Seven or eight hours of sleep, say between 11 pm and 7 am are a great way to pamper yourself and, what's more they're good for your skin, hair, dry elbows or knees! Like all the good things provided by Nature, sleep is also free.
It's the cheapest beauty treatment, which no cream or no amount of make-up can match. However, some amount of self-discipline is vital to get the required amount of sleep. Never reach the awful stage where you feel incredibly tired and your body begins to rebel. The average need for an adult is eight hours, while infants need 16 hours of sleep, and teenagers need about nine hours - this again, varies from person to person.
Getting a good night's sleep is as important for a beautiful figure as eating a proper healthy diet and exercising. A good night's sleep helps you concentrate on your work and keeps your brain more alert. In our busy lives, we tend to sacrifice sleep for work, but it's very important that we set aside enough hours for good old-fashioned beauty sleep. Without enough sleep, you'll look older and your skin will look drier. Your skin renews itself as you sleep, which is why, too little sleep can make your skin look tired and dull. Sleep renews and refreshes us as well as our skin.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SLEEP ...
The body goes through three stages, ranging from light to deep sleep, and finally, to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During deep sleep, the brain activity that controls emotions or any other processes shuts down, allowing us to maintain optimal emotional and social functioning when we are awake. Cell growth and cell repair takes place to combat the effects of stress and UV rays in this stage as well. Hence, deep sleep can truly be called beauty sleep. Sleep also helps our bodies fight infection. This is because our immune system releases a sleep-inducing chemical while fighting a cold or an infection. Sleep helps the body conserve energy and other resources that the immune system needs to mount an effective attack. Research has shown that individuals who are not sleep deprived have an increased capacity to lose weight and keep it off. Sleep reduces stress hormones, which is important for fat loss. Sufficient rest and recuperation effectively reduces levels of our stress hormone, cortisol.
ARE YOU SLEEPING LESS?
Lack of sleep affects our nervous systems by leaving us drowsy and unable to concentrate. Not getting enough sleep also leads to poor memory and physical performance. If sleep deprivation continues, hallucinations and mood swings may develop. In the same vein, sleeping problems are common in both mental and physical disorders including all sorts of depression and schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, cancer, and head injuries. Lack of sleep can leave a person irritable. Not only that, our skin suffers when we don't get the required amount of sleep. This is specially noticeable in the fragile skin under the eyes. Sleepless nights leave behind fine lines, dark circles or puffy bags.
Eye treatments are limited in their ability to reverse the damage that lack of sleep can cause to the skin and eyes. When we are sleep deprived, the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, rise. This hormone controls our appetite, often making us feel hungry even when we have eaten enough. It "also raises blood sugar and insulin levels and results in increased fat deposition around the abdomen. To further complicate the situation, high cortisol can negatively affect our sleep patterns, making it difficult to fall or stay asleep when we finally do go to bed. This increase in the stress hormone also has detrimental effects on other aspects of our endocrinal system, like thyroid gland function, which governs our metabolism.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SLEEP WELL
- Eliminate noise from your bedroom. Bedroom sounds should be low and consistent. In case, that's not possible, use earplugs.
- Keep your room dark by using dark fabric on your windows.
- Keep the temperature of your bedroom cool.
- Have a relaxing bath before you go to bed. This helps induce sleep.
- Set a schedule to arise, irrespective of time you go to bed the night before.
- Keep televisions and computers out of the bedroom.
- Don't go to bed hungry or overly full. Eat an early dinner or a snack early in the night.
- Watch your coffee intake. Coffee,tea, cola and chocolate can affect you for up to 12 hours.
- If you fret during the night or if you think of something that you must do the next day, write it down so you can deal with it in the morning. Don't let it take over your sleep.
- Try natural fill pilloes such as down or feathers because they have the most adjustability.
- Make an effort to rearrang the pattern of your evenings to allow an eargly night.
- Allow yourself a clear half hour to unwind have a bath, drink a glass of warm milk, cleanse your face, brush your teeth---- anything that will mentally prepare you for sleep.
- After you lie down in bed, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Let your mind wander over the pleasant happenings of the day.
- Relax all your muscles use simple meditation techniques if you wish to.
- Go to sleep only when you are sleepy. This reduces the time you are awake in bed.
- If you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed, get up and do something that will put you to sleep-sit quitely in the dark and listen to some nice soothing music. Don't expose yourself to bright light while you are up.