The Beauty of Sleep: How to Cultivate Inner and Outer Youthfulness with Better Rest
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By: Sheila Olson – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
There are plenty of things you can do to help yourself look and feel more youthful. You can eat right. You can sculpt your body through exercise. You can adhere to a skin care regimen. You can even meditate your way to better health. However, without proper sleep, you’re severely hampering — if not completely destroying — all other progress. Here’s how you can get better rest for maximum beauty, both inside and out.
Why Sleep Matters
Being exhausted sucks; we all know that. But lack of energy and a general feeling of malaise is just scratching the surface when it comes to the negative consequences of getting poor sleep.
Sleep is vital to your physical beauty. When you don’t get enough quality sleep, your blood flow suffers. You’re more likely to produce hormones that lead to inflammation (think puffy eyes). You don’t give your skin cells a chance to regenerate. You are more susceptible to allergy flare-ups. You are more likely to gain weight. The list goes on and on.
Beauty is not skin deep. Poor sleep habits affect your body and mind in some pretty gnarly ways. Not only is “ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke,” according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, but it’s also really bad for your brain. Sleep is how the most complex organ in your body creates and repairs neural pathways. Missing out on sleep is likely to leave you feeling anxious, depressed, unable to focus, or all of the above.
So, what can you do to get better rest at night?
Implement a Pre-Sleep Cooldown Routine
Trying to go straight to sleep without getting yourself ready is like ending your workout without a cooldown. It’s not advised. Cool down from the day by giving yourself at least a half an hour to relax, let your mind go, and start getting yourself in a zone that’s conducive to good rest — take a bath, do yoga, meditate, or read a book. Don’t over-stimulate your brain by staring at a TV or your phone screen. Don’t write work emails right up to the point your head hits the pillow.
Make Your Bedroom a Sleep Cocoon
Your room needs to facilitate sleep. Excess light can be the enemy, and if that’s the case, you should invest in some curtains or blinds that block more of it. Another enemy of sleep can be poor color choices. Bright colors like yellow and harsh colors like red do not promote restfulness. The best colors for sleep are usually calming colors like light blues and earth tones. Use this knowledge in your painting and other decorative choices.
Mind Your Substances
What you put in your body, as well as when you put it there, greatly affects sleep quality. Eating acidic or spicy foods and drinking too much liquid close to bedtime can make it hard to sleep, and it should be pretty obvious why.
To make it easier to fall asleep, avoid drinking caffeine later than midday. To make the sleep you actually do get more restful, cut back on your alcohol consumption. Sure, you may fall asleep faster after a few beers, but alcohol is majorly disruptive to your sleep rhythms.
Make Your Sleep Patterns More Regular
To truly gain the beauty benefits of sleep, you need to make sure that sleep is regular. This means avoiding long daytime naps and trying to go to bed and wake up close to the same time every single day. This will help stabilize your circadian rhythms.
It may sound strange that the most important aspect of promoting inner and outer beauty happens when you’re unconscious, but it’s true. Nothing is more important than getting enough regular, high-quality sleep. The concept of beauty sleep isn’t just a childhood joke.
Photo by Unsplash
More by: Sheila
Sheila Olson has been a personal trainer for five years. She believes the best way to achieve physical fitness and good health is to set and tackle small goals. She encourages her clients to stay positive and incorporates mindfulness and practices for reducing negative talk into her sessions. She created FitSheila.com to spread the word about her fitness philosophy.
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