By Elizabeth Nguyen
Having a good night’s sleep is just as important as exercising regularly and equally important as having a healthy diet.
Sleeping late at night can affect your hormones, performance and brain function as well as increase weight, causing you to be at risk for getting health problems. Getting a good or better amount of sleep helps you eat less, exercise better and be healthier than you already are.
Did you know that sleep is also related to acne? During our younger years, we use to sleep for only at least 3 or 4 hours. Sleeping less than the required number of hours can affect our skin. So today’s topic is about the importance of sleep.
When we lack sleep, our whole body reacts to it, most especially our skin. Our skin may become red, oily and inflamed, including our back and chest. There are many reasons why sleep is important for our skin. A human body needs time to recover and heal for itself and the stress hormones are down at night when we get a good rest. These hormones that are responsible for calming the nervous system and allowing the natural healing of skin to work are called cortisol hormones.
Having a good night’s sleep can benefit most or all of us as it helps our muscles, immune system, liver, gut and all our body organs to relax, allowing our body system to function well the next day. What’s more is that we get to be energized and be productive in our everyday work.
It also helps the blood to circulate well whereas lack of sleep can give us the opposite result, causing us to feel exhausted and unable to move well.
Lacking the amount of sleep may cause us to feel lazy to do anything as we lack the energy or our blood circulation is stagnant. We may not even be able to enjoy the new source of nutrients our skin is getting, hence we get oily skin.
Being able to sleep well will make us behave in an appropriate manner. How so? When we don’t have enough sleep, we annihilate ourselves from other people or we don’t want to hang out with them. There’s also a tendency for us to be impatient and easily angry. Another thing is that it increases the level of our stress hormones which could aggravate our acne.
Getting enough sleep also allows us to function well when we are in a happy and relaxed mood.
Lacking sleep causes us to crave for unhealthy foods such as junk foods, sugary foods and all those kinds that spike up our energy level.
When we are not able to sleep well, we could not eat well because our mind is not at the right state. Sleeping well enables us to wake up with a clear mind and more energy to come up with healthier decisions.
Getting at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep is good for our body – as in quality sleep. Put your phone also away for at least one to two hours before sleeping as the light from your phone disrupts your sleeping patterns.
Exposure to light during night time can have a bad effect to your circadian rhythm as this tricks you into thinking that it is still day time. It also reduces the melatonin hormones which is responsible for helping us relax and get a deep sleep. You can reduce the exposure of nighttime blue light exposure by wearing glasses that block blue light, downloading an app like f.lux to block the blue light coming from your laptop computer, installing an app which blocks the blue light coming from your smart phone (available for iPhone and Android models) and quitting late night TV shows and turning off any bright lights two hours before heading to bed.
Rolling down those window blinds can help you sleep, especially that it is dark in your room. Sleeping with the window blinds up will make you believe that you still need to be active even though you shouldn’t be.
An amount of daily sunlight or artificial bright light can help you improve your sleep quality and duration, especially with those who have cases of insomnia.
Being active during the day time especially at work makes us feel exhausted. Give yourself at least 20 or 30 minutes for power naps to help you get energized for the next activity. Anything more than 30 minutes will put you to deep sleep. We know that it’s hard to avoid sleeping late at night. What we want is to have a good night’s sleep.
A Banish Pore Smasher is your go to companion when you want to get a good night’s sleep and have a fresh look the next day or you may also spray on Banish’s
Vitamin C Beauty Elixir on your face. Vitamin C Beauty Elixir helps freshen up one’s face to avoid looking like a pale white ghost the next day. It also helps to repair your skin and boosts up one’s collagen. But please, do not just rely on this product. Make sure you get the required amount of sleep.
The Pumpkin Enzyme Masque also helps you freshen up, especially if you feel like your skin is dull and lifeless.
Another product which helps is the eye serum – those hydrating ones as it allows your blood to circulate around the eyes. Apply or roll eye serum for one to ten times on both sides.
While having a coffee can be good in the day time as it enhances focus, energy and sports performance, doing so late in the day has the opposite effect as it stimulates your nervous system and keeps your body from relaxing when it should. According to one study, consuming caffeine up to six hours before bedtime can affect or worsen one’s sleep quality. Should you wish to drink coffee at night, go for the decaffeinated ones.
A person’s circadian rhythm functions on a set loop, aligning itself day and night. Sleeping irregularly and going to bed late on weekends impair one’s sleep quality, thus getting poor sleep.
Getting a regular sleep/wake cycle helps you wake up naturally at a similar time every day.
Melatonin is a hormone which helps remind us when it is time to relax and head to bed and supplements containing those can help. Taking at least 2 mg of melatonin supplement is good enough to help you sleep, especially when you have a case of insomnia.
Aside from melatonin, there are also other supplements which can help contribute to better quality sleep such as gingko biloba, glycine, valerian root, magnesium, L-Theanine and lavender.
An alcohol consumption at night decreases the natural nighttime elevations in one’s human growth hormone (or HGH – which plays an important role in your circadian rhythm). Consuming alcohol can also alter the production of melatonin and can cause increase symptoms of sleep apnea, snoring and disrupted sleeping patterns.
A good bedroom environment and set up help contribute to one’s good quality sleep and this includes temperature, noise, external lights and even furniture arrangement. In order to get good quality sleep, minimize the noise and light disturbances, making sure your bedroom gives you a quiet and relaxing aura.
Don’t you know that your body and bedroom temperature can also affect your quality sleep? According to one study, the bedroom temperature is said to affect our sleep quality aside from the external noise. Excessive warmth or coolness of temperature is not good for our sleep quality.
Having the habit of eating late at night can disrupt our sleeping patterns. This includes late night snack as well. It’s either you eat a high-carb meal four hours before bedtime or having a low carb diet as they help improve sleep, enabling you to fall asleep faster.
Planning a pre-sleep routine is also good in having better quality sleep.
Some relaxation techniques or strategies include having a relaxing massage, listening to relaxing music, reading a book, taking a hot bath, meditating, deep breathing and visualization.
An underlying health condition may also play a role in disrupting your sleeping patterns and one common issue with this is the sleep apnea which causes inconsistent and interrupted breathing. Aside from sleep apnea, there are other health issues that affect your quality sleep such as sleep movement disorders and circadian rhythm/sleep wake disorders which are most often common in shift workers.
Have you ever wondered why people tend to sleep well at a hotel rather than at their own house? It is because they feel comfortable with the bed, mattress and pillow there. Yes! You heard it right. Your bed quality can also affect your sleep. Make it a habit to change your beddings more often, make sure you go for the comfortable ones.
Although exercise may seem like a good idea, performing it late at night can also pose some problems to your sleep. A study shows that due to the stimulatory response or effects of exercise, our alertness and hormones like epinephrine and adrenaline increases, making it hard for us to sleep when we exercise too late in the day. However, this still clearly depends on an individual.
Normally, as human beings, we drink a lot fluids before bedtime to keep us hydrated. But drinking a large amount of liquid may not work for some people as it makes them urinate excessively during the night (this term is called nocturia). It affects our sleep quality and daytime activity. Try to reduce your liquid intake 1 to 2 hours before going to bed. Moreover, use the bathroom before heading to bed as this decreases your chances of waking up at night time.
These are only a few tips that I can leave you with when it comes to getting good amount of sleep. Remember that sleep plays a key role in our life, especially our health. Aside from getting acne, poor quality sleep can also increase your risk of getting a heart disease and type 2 diabetes so make sure to have at least 7 hours of sleep everyday.
*Photo credits to the owners*