Sleep is your daily opportunity to rest and recuperate. We know it's good for the body; sufficient sleep improves your ability to cope with stress, boosts your immune system, and facilitates better concentration, memory and emotional balance. But it also keeps you looking your best.
There's a reason it's called "beauty sleep." Skin, hair and nail cells regenerate overnight and the facial muscles that create lines relax. Blood flow increases during sleep, delivering nutrients to skin, hair and nails.
While your body is repairing your appearance from the inside out, nighttime is also the right time to nourish and rehydrate the skin from the outside in with specifically formulated skin products.
Giving the body enough time through sleep to clear out waste products, repair and renew all cells is a vital step in keeping you and your skin young and healthy. So, sleep really can be your best and easiest beauty treatment ever.
What is the key factor that makes sleep rejuvenating?
During sleep is when the body releases human growth hormone, which is crucial to youthfulness because of its frontline role in the healing, repair and renewal of all the body’s tissues. This hormone, which is also responsible for making you taller during childhood, helps rebuild broken and damaged tissues during adulthood -- including skin tissue.
How much sleep is enough?
If you are not getting enough sleep, you are depriving your body of its recovery time. The result will rapidly become visible in your appearance as you accumulate unrepaired damage, which translates into ageing.
The amount of sleep we need is individual, but generally ranges between 6 to 10 hours a night. If you feel tired when the alarm goes off or during the day, you are probably not getting the right quantity or quality of sleep.
How can we sleep better?
The body works best if we respect its biorhythmic cycles. Getting up and going to bed at the same time allows the body to establish a regular sleep-wake cycle and better harness the different operational modes between day and night, so that we are more alert and energised during the day and sleep more deeply and restfully at night.
During the day, your body is in action mode, busy fuelling all your energy requirements, fighting off aggressors and neutralising stress. But, while you sleep, your body switches to repair mode, blood flow increases and the body recovers from the efforts of the day.
If restful sleep is elusive, we need to identify what might be inhibiting our sleep. Factors may include stress, excess consumption of stimulants, like coffee, cigarettes or alcohol, daytime napping, insufficient exercise and poor nutrition.
Ideally, the bedroom should be free of televisions, computers and phones, and you should allow yourself a space before sleep to wind down and relax. A warm bath, meditation and bedtime routines such as brushing your teeth, washing your face and reading a book can all trigger the body’s preparation to enter its sleep cycle.
A late-night snack can sometimes be the answer to insomnia, as well. Carbohydrates trigger the release of insulin, which helps the sleep-inducing amino acids enter the brain to bring sleep on. Sufficient protein, which provides the amino acids necessary to induce sleep, is important nutrient component of good sleep, as are magnesium, selenium and vitamin D.
How can we harness the restorative quality of sleep?
The release of human growth hormone is crucial to the body’s recovery cycle, but a number of issues can inhibit its release even if we think we are getting enough sleep -- including stress, age, diet and exercise.
We can harness the rejuvenating effects of human growth hormone by allowing enough time for sleep and exercising to stimulate its release. There's also a third method -- an amino-acid combination. L-glutamine, l-lysine and l-arginine taken together, aside from providing the building blocks for producing human growth hormone, also naturally promote the release of human growth hormone by suppressing its main inhibitor, somatostatin.
In addition to repairing and regenerating all tissues, human growth hormone strengthens bones and muscles, promotes the breakdown of fat, rebalances all systems and stimulates the immune system. It also has a central role in mental and emotional well-being and boosts energy levels during your waking hours. Youthful levels of human growth hormone make us less prone to anxiety, apathy and depression.
Sleep is vitally important to our health and to prolonging youth. Stress management, exercise and nutrition provide the keys to enjoying the revitalizing power of sleep to the fullest.