Better sleep for glowing skin (and life)

by Kate Dee, MD

Did you know that people today sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago?More than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia and women are up to twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than men. If you're not getting enough sleep, you are likely suffering from irritability, fatigue, and poor concentration.Lack of sleep means you are sick more often and can be prone to depression. And of course consistent high-quality sleep is critical for looking and feeling beautiful."Beauty Rest" is not a myth.

What is quality sleep? There are 5 stages of sleep, stage 1 through 4 and REM (dream) sleep. Each sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes, and the quantity of REM sleep increases with each cycle. On average you should get about 5 sleep cycles in per night. While you sleep, your body releases numerous hormones that affect every aspect of your system, including organ, immune, skin and brain repair and rest. Your skin benefits especially from increased Growth Hormone, decreased Cortisol and increased Melatonin at night. Read more about sleep at the National Sleep Foundation.

Tips for better Sleep

1. Stick to a sleep schedule, going to bed and rising at about the same time every day.

2. Finish tasks and turn off electronics 60-90 minutes before bed. After that-- no more screens!The light alone, plus the stress of glimpsing that last email flash across the screen, have a drastic negative effect on normal onset of sleep.

3. Find a relaxing nighttime routine that works for you-- bathing or cleansing your face, a 5-minute daily skin regimen, brushing teeth, flossing, reading fiction-- whatever works for you. But no more screens!

4. Your bedroom: your mattress should be comfortable (worth an investment!) and the room should be cool-- between 60-67 degrees. And dark-- black-out blinds are very helpful if you have a lot of ambient light coming in from outside. Lights should be dim in the evening and bright in the morning to aid your circadian rhythm. Remove all blinking LED lights and screens from your bedroom. The bed should be reserved for sleep and sex only!

5. Exercise daily if possible and avoid naps.

6. Avoid caffeine after 10am and alcohol before bedtime. Alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, but it interferes with your normal sleep cycle, decreases quality of sleep and it often leads to awakening during the night.

7. If you are awake in bed for an hour, go to another room and do something relaxing such as reading (again-- not a screen) until you feel tired. Often moving to a quiet, dark guest room helps if you have one.

If you would like to troubleshoot sleep or need help finding a sleep expert, I am happy to help. Healthy sleep is a critical part of taking care of your skin and your life. Click here to schedule a consultation.

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