Since the beginning of time, women have always had a lot on their plates. But it’s nothing a tall latte and some concealer cant cope with... right? The hard truth is that all those late nights and early starts have invisible (and not so invisible) effects on your body and could be reversing the effort you put into your skincare routine.
How much sleep do you need?
As a general rule, most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per day. Some people can thrive on as little as six, and others need as many as ten, but the vast majority fall somewhere in between. And, if you’re totally honest with yourself, you probably have a good idea of how much sleep you need to perform at your best.
There are several reasons you may not be getting enough sleep, some of which are avoidable, and others aren’t. While it’s easy for others to suggest you “get an early night”, if you’re a parent to a newborn (or, let’s face it, any child under the age of 5), that’s easier said than done. And, even if you’re not up multiple times in the night, many of us stay up late trying to claw back some “me” time in the evening. This leads to one of the main reasons we’re not getting enough sleep - revenge bedtime procrastination.
What is revenge bedtime procrastination? And are you guilty of it?
Revenge nighttime procrastination is a psychological phenomenon introduced in 2014, in which people stay up longer than they want in an attempt to gain control over the night after feeling powerless over elements of their day. Instead of sleeping, you stay up late to do those things that you don’t have time for, like binging the hot new Netflix series or scrolling your social feeds. It’s enjoyable while it lasts, but you ultimately pay the price the next day.
How sleep affects your skin
Adequate sleep is essential for the overall health of your skin as your body releases growth hormones that aid in cell and tissue regeneration and skin restoration. When you don’t get enough sleep, your cortisol levels can also become elevated, triggering inflammation. Inflammation breaks down the proteins that maintain a smooth and bright complexion. Ultimately, lack of sleep results in dull, unhealthy skin, which is more susceptible to breakouts and sensitivity.
And, let’s face it, not getting enough sleep is often a symptom of other things going on. Whether it’s deadlines at work, an upcoming exam, or not having enough time to yourself during the day, it’s best to address the cause as well as the symptom.
3 tips for more restful sleep
There are a few simple things you can do to improve your quality of sleep, so you wake feeling (and looking) well-rested.
- Get off screens at least an hour before you go to bed. Screens emit a blue light that our body interprets as daylight, throwing off our inner sleep cycle. Stepping away from your screen also helps put an end to revenge bedtime procrastination.
- Create a sleepy routine. Give your brain good clues that it’s time to start winding down. Moisturise your body mindfully, have a cup of calming chamomile tea, light a relaxing scented candle - anything that helps signal to your brain that you’re getting ready to sleep. You may not feel it working at first, but give it a try for three weeks, and your brain will soon start playing ball.
- Reset your sleep cycle. Circadian rhythm is your internal clock that regulates the sleep-wake cycle over a 24 hour period. If you’re used to falling into bed at midnight, your circadian rhythm will be set to this schedule. Reset your internal clock by waking at the same time every day, even during the weekend, until your body finds its natural balance.
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