Beauty sleep is no joke, and it is most certainly not a myth. I always took the concept of ‘beauty sleep’ with a grain of salt until I realized that my pattern of four hours of sleep each night didn’t exactly make me look “Flawless” [by Beyoncé] in the morning. I then decided it might be a good idea to listen to basically every person I have ever encounter in my life who told me that I need at least eight hours of sleep; however, after doing so I was confused as to why I still looked a like a hot mess every morning. It was then that I realized that your health and beauty not only depend on the quantity of sleep that you get, but also on the quality of sleep that you get. We’ve all heard that sleep is important for a healthy heart, strong concentration and reduced stress, but sleep is 100% a factor in physical appearance, particularly our skin – and there is even scientific proof behind this.
Dr. Kaleroy Papantoniou, a board certified NYC dermatologist, insists that as we sleep, our skin works to heal and restore itself while getting rid of toxins from the skin. So, why is a good eight hours of sleep important? Well…
In the first three hours of sleep, our body will begin to produce the human growth hormone from the pituitary gland, which is necessary for youthful and glowing skin as we age. Basically, the aging process is speeded up if this hormone is not released… yikes.
During the next two hours of sleep our melatonin – the hormone responsible for regulating your sleeping pattern – is increased. Melatonin is also an antioxidant that actively protects the skin from free radical damage. Talk about killing two birds with one stone… all while sleeping!
Finally, during the last three hours of sleep our cortisol levels decrease. Cortisol is the stress hormone (A.K.A. everyone’s worst enemy). At this stage of sleep, the skin’s temperature decreases drastically, thus relaxing your muscles and giving your skin the recovery it needs.
So, now that you know what happens while you’re asleep, the question is: How can we make the most out of our beauty sleep every night? Beyoncé shouldn’t be the only one who “woke up like this”, so read on to discover how to get true beauty sleep every single night:
1. Supplement Your Sleep
It’d probably be hard to get the best beauty sleep if you’re having trouble getting any sleep in the first place. This is normal since our bodies produce less melatonin as we get older. If you find yourself having this problem, try taking a melatonin supplement or using a topical product that contains melatonin.
Helpful Note: Melatonin works best when taken about thirty minutes before going to sleep.
2. Double Cleanse Your Face Before Bed
When you take your makeup off at night using makeup wipes or liquid makeup remover, chances are, you still have traces of eyeliner and foundation on your face. Long-lasting makeup may be your best friend throughout the day, but it is notorious for leaving its traces on your skin when it is taken off with soap and water, or even water-based makeup remover.
That is why you must double cleanse! Use an oil-based cleanser for your makeup remover, or better yet, a natural option: coconut oil. Next, get rid of any leftover residue with a gentle non-soap cleanser. Trust me, you’ll notice such a difference in your skin if you stay consistent with this routine.
3. Moisturize and Apply Overnight Face Masks
Applying treatments on your skin throughout the night is actually more effective than applying them during the day. Give your skin the extra attention in needs during this prime time by applying overnight face masks. Likewise, applying moisturizer on at night is not only key to soften your face, but it also is the best soother to help prep you for an amazing night’s sleep.
4. Apply Eye Cream
With my eye bags and dark under-eye circles, I might as well tattoo “I’m Tired” across my forehead. That is why applying eye cream at night is absolutely essential for me. Apply your favorite eye cream under and around your eyes before going to bed in order to replenish the skin that surrounds your eyes.
5. Pull Your Hair Away From Your Face
Before going to bed, put your hair in a loose ponytail or a braid. This will keep your hair’s natural oils from touching your face, thus preventing serious breakouts. If your skin is already oily to begin with, you’ll definitely want to do this!
6. Be Conscious of Your Sleeping Position
You know those times that you’re so tired you can’t help but just face plop into your pillow? Well, make sure not to fall asleep like that! Squishing your face into your pillow actually causes premature wrinkles. That is why you must train yourself to sleep in a position that will prevent you from rubbing your face against your pillows. I try to sleep on my back as much as possible. Otherwise, I always try to position my head lower on the pillow so that my whole face doesn’t completely squish if I roll over. If you have a problem with darkness under your eyes, it is best to go to bed lying on your back while your head slightly elevated in order to prevent it.
7. The Softer Pillowcases, The Better
Since rolling over while sleeping is virtually inevitable, it’s important to take precautions by investing in some soft pillowcases. The softer the pillowcases, the better since the friction of your face against harsher cotton fibers will quicken the development of permanent wrinkles. It would be best to invest in some satin or smooth pillowcases.
Note: Don’t forget to wash and change your pillowcases at least every week!
Imagine looking in the mirror right after getting out of bed in the morning and not cringing at the sight of your face? Well, if you want to wake up looking your very best, it is important to take beauty sleep seriously! It’s time to get in the habit of doing these things before bed and you’ll surely see a difference in your skin.