I read in a report that sleep is as important to our health as eating, drinking, even breathing. It is the time when our bodies repair themselves and our minds recharge. The Great British Sleep Survey revealed that poor sleepers are twice as likely to have relationship problems and suffer from bad moods.
I use to be the world’s best sleeper. As soon as my head hit the pillow I’d be out like a light. But it is now a very different story. I not only go to bed late but I wake up four or five times a night. When I am asleep I wake at the smallest sounds. Sometimes I am so tired before I go to bed I don’t even have time to remove my makeup (a sin I thought I’d never commit). So what happened? I had a couple of babies!
So now I find myself a (sleep) walking cliche – a parent of small children who has waved goodbye to her eight hours a night. But I am still aware of the importance of sleep. Arianna Huffington recognises it in her autobiography “The Sleep Revolution” many times as one of the most important factors that contribute to success. Scientists at Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge Universities have studied just how important it is for us to be getting our eight hours not to mention have also examined how it can make us look younger… So, with that in mind, I have collated the best ways to maximise your sleep so that you can start getting the beauty sleep you deserve. Even if you don’t get the number of restful sleep hours you’d wish – at least you can be aiming for quality.
While it is widespread knowledge that dehydration can affect our waking hours – it is less known that it can also have a detrimental effect on our sleep as well. If we are dehydrated we are less able to produce the natural sleep-enhancing chemical, Melatonin. So, to keep your hydration levels topped up we recommend carrying around a water bottle with you at all times – it is amazing to see just how much you manage to drink if it is available to you at all times.
Taking from the Headspace gurus themselves “Healthy sleep has more to do with the quality of rest than the quantity of hours. Sleep meditations help create the inner conditions needed for a truly restful night. Because when we settle the mind, we rest the body and that restfulness is what makes it easier to wind down and drift off.” If you have never used a meditation app we couldn’t recommend Headspace enough – they are easy to use and wonderfully calming.
At Luxe + Hardy we recommend taking everyday processes and creating rituals out of them to help ease us into the evening after our busy days. Such as luxuriating in a bath with bath salts, candles, and a face mask. It doesn’t take much more time but will have a big impact on your mood. Changing out of your day clothes and putting on some rest wear (such as the Luxe + Hardy Reset Set) is another great way to acclimate from your often hectic day to chill time. Try and find other things that you can create a ritual out of, such as introducing a facial massage when washing your makeup off or even adding essential oil drops to your shower if you can only manage a quick shower before bed.
New research has revealed that using your smartphone or laptop before bed can have detrimental effects on your sleep! Being more specific the research concluded that two or more hours in front of a backlit screen suppresses the wonderful sleep hormone, melatonin by a whopping 22%. I have always tried to implement a no-screen rule after 9 pm and when I stick to it I not only find that I manage to get to sleep much quicker but that the sleep I have is much more restful too. Arianna Huffington (Founder of the Huffington Post and super busy/successful/superwomen extraordinaire) is a huge advocate of the screen curfew and makes sure that she switches off long before her bedtime routine. Well if Arianna can…