6:25am. Ugh. My alarm goes off. I get up, head to the bathroom and look in the mirror. Now THAT’S alarming
“Just ONE more episode before bed”…really doesn’t seem like such a great idea now. I spend the rest of the day with people asking me “Are you OK, you look really tired?”
If I don’t get enough sleep, it seems to be written
In a nutshell – YES.
As we sleep, our body creates new collagen – the protein that keeps skin strong and elastic. So when we’ve missed out on a lot of sleep over a long period of time, our skin will start to look and feel less bouncy, toned and lifted. As we age, our skin stops producing as much collagen over time (from the age of 25 our collagen levels start to deplete) so any extra Zzzz’s we can get our hands on as we age can only be a BONUS for our skin!
I have some great news to share with YOU – I’ve been using an incredible supplement to help boost my collagen levels and slow down ageing! So if you feel you’re skin is ageing because you’re not getting enough ‘beauty sleep’ and your skin is suffering, please check out my this blog on how I SLOW down ageing: Click here
The amount of sleep we need varies greatly from person to person, but research suggests that an average of around 7 to 8 hours is ideal for most of us.
Our early DEEP sleep period (commonly known as ‘Beauty Sleep’) is a state when our growth hormones are on the rise, strengthening and repairing both muscles and bones. Growth hormones have been linked to increasing collagen, cell production and lowering protein breakdown. Our growth hormones naturally decrease as we age, so we want to keep our levels topped up for as long as we possibly can! Skin cells have also been known to regenerate faster at night than during the day, with cell division apparently peaking at around 2AM…renewal and rejuvenation occurring naturally while we sleep – HURRAAAH!!! What could be easier?
I have to admit, I find the target to get up to 8 hours sleep a little difficult to maintain, especially when I go to bed late and have to be up so early for work. I feel under pressure to fall asleep because I know that I need to get in as much sleep as possible before my alarm goes off! But luckily I’ve found this next technique to really help.
If you (like me) sometimes have trouble getting to sleep, try using the breathing technique called the ‘4-7-8’ – it works like magic for me!
The method, commonly known as the ‘4-7-8’ or ‘Relaxing Breath Exercise’ was introduced by a US sleep expert called Dr Andrew Weil.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how to do it in just THREE easy steps:
PLEASE NOTE: During this entire exercise, remember to keep the tip of your tongue set against the ridge of tissue behind your top front teeth. Exhale through your mouth (making a whoosh sound) and around your tongue.
Step 1: start by breathing in through your nose for 4 seconds;
Step 2: hold that breath for 7 seconds; and
Step 3: finally, breath out of your mouth for the count of 8.
That sequence counts as ONE breath. Repeat these quick steps three more times, so the total is FOUR BREATHS…and feel yourself relax! You may feel a little light headed at first but this will disappear with practice.
This simple method derived from a Yoga breathing exercise actually acts as a natural calming agent for our nervous system. The technique will not only help you sleep, but it will also lower your heart rate, blood pressure, improve digestion and aid in reducing anxiety levels when practiced over time…as well as suppress those naughty cravings we would rather go without!
The science behind it is that by actually enforcing certain rythms on your breath, gradually it tricks our nervous system to go into this state on an involuntary and regular basis. The effects are not instantaneous, but are noticed over time. The feeling of relaxation will become more intense the longer you practice.
Beauty sleep is NOT a myth – our bodies really do keep working hard while we sleep to repair and renew our skin cells and our well being…and getting our fair dose of it CAN be as simple as a few breathing exercises per day!
It’s a simple tip but it really does the trick! Try it next time you feel you need some well-earned rest, and a little more collagen building beauty sleep!
I’ve been using an incredible supplement to help boost my collagen levels and slow down ageing! So if you feel you’re skin is ageing because you’re not getting enough ‘beauty sleep’ and your skin is suffering, check out this blog on how to help SLOW down the aging process: Click here.
Makeup Artist | Stylist | Founder of Beautyandtheboutique.com