A nourishing sleep to restore your skin sounds so blissful, and wouldn’t we all love that every night. As our world is continually becoming a busier place, the stress of all these meetings, deadlines, people to see and places to go seems to affect the quality of our sleep. Sleep issues are on the rise, and as a healthy night’s sleep may be one of your most effective strategies for restoring your skin, you might like to take a closer look at how to improve your sleep.
Apart from restoring your skin, a nourishing sleep is fundamental for optimal wellness and the prevention of many health conditions such as obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Ideally, we are aiming at indulging in a solid eight hours of quality sleep, but that’s not easy for some of us. We are all beautifully unique, and some of us thrive on only six hours of sleep. It’s all good, but there are some very effective tips for improving sleep to ensure your skin is restored and glowing from the inside when you wake in the morning.
Regular Bedtime Routine
As basic as this sounds, creating a regular evening routine is so important and does make an enormous difference to the quality of your sleep.
Remove all electronic devices.
- Go to bed every night at the same time.
- Darken your room with curtains that keep all the light out.
- Avoid any caffeine before bed. If you have sleep issues, remove caffeine altogether.
- Enjoy a selection of herbal teas such as chamomile and passionflower which have a calming and relaxing effect on your nervous system.
- Practise yoga, meditation or deep breathing for at least ten minutes before bedtime.
- Eat a small early meal at night to avoid going to bed on a full stomach.
- Exercise daily, but not before going to bed.
- Add a few drops of lavender, neroli or ylang-ylang essential oils to your evening bath or pillow. No more than one or two drops as too many drops of these essential oils may have a stimulating effect.
Healthy Sleep Environment
Keep your bedroom calm, peaceful and tidy. Create a room that makes you feel relaxed, right to your core. Neatly making your bed improves your state of mind and may improve your health as it prevents dust from settling on your sheets which may lead to less sneezing and of course better health. One study reported that people who make their beds, sleep in a cool dark room, have a comfortable mattress and pillow and slept in clean sheets sleep better.
Creating a morning ritual of making your bed helps you feel more accomplished and productive. One good disciplinary habit seems to lead to another good practice and higher productivity during the day.
Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels
Balancing your blood sugar throughout the day may help with a host of health conditions, detoxification, weight loss and nourishing sleep. To balance your blood sugar levels eat protein with every meal, especially breakfast. It is a useful dietary tip as you will become hungry when your body needs fuel and not when you crave a carbohydrate which happens when your blood sugar levels spike. With your protein include sufficient fibre and heaps of delicious vegetables.
Don’t forget how vitally critical healthy fats are for your skin. Include some healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocado and chia seeds. Healthy fat signal to your body to release a dietary hormone called Leptin, which signals to your brain that you are satisfied and you don’t need any more food for sometimes up to four hours.
The critical trick in balancing your blood sugar levels is to ensure each meal or snack contains a little more protein than carbohydrate. Keeping your blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day helps keep them stabilised during your sleep. You will not crave dessert, and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and full of vitality because of a deep nourishing sleep. Those pesky sweet tooth cravings around 3 pm should be gone forever.
Every time you hit a blood sugar high, you may cause inflammation within your body, and if you have any pain from arthritis or any injury, it will get worse with every high, you will also gain weight with every high, as insulin is a fat storage hormone.
Every time your blood sugar drops, and you hit a low, and you often experience mood swings, irritability, cravings, foggy head and you can’t make decisions properly until you eat again. It also affects the quality of your sleep.
Plenty Of Protein
Protein is essential for not only balancing your blood sugar levels but also for the recovery and repair of your body, especially your skin. All our muscles, skin, hair, nails, hormones, and neurotransmitters are made from protein. A neurotransmitter is a chemical released from your nerve endings that transmit impulses to other nerves, muscles or glands. There are different types of neurotransmitters all with essential jobs to do.
Your neurotransmitters associated with a good night sleep include gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and melatonin. If your body hasn’t produced enough serotonin during the day, not enough melatonin will be generated for a deep and nourishing sleep. Happiness, laughing and exercise help improve your serotonin levels.
Vegan sources of quality protein include spelt, teff, chickpeas, spirulina, hemp seeds, tofu, tempeh, seitan, lentils, amaranth, quinoa, sprouted grain bread, soy milk, oats, nuts and seeds.
Vegetables which contain the highest amount of protein include asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, spinach, and sweet potatoes.
Adequate protein helps reduce mood swings, balancing blood sugar levels and most importantly improves the quality of your sleep.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Chronic stress raises your cortisol levels which suppresses your thyroid function, increases belly fat, and disturbs your sleep. Discover, practise and fall in love with a stress releasing technique such as yoga, meditation, walking in nature and breathwork. All these practises have enormous stress releasing benefits.
Crank Up The Cacao
Cacao has been a superfood trending in the wellness world for a while now, and for excellent reason. Drinking a delicious hot cacao drink before bedtime will help calm your nervous system due to the magnesium content in cacao. Cacao also contains protein so will help stabilise your blood sugar levels which further improves your sleep. The other nutritional ingredients found in cacao include antioxidants, essential fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium and iron which all help with restoring, repairing and rejuvenating your skin. Healthy glowing skin hello!
Simplicity is the key to your evening skincare routine. If you use too many creams and serums at night, you may clog and irritate your skin. Alternating which products you use at night is also a good idea for keeping your skin stimulated.
Applying a small amount evenly to your skin at night before bed will help restore your skin and the calming and relaxing benefits from the herbs chamomile and French lavender also contained in this moisturiser will help you drift off to a blissful nourishing sleep.