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Hey there, all you beautiful night owls and relentless overachievers! I have a confession to make — I’m a secret member of the ‘Sleep is for the Weak’ club. Yes, that club you join when you feel every moment you spend snoozing is a moment lost in the waking world. I’m guilty of chasing my own deadlines, editing, writing, engaging in influencer productions, binge-watching the latest Netflix obsession, and much more. Unfortunately, all at the cost of a good night’s sleep. I’m always afraid I’ll miss out on something while I’m sleeping. My days are overflowing into nights faster than you can say ‘Beauty Sleep’. But then again, who has time for sleep?
In this blog, I’m going to answer the question: ‘Why You Need Your Beauty sleep’. I’m already dreading the answer, because secretly, I’m fully aware that sleep is essential. I’m just in eternal denial, because I constantly feel the need to satisfy the overachiever in me by burning two sides of the candle. If you’re like me, and dreading trading in your late-night hustle for a few extra hours of shut-eye, buckle up and come on this journey. Maybe together we can peel back the covers on this beauty sleep business and start treating ourselves right. Even if it is easier said then done.
If stress is keeping you from falling asleep, drink some lemon balm tea before bed. This all natural, caffeine free tea will relax you and you will sleep like a baby.
The Origin of ‘Beauty Sleep’
We cannot credit anyone for the term ‘beauty sleep.’ The origins of ‘beauty sleep’ is somewhat of a mystery. What we do know is that the term has been used in the English language and various literary works as early as the 18th-19th century. However, even before this time, many cultures, such as in traditional Chinese medicine, already accepted the concept that proper rest is crucial for maintaining youth and beauty. In current day, ‘beauty sleep’ is popularized through pop culture and the ever-evolving beauty industry. They reinforce the term by emphasizing the vital role of sleep and how it goes hand-in-hand with beauty.
Does Beauty Sleep Make You Prettier?
We all know the fairy tales of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty who woke up looking radiant and refreshed. Could that snooze they had really have that amazing effect on their physical appearance? Does sleep make you prettier? The answer is Yes!
Think of it like this. When you doze off to dreamland, an invisible beauty crew goes to work in your body. During their night shift they rejuvenate you from the inside out. Skin cells go in repair mode and fix all the damage from the day. They combat signs of aging and replace old cells with fresh new ones. Human growth hormone kicks in to replenish and renew your hair, and give you bright, sparkly eyes free of dark circles and undereye bags. The beauty crew knows what’s needed and triggers the production of new collagen in your body. The elasticity and plumpness of your skin are there thanks to collagen.
Now, if you don’t sleep or suffer from a lack of sleep, you’re basically giving the beauty crew the night off. They won’t come to work, and if this is a continuous cycle, they might quite altogether until you ‘hire’ them back by getting that much needed rest. You’ll miss out on all their rejuvenating work and the repair process. Needless to say, over time, this will take a toll that will become apparent. Dark circles and under-eye bags will give away that you’ve been burning the midnight oil. Lack of sleep can trigger blood vessels to dilate, resulting in those annoying dark shadows that only look good on raccoons. Fine lines and wrinkles may start looking more prominent. Additionally, your hair and skin can start looking dull and lifeless. You won’t be able to hide that you’re tired, because your appearance will give it away.
Speaking of sleep…. Should you sleep with a bra? Check out this blog post to find out!
The Health Benefits of Sleep
Halfway through my research, I started realizing that sleep is not a luxury. We now know that it can help us look better, but did you know that it’s also a vital part of maintaining your overall health and well-being. After discovering the additional benefits of beauty sleep listed below, I seriously started thinking about my sleep habits and nighttime routine (if you can even call it that).
- Restoration: During sleep, there is not just that beauty crew working on your appearance, there’s also a health crew at work. This crew restores and repairs various functions such as your immune system and muscles, so your body is healthy and ready for the challenges of the next day.
- Brain Health: Want to be a brainiac? Sleep is crucial for cognitive functions like memory, learning, creativity, and problem-solving. A good night’s sleep can help improve concentration and productivity. What was I thinking….. Ugh.
- Emotional Well-being: Got mood swings? Sleep has a significant impact on your mood and mental health. It helps regulate the chemicals in your brain that transmit signals, including those that manage emotions and mood. Lack of sleep can lead to mood swings, anxiety, and depression. If you’re flying off the handle in the middle of the day, maybe reassess your sleep schedule.
- Heart Health: This one scared me the most, because if your heart is not healthy, nothing is healthy. Sleep affects processes that keep your heart and blood vessels healthy, including your blood sugar, blood pressure, and inflammation levels. It also plays a vital role in your body’s ability to heal and repair the heart and blood vessels.
- Physical Performance: A good night’s sleep can boost athletic performance. It aids in muscle recovery, improves concentration, and enhances overall physical performance. I thought my gym workouts were pretty good, but I’m thinking of how great they really can be if I just change my sleep quality.
