SLEEP is beneficial to our health for so many reasons and helps us to function on a daily basis.
While it works miracles for our physical health, one doctor has said that getting a decent kip can also do wonders for our appearance.
Speaking to The Sun, Dr Naomi Newman-Beinart, PhD said getting eight hours of sleep a night actually makes you more attractive.
She highlighted that one of the main reasons for this is due to the fact that the skin gets time to regenerate.
Dr Newman-Beinart explained: “The skin works super hard all day to protect itself from daily aggravators such as free radicals, UV rays and daily grime and sweat.
“When we’re sleeping our skin is in recovery mode and sleep is the most important time for skin as it begins to repair and regenerate, in fact the regeneration process at night can be up to three times faster than during the day, so it is imperative to ensure you are getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night if more.
“Additionally, to this, Melatonin, the sleep hormone begins to increase just before bedtime, which heightens the feeling of tiredness as well as increasing our skin's chance to repair itself naturally at night.”
Dr Newman-Beinhart said that many studies have shown the importance of a good night’s sleep to a healthy lifestyle.
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Lack of sleep can affect everything – especially immune function – and if you’ve got a cold and are rundown it shows on your face – e.g. puffy skin, red eyes and a runny nose, she said.
“Cannabidiol (CBD) is the non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, and has recently made its way to the forefront of popular wellness. It can help with stress, anxiety and can also improve sleep.
“A few drops of i-cann CBD oil CBD oil taken at least an hour before bed may improve insomnia, and promote a restful night’s sleep” she explained.
The more sleep you get – the less likely you are to find wrinkles, Dr Newman-Beinhart says, as when you sleep your body will start to produce growth hormones, one of these is collagen which is a super important cell-repairing hormone.
She explained: “Collagen plays a vital role in protecting our immune systems and is found throughout the body, including in the eyes, teeth, bones, joints, skin, and blood vessels.
“When our bodies get a lot of good rest (such as when we have REM sleep patterns and are deeply asleep), the human growth hormone and collagen production are stimulated.
When our lifestyles dictate that we perhaps don’t rest as much as we should (or could), collagen production diminishes.
“We start to see the effects immediately in the condition of our skin, which gets dry, wrinkled, and tired-looking very quickly. The repair process that is supposed to restore our bodies back to optimal performance levels cannot continue, and our DNA strands begin breaking.”
Obviously, no supplement or diet can produce all the required substances nor replace the vital repair tasks performed while we sleep, but taking a collagen supplement could help and Dr Newman-Beinhart recommends Correxiko Marine Collagen (which is derived from fish, not mammals) and can help to support collagen production while we sleep.
If you're sleep deprived you may find that you wake to bloodshot or puffy eyes, and Dr Newman-Beinhart says this is due to poor circulation – as when the eye area retains fluid it can cause your face to look swollen and puffy.
"The best way to avoid puffy eyes is to ensure you are having the recommended eight hours of sleep a night.
"If you do find you are waking with puffy eyes you may want to apply a cool compress of a morning or put two slices of cold cucumber over your eyes – it really works wonders", she said.
Struggling to nod off? Here’s how you can sleep better
Getting more sleep is easier said than done, but there are things you can do that should help.
Sleep expert Sammy Margo, who is working with Huawei has shared her top tips and tricks for maximising rest.
Introduce naps: With our rhythm and routine a little out of whack, it may be time to adopt ‘siesta’ culture so that we can endure those late nights. A nap can be a great way to boost your energy if you are going through a period of sleep deprivation, and can be more beneficial than taking advantage of some extra lie-ins, she said.
Keep hydrated: For many, alcohol intake will increase at this time of the year and whilst it is known to have a relaxing effect, it can prevent you from getting into the deeper stages of sleep. It also has a diuretic effect and relaxes the upper airway muscles, which may affect the quality of your breathing and sleep.
Find a new rhythm: Our bodies love rhythm and routine! Getting up at the same time and going to sleep at the same time every day. At this time of the year though, it is not always possible to follow your usual circadian rhythm due to an increase in social events, and although we love to party, this may lead to ‘social jet lag’. While maintaining a regular sleep pattern is the best thing for us, for a short period of time during the festive season, the best way to catch up on sleep that you have missed is to build in an early night every couple of nights, or wherever possible.
Small daily exercise: We know that regular aerobic exercise can improve sleep quality but interestingly some research shows that moderate exercise is better than vigorous exercise for sleep.
Manage festive stress: The way stress affects sleep, ranges from trouble falling asleep, night-time awakenings, a reduction in deep sleep and even nightmares. The best way to combat these issues can be focusing on diet, exercise, reducing your caffeine intake and a bed-time routine. For others though, using breathing training can be beneficial in calming the mind before sleep.”
Clear it up
A clear dewy complexion is often associated with youth, and Dr Newman-Beinhart said that getting enough sleep will also stop you from getting breakouts.
She said: "Going to bed with dirty skin that has not been properly cleansed prior to sleep is a sure-fire way to promote breakouts, even if you are getting a good amount of sleep.
"Your skin will not be able to properly go through the renewal process if it is dirty, and it could actually cause skin issues further down the line if you regularly go to bed with dirty skin.
"Skin that is thoroughly cleansed and moisturised before bed, paired with 8 hours of sleep is the best way to prevent any nasty breakouts in future and keep it looking fresh and clear."
She added that a lack of sleep also contributes to feelings of anxiety and stress, which in turn can lead to even more disturbed sleep – a vicious cycle.
This lack of sleep, she says, can make your nails become weak and brittle.
"This is because stress due to a lack of sleep can affect the nail matrix where the nail is produced, this can essentially affect the nail growth.
"If you want your nails to remain healthy and strong a good night’s sleep each night is imperative", she explained.
While you might not associate a decent nights' sleep with a gorgeous mane of hair, it can make a difference, Dr Newman-Beinhart said.
She explained": It’s true that a lack of proper sleep can affect your hair, leaving it limp, lifeless and potentially preventing healthy hair growth.
"Lifestyle habits can affect the quality of our hair and this includes if we are not getting enough sleep each night, this is because a lack of sleep paired with increased stress can cause telogen effluvium which is a type of hair-loss which is non-permanent that occurs when stress is put on the body, such as pregnancy’s, illness or a stressful life event.
"So if you want healthy, luscious locks you should be getting enough sleep to ensure this condition doesn’t occur."
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