How to Boost Your Beauty Sleep for Overall Health and Wellness by Sheila Olson
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Beauty sleep isn’t just a saying. Poor quality sleep can make you feel older than you are, lead to weight gain, and aggravate skin problems like dryness and wrinkles. Sleep is important for feeling good on the inside and looking great on the outside – you feel more energetic and happy when you get enough, and sluggish and grumpy when you don’t. Tune into these habits so you get quality sleep every night and look and feel your best every day.
Invest in Your Comfort
The Healthy explains that old mattresses do a lot to rob us of restful sleep. An uncomfortable mattress can reduce the length of your sleep, leaving you tired and groggy the next day. Sleeping on an unsupportive mattress can also make your muscles and joints feel stiff. If your mattress harbors dust mites and other allergens, you may even suffer from eczema, inflammation, and asthma.
If you have a hard time getting comfortable in your bed, your mattress may be due for an upgrade. Pick a mattress that’s right for your body type, sleep style, and personal firmness preferences. When it comes to sleep styles, medium-firm mattresses tend to be best for back sleepers, while people who sleep on their sides typically need something a little softer.
Use Tech to Change Up Habits
Looking at screens in the evening can disrupt your sleep, but when used wisely, your phone can actually help you develop better sleep habits. Try different apps designed to improve sleep quality. For example, both Headspace and Relax Melodies provide guided meditations and sleep sounds to calm your mind and soothe you into slumber.
If you often feel unrested in the morning after getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep, you may be waking up during stages of deep sleep. Use apps like Sleep Time and Sleep Cycle that can track your sleep stages during the night and wake you up gently at the optimal time.
If your phone is having trouble running your new apps, think about investing in something more powerful. Apple fans should consider the new iPhone 11. With its extended battery life, you can run soothing sleep sounds and sleep trackers all night long. The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has some great sleep-promoting features as well—the display is designed to reduce eye strain and block blue light emissions that can disrupt sleep quality.
Add Up Your Exercise
Physical fitness activities appear to improve sleep quality, but you need to pay attention to how much you do. The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week to combat insomnia and help you feel your best. Strength training and yoga can also be beneficial for sleep, helping you relax more easily and fall asleep faster.
The timing of your workouts may also help. Exercising within four hours of your bedtime may increase the amount of time you spend in deep sleep. However, participating in vigorous exercise within an hour of going to bed can keep you feeling restless.
Avoid Late-Night Snacking
Did you know that short or poor-quality sleep is linked to obesity? Researchers suggest that one of the reasons behind this connection is late-night snacking. When we stay up late, we tend to indulge in unhealthy snacks that contribute to weight gain and wreak havoc on our skin. Eating too close to bedtime can also interfere with your body’s natural internal clock and alter your metabolism. And, if you suffer from heartburn, eating anything before bed can cause discomfort when your head hits the pillow.
Going to bed hungry can keep you awake as well. Nutritious Life recommends snacking on sleep-promoting foods like nuts, cheese or cherries. On top of being good for snoozing, cherries tend to be good for your skin and hair, too!
The long sought after secret to looking and feeling younger may be easier to achieve than you think! Take steps to improve your sleep quality and see how it affects your health. While developing new habits can be difficult, you’ll be rewarded with the beautifying benefits of restful slumber.
Written by by Sheila Olson