnesium, followed by the Anti-Stress Massage Oil, will help relieve discomfort and restore a sense of well-being to enable you to be still and slumber.
- If you wake up with a sore jaw or headache, in addition to feeling fatigued, grinding your teeth may be interfering with your sleep. A custom nightguard fitted by a dentist can help minimize your bruxism, and save your enamel as well!
- Diet may play a role as eating a heavy meal or sugar-laden food too close to bedtime can interfere with deep sleep.
Determine Your Sleep Quota
Despite the pressure to get ahead and burn the candle at both ends, there is no prize for getting by on less sleep. It isn’t lazy or over-indulgent to get your sleep quota satisfied. While 7-9 hours is the amount of sleep time recommended for adults, everyone’s number of hours needed to awaken refreshed varies. So what if your bestie can “get by” with fewer hours than you? If his or her sleep quota leaves you groggy and cranky, listen to your body.
Sleep Hygiene Solutions
While a good night’s sleep seems as elusive as a unicorn, there are several things you can do to facilitate better rest (and skin too)! These sleep hygiene hacks will help you drift off with ease:
- Upon awakening, flip on the lights, get outside for 15 to 30 minutes or open the blinds to get as much light in your eyes as possible. This stimulates the nerves in the retina to tell the brain to wake up.
- Engage in daily exercise at least one hour before bedtime and consider adding yoga to your workout repertoire, as both are proven to increase the quality of your sleep.
- Stop caffeine by mid-afternoon. That little jolt you’ll get isn’t worth sacrificing your beauty sleep.
- Eating a light meal three hours before bed so that digestion and energy don’t interfere with sleep.
- Watch the content you stream. That means no action flicks, thrillers, news, or other stimulating programming. If you can’t resist, follow with a light comedy “chaser” to begin winding down.
- Calm your thoughts and unclench your muscles through meditation or progressive muscle relaxation practices to help with sleep.
- Power down electronics with screens anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours before bed.
- Do the math to keep a regular sleep schedule – Set a realistic wake-up time and choose a bedtime 7-9 hours before that to ensure that you get needed rest. Avoid sleeping in on weekends.
- Dim the lights an hour before bed and sip a cup of hot herbal tea, stretching and reading in a comfy chair to help ready you for slumber (experts warn that reading in bed is a surefire sleep disruptor).
- Practice a soothing bedtime ritual with natural skin care products infused with relaxing Lavender Oil for the perfect alcohol-free nightcap. Take a natural bubble bath with natural aromatic bath salts or shower with a de-stressing natural shower gel. Follow with a soothing body oil or relaxing body moisturizer and remember to take deep breaths to inhale these calming aromas.
- Follow with your evening natural skin care routine to wake up looking as refreshed as you feel. Treat your face to our De-Stress Escape Aromatic Oil or Soothing Propolis Concentrate that will leave your skin and mind ready for sweet slumber.
- As we sleep best when our body temperature is declining, turn down the thermostat and run a cool rinse at the end of your bedtime bathing to feel ready to crawl under your covers.
- Keep it quiet and use a white noise machine to drown out any cacophony that keeps you awake.
- Dim lights and power down early or use a blue light filter on your phone or computer. Blackout curtains are essential for keeping your bedroom dark as well.
- Invest in a good mattress, pillows, and bedding. Your rest is worth it!
- Once you’ve tried everything, supplements like melatonin, valerian root, or l-tryptophan may help improve your slumber. But, skip prescription sleeping pills if possible, as they have the potential for sleep walking, late-night eating, and serious health issues.
Deprive yourself of quality sleep and you will be depriving yourself of looking and feeling your best. Practice solid sleep hygiene and the next time that you wake up feeling rested, notice how good your skin looks, and how good it feels to rise and shine.