Yes it really is important! As Lady Macbeth said, “Sleep knits up the ravelled sleeve of care”; it’s not just our physical but our mental and emotional wellbeing that is affected when we are tired or sleep deprived. Of course no one wants puffy eyes and dry dull skin in the morning but the effects of long term sleep deprivation can be much more serious – severe premature ageing leaving you looking a decade older, inability to deal with stressful or emotive situations, inability to concentrate, to keep warm, to produce key hormones and maintain optimum skin function (and we know how important the skin is for health), to keep our immune system functioning well.
So what is ideal? Some say 8 hours, others famously survived on 4 hours per night (although I’m not sure how effective that made a certain Iron Lady!) and still others claim that the most highly effective people sleep 6-7 hours a night. Is an hour before midnight really worth two after?
With endless advice about what is the optimum time, length, conditions of sleep, how do you know what is right for you?
It’s really a question of you as an individual. Women and men need different amounts and women are much more at risk of sleep disorders due to various biological and sociological factors such as menstruation/menopause and the way women think about and deal with responsibilities and worries.
At different times in our lives we also need different amounts of sleep. As teenagers we medically need more sleep and goodness don’t we take advantage of that at the time! At other times we can easily survive and be healthy with less sleep, but if you are getting too little sleep or restless sleep and finding you awake tired then something other than natural cycles might be at work.
This is when you need to take control and there are things you can do to improve it:
§ If a whirring mind is keeping you awake, try writing down your thoughts before sleep or if you wake in the night. Acknowledging them will allow your brain to relax and move on knowing that you can address them in the morning.
§ Ensuring your bedroom is totally dark will lead to better quality of sleep – blackout blinds, turning off lit screen alarms and TV power lights can help with this.
§ Reduce electrical intereference – turn things off at the plug socket, have your mobile away from your head and on airplane mode or off totally (your alarm should still work), turn off the wifi and unplug cordless phones to reduce the signal waves flowing through you.
§ Take time to relax just before bed – some meditation or deep and restful breathing, self-massage or even just a pampering facial cleansing and moisturising routine can do the trick.
§ Regular massage and facial treatments have also been shown to promote body and mind balance and therefore aid sleep naturally.
§ Use aromatherapy to help you sleep – either burn an essential oil before bed, add a couple of drops to your pillowcase or use a product on your skin that contains essential oils to treat you all night long. Great oils to look out for are benzoin (helps with stress), cedarwood (for grounding), clary sage (calming with sedative qualities, also great for the skin), cypress (soothes nerves), lavender (scientifically proven to promote sleep), orange oil (for insomnia), patchouli (for serenity), valerian root (for relaxation) and ylang ylang (for toning the nervous system and lowering blood pressure). You can find many of these in the organic Beauty Sleep range from Neal’s Yard Remedies – Beauty Sleep Concentrate for a smooth and youthful face and the NEW Beauty Sleep Body Butter for 24 hour moisturisation.
Thank you to http://www.nyrnaturalnews.com/article/getting-your-beauty-sleep/ for some of the information in this post.