We do so much during the day to keep ourselves looking and feeling young, but anti-aging doesn’t stop when we go to bed. Sleep is regenerative for your body and mind, which is why it’s crucial to fighting off those pesky signs of aging. If you aren’t getting the sleep you need, try these tips for improving your sleep habits and getting the full benefits of staying well rested.

The Connection Between Sleep and Aging

We have all heard the saying “get your beauty sleep,” but this is more than just a cliche. These are just a few of the ways that sleep is linked to looking and feeling better.

  • Skin: A lack of sleep can lead to all kinds of skin problems, including dryness, wrinkles, puffy eyes, and poor complexion. Your skin produces collagen while you’re asleep, which helps keep skin texture soft and wards off wrinkles. Your body also produces melatonin at night, which is an antioxidant that keeps dark spots and fine lines away.
  • Body: Not getting enough sleep interferes with muscle repair after exercise, which means you’re undoing all your hard work in the gym when you don’t get enough rest. Sleep can also interfere with metabolism, immunity, and even your mood. According to NBC News, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, not only will your appearance suffer, but your energy level and overall health can also suffer.

Creating Better Sleep Habits

Even when we understand the importance of sleep, the realities of everyday life sometimes get in the way. To break that cycle, create a relaxing sleep environment and a good bedtime routine.

Your Sleep Environment:

The space where you sleep has a major impact on how well you sleep. Your bedroom needs to be relaxing and soothing to the senses. Even the slightest amount of light can interrupt sleep, but an easy solution is to use blackout shades. The blue light emitted from your TV is also a major culprit in interfering with sleep patterns, so keep the TV out of your bedroom entirely.

Staying comfortable and creating a feeling of relaxation are key too. Do you have a good quality mattress and comfy bedding that you just want to snuggle into? If not, it may be time for an upgrade. Also, be sure to wash bed linens frequently. Not only will you sleep better in a fresh, cozy bed, but it will also help keep your skin clear. Changing pillowcases is especially important because dirt and product buildup can cause clogged pores.

Bedtime Routine:

Along with a comfy, cozy bedroom, a good bedtime routine can help you sleep better and make the most of the natural process of rejuvenation that happens overnight.

  • Hold the nightcap: Having a glass of wine in the evening can be relaxing, but drinking too much alcohol — especially close to bedtime — interferes with sleep and wreaks havoc on your skin. Instead of alcohol, opt for a cup of tea (non-caffeinated) or a glass of water to stay hydrated overnight.
  • Relax and unwind: Stress and lack of sleep are two of the worst culprits for skin problems, and it’s even worse when they work in tandem. Find ways to calm your mind at night to get the sleep you need. Exercising, soaking in a warm bath, and doing gentle yoga before bed are all great ways to keep stress away.
  • Give skin some TLC: This should start with a daily skincare routine. Always wash your face at night! Even if you’re not wearing makeup, going to bed with dirty skin can lead to clogged pores, and it prevents the natural process of skin renewal. Along with basic skincare, add in these tricks from Style Salute to really keep skin glowing, including tying hair back at night and using a humidifier for maximum moisturization.

Of course, caring for your skin is only part of the solution, as taking care of yourself with good nutrition and exercise is also necessary for youthfulness. But above all, getting a good night’s rest is the secret to pulling it all together to look and feel your best.

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