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Friday, June 27, 2008

Fightin' It

I'm taking the
Sleep-in challenge. At least, I'm trying to. (For more info, click the picture above)

Select Comfort is encouraging everyone to get an extra hour of sleep per day. They're also have a sweepstakes.

In honor of the contest, I am re-posting a previous Fight the Frump entry, regarding sleep.

An interesting tidbit I haven't shared, is that this post, the one I'm about to re-share, is responsible for my choice of topic for my research paper, which will be due at the end of this term. Since I had already started the research, I decided to delve a little further into the discussion of the importance of sleep with regard to health and wellness. More specifically, for women, the health and beauty aspects related to getting enough sleep.

I chose this topic, because as a mother and a woman, sleep, more specifically, the lack of it, is an important issue in my life. As a woman in my 30s, I have become increasingly concerned with the effects that lack of sleep are having on my health, wellness and beauty.

So, here is my re-posting of Beauty Sleep: Fighting the frump


Beauty sleep.

I need it. Desperately.

I've read so many interesting facts today about the benefits of a full night’s sleep – and the consequences of deprivation. Even denying yourself one hour a night for a week can lead to decreased speed in reaction time, mathematical problem solving (although, let’s face it – most of us don’t do a lot of mathematical problem solving everyday) and “cognitive work requiring simultaneous focus on several tasks”. In other words, you won’t be able to walk and chew gum at the same time when driving, for example, accidents increase as your total sleep decreases. Missing out on three hours per night for a week can show a marked decrease in speed and accuracy.

Good nutrition and exercise are important for our health and beauty, but sleep is crucial, too. Sleeping provides your body with more than just rest. When we are sleeping, our body is healing and repairing itself. Experts say that you need eight hours of sleep a night. This helps prevent a washed out complexion, puffy bloodshot eyes and dark under eye circles (like the permanent ones living on my face). Getting enough sleep also helps ensure that you will have peak alertness and energy.

A good night’s rest has always been called
beauty sleep—and it is no myth. New research shows that individuals who are not sleep deprived have an increased capacity to lose weight and keep it off. Poor sleeping habits also cause you to age at an accelerated rate, both physically and metabolically.

LOSE WEIGHT? Did they just say lose weight? I'm listening!

I read the
reasons. A good night’s sleep reduces stress levels, which reduces the stress hormone cortisol, and there's something there about ashwagandha and phosphatidylserine, blah, blah blah. The point is who CARES how it works, as long as it works??

More wonderful things about beauty sleep:

Studies show that skin cells regenerate slightly faster at night than during the day. All the more reason to make sure you get your beauty sleep. Here's another tidbit of information.

Cosmetic chemists know, for example, that many anti-aging ingredients stay active longer when they're not exposed to sunlight. Retinoids, which speed cell turnover, "can break down chemically with light exposure and become ineffective," says Julian Omidi, MD, a dermatologist in private practice in Los Angeles. Other "anti-agers"-- such as topical vitamins, including C and E--don't hold up well in sunlight or air. They're in both day and night skin care products, but you probably get more antioxidant bang for your buck when you apply them before you go to sleep.

YAY! Considering how much some of those products cost, more bang for your buck is a good great thing.

What we all know is that, with a good night's sleep, everything looks and feels better in the morning. Both the brain and the body are refreshed and ready for a new day.

Here are three beauty tips for skin care in your sleep to add more beauty to your sleep:

Sleep flat on your back: Smashing your face into a pillow creates fold lines that eventually become permanent if they're repeated every night. Spending time on your back also helps counter the effects of gravity that accumulate during the day. In a recent study of 38 women and men, Japanese researchers found there was greater wrinkling in the afternoon than in the morning; they concluded that the face literally falls with gravity as the day progresses. At night, you get a chance to reverse that.

Stay hydrated: "Keeping skin moist from the inside out is a simple, relatively inexpensive, and quite effective moisturizer," says Pinnell. Drink six to eight glasses of plain
water throughout the day and include omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish and nuts) in your diet, says Dale Prokupek, MD, a Beverly Hills internist and an associate professor of gastroenterology and nutrition at UCLA. To help avoid moisture loss from the skin while sleeping, turn on a humidifier. "I used one in my bedroom for a dry throat problem and soon realized my skin never looked better," he says. (Be sure to clean the humidifier often, especially if you're prone to allergies.)

Use a moisturizer after bathing: Seal in the moisture that the topmost layer of your skin has absorbed with a hydrating body lotion or cream. Because you're going to bed--not pulling on a silk blouse or cashmere sweater--you can try a body cream that's richer than you would feel comfortable wearing during the day, such as Nivea Body Renewal Night Cream ($10; drugstores). Just before bed is a perfect time to slather your feet--especially dry heels--with a healing, hydrating cream such as Aveeno Intense Relief Foot Cream ($6; drugstores). And a sweep of Sally Hansen Beyond Perfect Healing Cuticle Oil ($5; drugstores) on your nails will keep the cuticles soft and prevent tears. For a final moisturizing touch, massage your hands with Dove Regenerating Hand Cream ($6; drugstores). (** I have not personally tried these products, and have heard neither good nor bad things about them or their performances)

The following simple tips are helpful for sound sleep:

  • Create a bedtime routine. Make an effort to rearrange the pattern of your evenings.

  • Limit your tea and coffee intake to five or six cups a day, and don’t drink any within an hour of your bedtime.

  • You spend a sizable time of your life sleeping, so don’t economize on the mattress and bed you choose. Buy the best. Always use cotton bed sheet while sleeping and your pillows should give enough support to your weary head. Wear loose cotton dress while going to bed.

  • Allow yourself a clear half hour to unwind, bathe, have a warm milk, cleanse your face, brush your hair and teeth – that way, you’ll prepare yourself mentally for sleep. Cleanse your face every night no matter how tired you are with a gentle cleanser.

  • Close your eyes and breathe in very deeply, concentrate on the days pleasant happenings.

  • Relax all your muscles, simple meditation techniques helps in inducing sleep.

  • If your mind seems to be obsessed with any particular problem and keeps reverting to it, try remembering the happy memories. Listen to music.

  • Try taking a gentle walk after dinner. Vigorous exercise late at night is not good, but a quiet stroll can get you in the mood for sleep.

  • Try having at least one early night every week when you’re in bed by 10 at the latest.

Oh, and an added bonus: Children learn what they see. Set a good example for your kids. Show them just how important a good night sleep is for them!


for a different kind of girl said...

oh my know what's horrible? I think I'm getting less sleep now than when you originally posted this topic! Ha!

Seriously, I need to be going to bed at like 7 at night any more! said...

Did you see the article on Yahoo the other day that said 7 hours is now the ideal? People who got less than 7 or more than 7 died earlier. I thought that was interesting. And, the Select Comfort bed? Worth its weight in gold.

Martha Williams said...

Just a you get older, you sleep less and less, and yet need that beauty sleep more and more!