We all desire the experience of complete restfulness derived from a good night’s worth of beauty sleep (yes, beauty sleep does exist!). It truly nourishes and refreshes every aspect of our being: from feeling happier and more peaceful, to enhanced concentration, and even healing our body’s immune system! Quality sleep also sets us up to conquer our busy day while also spreading our easeful energy to those around us!
Did you know?
In order to achieve genuine beauty sleep - it takes more effort than just clocking in 8 hours per night.
To maximise beauty sleep, it is vital to take stock of our very own unique and individual levels of mental, emotional, physical, and environmental health. We first need to acknowledge the relationship between these four important pillars of health and how they intersect to contribute to our quality of inner and outer natural beauty!
Mental | Emotional | Physical | Environmental
How mental health affects beauty sleep
Mind (mental) energy is richly connected to the wellbeing of both the body and emotion. If you are catching 7-9 hours of sleep nightly - yet the concept of beauty sleep still feels unattainable; it may very well be the quality of how the mind is functioning on a daily basis.
Habitual, negative thinking greatly impairs one’s ability to get beauty sleep, this is due to the chain reaction of the mind signalling what emotions should be felt - and how these emotions translate into physiological reactions in the body.
If your usual thinking pattern regarding uncertainty in life is:
“it may turn out bad” rather than “it may turn out good” → stress will be felt → increasing your levels of cortisol in the body → lowering the quality of sleep throughout the night.
A negative mindset will undoubtedly set off a chain reaction within the physiological health:
In the short-term, effects may manifest as brain fog syndrome, irritability, and dark undereye circles. Long-term effects may even manifest as insomnia (deprivation of sleep), mental health problems, and a lowered immunity.
Tips to maintain a positive mental landscape
It’s vital to work towards and maintain a positive mental landscape for overall wellbeing - which leads to well-deserved beauty sleep. You can train your mindset to be geared towards more positive thinking by:
Whether this be with pen and paper, or digitally; journaling helps to reduce and even prevent overall levels of depression. And the great thing is - almost anyone, anywhere can do it with little cost!
To get started, simply find a quiet and peaceful space with no distractions. One may like to journal whatever comes to mind, or follow journaling prompts. Whichever style works best for you - you’ll benefit from a clearer, lighter mind the more you practise!
Practising deep-breathing techniques
Conscious breathing can simply be practised by being aware of the sensation of the breath flowing in, out, and through you. For beginners, it’s best to be guided by an experienced breathwork coach - whether this be in person or through a trusted online platform specialising in the field.
The benefits from breathwork are more time in deep sleep, enhanced immune system, and a reduction in stress hormones.
How emotions affect quality of sleep
Each one of us dons unique emotions-coloured glasses from the moment we open our eyes in the morning till the moment our head hits the pillow. These tinted, invisible glasses affect how we view ourselves, the world, and the people around us! Our goal is to maximise our experience of positive emotions, and to create opportunities that generate more of them in order to improve quality of sleep.
When we experience a plethora of positive emotions
For example - Gratitude → it increases our likelihood of getting higher quality sleep. This is due to the fact of "feel-good hormones" being produced in the body, such as serotonin and dopamine → which aids in calmness and regulating sleep!
When we experience a great deal of negative emotions
It dampens our body’s ability to regulate a normal sleep cycle! In the short-term, effects from impaired emotional health on sleep may manifest as an exacerbation of even more negative moods and bad dreams. While long-term effects may manifest as a lack of vigour for life and even the development of a mood disorder.
Tips to nurture and maintain emotional health
The good news is that our emotional health can easily be nurtured and maintained with the help of some tips and tricks:
In the short-term, incorporate more opportunities throughout your day to interact with what makes you feel good by savouring.
Savouring is a form of emotion regulation that allows you to create, maintain, or sharpen positive emotions through being mindful and appreciative of various life experiences. This can look like designating a longer quiet time in the morning to experiencing your favourite coffee (the smell, warmth, colours, and taste), before the day begins.
In the long-term, express your gratitude for the things in your daily life that you may overlook otherwise. Gratitude is another simple technique that we all have access to - it is defined as being thankful for what you have in life, and the readiness to return kindness to others.
