I can also vouch for the dramatic improvement in sleep quality I have experienced by making a few changes such as switching off electronic and wifi equipment before bed, turning my phone to airplane mode, ensuring the bedroom is totally dark and getting to bed earlier. It must sound crazy but I can tell the difference if I've forgotten to switch the wifi hub off or put my phone on airplane mode - it just doesn't feel as peaceful.
This perhaps isn't so surprising when you consider the article I read in the Metro recently (London issue, 23rd May, page 43). Professor Charles Czeisler of Harvard Medical School has stated that turning off your iPad or other LED ray-emitting gadgets could be more important than ensuring that all the lights are off as these LED rays are more disruptive to our sleep. It is all part of our modern lifestyles contradicting our built-in circadian rhythms - we stay awake and stay stimulated past darkness and then artificially induce awakeness with caffeine to cope with the morning.
This may all seem a little OTT but when you consider that research has shown that people who sleep less well or less hours per night increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, stroke in adults and concentration in children it is worth taking note. Between 1950 and 2000, the average Briton increased their artificial light sources four-fold with a parallel rise in sleep deficiency. So take note, your beauty sleep may be more important than you thought.
Remember, you do have the power to improve your sleep:
- 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.
Sarah is an Holistic massage & beauty therapist, owner of Edge of Eden and Senior Consultant for Neal’s Yard Remedies. You can call her on 01277 220301, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below and she’ll get back to you x