- Healthy Weight: Do you ever say to yourself that you feel hungrier than normal and end up eating everything you can get your hands on? Insufficient sleep might be to blame. Sleep can help regulate the hormones that control your appetite. Sleep deprivation can interfere with metabolism and appetite regulation. When you’re sleep-deprived, you may feel hungrier and tend to eat more, which can lead to weight gain. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, you better catch those zzzzz’s.
- Immune Function: During sleep, your immune system produces protective substances like cytokines, which help your body combat bacteria and viruses. Lack of sleep can weaken your immune response, making you more susceptible to illnesses.
How Much Beauty Sleep is Enough
I’ve been getting by with 4 hours of sleep a night and have been telling myself that I feel fine. I’m trying to convince myself that I am some sort of superhuman who doesn’t need more than that. If I get 5 hours of sleep, I consider myself well-rested although I’m yawning all throughout the day. I think of all the work I did while the rest of the world was sleeping and how I’m getting a head start. Clearly, I should be thinking of how much more productive I would be during the day, had I gotten sufficient sleep.
There have been plenty of times when I’m sitting in bed, with the TV on, light on, and a laptop on my lap while I’m dozing off as I’m sitting upright — not productive at all. I only end up waking up with neck cramps and the regret of not finishing my work, instead of feeling regret of not going to bed on time.
So, how much beauty rest should you get in a day? General guidelines are as follows:
- Newborns (ages 0-3 months): 14 to 17 hours daily
- Infants (4-11 months): 12 to 15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11 to 14 hours
- Preschoolers (3-5): 10 to13 hours
- School-age children (6-13): 9 to11 hours
- Teenagers (14-17): 8 to 10 hours
- Younger adults (18-25): 7 to 9 hours
- Adults (26-64): 7 to 9 hours
- Older adults (65+): 7 to 8 hours
Based on the above, I should be getting seven to nine hours of sound sleep. That sounds like so much to me in a day. I am used to getting that in two days. Yes, I know that sounds bad, but hopefully I will be able to adjust it moving forward. Either way, if you sleep a little less or more than the guidelines above, it may still be ideal. It’s recommended to monitor how you feel during the day to determine whether you are getting the sleep you need. Now that you know the recommended duration of sleep, focus on the quality of the sleep you’re getting and how to optimize it.
How to Make Sure You Get Good Quality Sleep
Lights out dreamers! Now that you know about the importance of sleep, let’s discover what you can do to make sure that you get good quality sleep. Fortunately, there are several easy things you can do to take your sleep quality from ‘meh’ to ‘marvelous’.
Make Your Bedroom a Sleep Haven
The first thing you want to do is set the stage for a good night’s sleep. Your bedroom should be quiet and of a slightly cool temperature. Anywhere from 60 -67 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended. Your bed should have breathable linen, and a comfortable mattress and pillows. Avoid any light from coming into your room at night, as it can interfere with quality sleep. It confuses your mind into thinking it’s daytime. Blackout curtains might help, or if you prefer, a sleep mask can work wonders too. This also includes light from a TV, laptop, cellphone, or other electronic device.
Maintain a Sleep Schedule
Just like how I programmed my body to get used to 4 hours of sleep a night, I will have to train my body to adjust to getting more beauty sleep. The best way to program your body is to do the same thing each night. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Avoid sleeping late. If you maintain a sleep schedule like this, eventually your body gets used to it, and you won’t even need an alarm to wake up anymore. It becomes a good habit.
Create a Nighttime Routine
A nighttime routine prepares you for sleep. It’s the opening act before the main act. Avoid stressors before sleep. Stay away from work-related activities or family issues. Anything associated with drama or agitation will keep you up at night. Instead, dedicate the time before bed to a relaxing activity. Take a relaxing bath, listen to some soothing music, read a book, or drink some lemon balm tea to help you relax. These tell your body that it’s time to wind down.
Check out my blog post on lemon balm tea and its amazing benefits that you don’t want to miss out on.
Monitor Your Sleep
Although your quality of sleep can somewhat be monitored through the way you feel, a monitoring device can give you a more accurate look into the sleep you’re getting. Wearing a tracking watch can tell you how many hours of light sleep, deep sleep or REM sleep you’re getting. It tracks it every day so you can determine whether you are improving your sleep habits. I’m wearing one all through the day, because the one I have monitors, workouts, daily steps taken, calories burned, blood pressure, heart rate and so much more. It even tells me when I have a call or text message.
So now that you know why you need your sleep, it’s up to you to make that change to ensure you get it. I know I will seriously attempt to catch those zzzz’s. I think of it this way. If you keep on pushing the limit and burning both sides of the candle, eventually it will catch up with you. When it does, it’s too late. Fine lines and wrinkles will have already set up shop on your face, your hair may be lackluster and beyond saving, and other side effects of sleep deprivation will have set in. No matter how much sleep you get after these negative effects emerge, it won’t un-do the damage. Therefore, it’s best to be proactive and make adjustments to your sleep routine right away to avoid the unwanted side effects.
How are your sleep habits? Are you getting enough sleep, and if not, will you change your sleep routine so you get good sleep? Sound of below and have a good night! Don’t let the bed bugs bite.