Getting enough sleep is crucial for our health and wellbeing - both physically and mentally. Ensuring you're getting between 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night is one of the most important steps to keeping your skin healthy and looking young, by giving your skin the time it needs to recover and repair.
Several studies have shown that a lack of sleep can worsen certain skin conditions or even trigger a flare - including acne, eczema, psoriasis, and more.
Since getting enough quality sleep is so essential, how can we make sure that we're getting the rest that we need each night? Here are 6 sleep hygiene tips for better sleep that will help give your skin the best chance to rest and recover!
A dark, quiet, and cool sleep environment can help us fall asleep and stay asleep. If your room gets flooded with light, it may be worth installing blackout curtains or wearing an eye mask. Try to make sure your sleep environment is nice and quiet - try wearing earplugs if you're being woken up by noises. For most people, the optimal sleeping temperature is between 15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius, which is a bit cooler than daytime temperatures.
Additionally, make sure your bed and pillows are comfortable and you're wearing breathable clothes to avoid feeling too hot at night.
Aim to go to sleep and wake up at approximately the same time each day - yes, even on weekends! Our body has an inbuilt "body clock" which tells us when to feel sleepy and awake - also known as our circadian rhythm. By staying in sync with our body clock, we can fall asleep and wake up more easily and are more likely to enjoy a higher quality of sleep too. Sticking to a schedule that allows you to have around 8 hours of sleep time per night is one of the best ways to maximise your sleep quality to help you wake up refreshed and keep your skin healthy.
A relaxing bedtime routine will help you to unwind to go to sleep. After a busy and tiring day, it's sometimes easy to hop directly into bed and then realise that our minds are still buzzing with thoughts and worries. Having a consistent night-time routine will help your body and mind recognise that it is time to rest and relax. Aim to start your nightly routine around 30-60 minutes before your target bedtime and try to make your bedtime routine something you'll look forward to, as this will make it much easier to stick with it! Some ideas for bedtime routine activities that we love include: taking a warm shower, reading a book, meditating, gentle stretching, listening to some relaxing music, and of course, this is the perfect place to include your evening skincare routine!
Screens (such as on your phone and laptop) emit blue light, which stimulates our body clock to think it is still daytime, reducing melatonin levels, and making it harder for us to feel sleepy or fall asleep at night. Try to avoid looking at screens for at least 1 hour before your bedtime, and ideally dim your screen and use blue-light filters if you must use these devices in the evening. If possible, keep your phone away from your bed too, to minimise the temptation of checking it late at night!
Even just half an hour of gentle exercise each day can help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality. Along with this, exercise is great for your overall health and your skin. Just try to exercise earlier in the day if possible, and avoid exercising within 2 hours of bedtime, as this can make it harder to wind down.
Be mindful of your caffeine intake, and ideally drink any caffeinated beverages in the morning hours or early afternoon at the latest. Caffeine can keep us alert for several hours after consumption (between 3-8 hours depending on the individual), and even small amounts in our system can reduce our sleep depth and quality.
Sleep hygiene is all about building good sleep habits and attitudes, which can help us feel more refreshed and take care of our skin health at the same time. Try out some of these tips and let us know if they helped you to get a good night’s sleep!
How does sleep affect your skin?
I have battled with acne and sensitive skin since I was 15, and over the years have tried countless different skincare routines and practices.
I remember feeling so frustrated, alone and hopeless when nothing seemed to work and I didn't know where to turn to for support. This really pushed me to learn more about my skin condition, the array of treatments, and different skincare routines.
After years of trial and error I finally found a routine and lifestyle which makes my skin manageable, though I still do get breakouts from time to time.
I'm on here to help others like me to get better too, and to share the things that have worked for me personally in case my experiences can help someone else too!
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