Take for example, one can simply be grateful for having the opportunity to be able to sleep in on a weekend. Noticing these blessings and expressing thankfulness for desired life circumstances strongly increases happiness and improves overall wellbeing - so you’ll be well on your way to beauty sleep in no time.
How physical health affects beauty sleep
Physical health encompasses various different facets - such as exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle habits. Just a single positive shift in one of these facets has the ability to send you into a deeper, restorative, good night’s sleep.
Though, one does not have to aim for perfection - moderation, balance, and finding out what works best regarding your own physical health needs is key.
When we do not exercise enough, eat unhealthy foods, and even smoke or drink before bed - the slightest chance of beauty sleep gets thrown out the window.
Some effects of poor physical health hygiene regarding sleep include a fatigued body from consuming low-quality foods, and dehydrated skin from excess alcohol use (removing the beauty from sleep)!
Tips to increase sleep quality through physical health
To combat the lack of sleep side effects of physical health relating to achieving beauty sleep, it’s imperative to:
Include moderate forms of exercise into your weekly (3 times a week) routine; this may take the form of your favourite way to exercise - whether that be cardio, yoga, strength, or many others. Studies have shown the tremendous effects that exercise has on the duration and quality of sleep.
Take for example, an individual who participates in moderate aerobic exercise regularly reduces sleep onset time, thus falls asleep faster, and easier.
As for nutrition, a well-balanced diet consisting of healthy carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and vegetables in most meals is key.
When we consume nutrient-rich food regularly, we not only heal our gut - we also benefit more from the exercises we perform as our body has access to quality and pure sources of fuel. Healthy and whole foods can take the form of proteins (eg. chicken, beef, and fish), healthy fats (eg. extra virgin olive oil), your favourite vegetables, and healthy starches (eg. whole wheat bread and brown rice).
Avoid drinking & smoking
Excessive drinking and the habit of smoking wreaks havoc on your wellbeing - whether one realises or not.
It has been proven that smoking increases insomnia and causes a shorter sleep duration for its users. Though, to successfully quit a bad habit - it will take time, patience, and a positive regard towards oneself - but rest assured your future self will thank you for the long-term efforts put in!
How your environment affects sleep quality
The fourth and final pillar essential to getting a full night’s worth of beauty sleep is environmental - more specifically your bedroom environment which encompasses everything from ambience, hygiene, and bedroom products that help you unwind and relax!
A sleeping sanctuary that is warming, clean, quiet, and layered with quality bedding products aids your senses as well as provides comfort and support to your body from dusk till dawn.
It has been proven that environmental noise, light, and sleeping on dirty sheets causes all sorts of problems → from inhibiting a deeper sleep, decreasing melatonin levels, and itchy skin! Thus, the necessity for having a comforting environment has never been more prevalent.
Tips to create a hotel-worthy sleeping sanctuary
To create a sleeping sanctuary that is hotel-worthy, it is essential to:
Wash your sheets at least once per week - this will ensure the buildup of bacteria, oils, and such are removed; so what’s left is soft, fresh, and comforting sheets to whisk you away into sleeping well
Inviting bedroom ambience
Opt for warm coloured lighting, which creates a soothing and cosy atmosphere - ideal for winding down at night! Before turning in for the night, simply switch off all lighting to boost melatonin production, and minimise any sound that may cause you to wake mid-slumber.
Let’s not forget that your overall body will need some TLC, too! This should take the form of a quality, durable mattress that is suited to your weight.
Sleeping on a mattress that is supportive, yet comfortable will reduce any aches and pains that may be causing you to toss and turn at night, decreasing the quality of your sleep. Pair this quality mattress with a supportive pillow tailored to your preferred sleeping style for healthy spinal alignment!
The Bottom Line
Ensuring that your needs are met as best they can for each foundational health pillar is the start of a lifelong practice of experiencing beauty sleep night after night. With time, and by incorporating your very own lifestyle habits and what works best for you; a quality bedtime routine will develop that is uniquely yours. Sooner rather than later with beauty sleep, you will be waking up with naturally prettier skin, an improved sharper mind, and a comforted yet supported healthy body which will be the norm from this day forward!