One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to get a good night’s rest each and every night. Sleep improves how we feel physically, emotionally, and mentally. Not surprisingly, if you want to look and feel younger, sleep is your best answer.
How Sleep Helps
About a quarter of Americans suffer from chronic sleep loss. Yet, getting eight hours of sleep a night is imperative for maintaining good health. We lower our likelihood of severe illness when we sleep well, which includes heart disease and diabetes. Those aren’t the only benefits, however, as sleeping well can help skin stay firmer and younger while keeping weight down. When you don’t get the right amount of slumber, you’re more likely to experience stress. This stress creates cortisol, which packs on the pounds. It also inhibits metabolism and makes our memory worse. Overall, to keep feeling youthful, we need to improve how we sleep.
Comfort Is Key
To ensure you get a perfect night of rest, you need a high-quality mattress. If your mattress is on the older side, it may interfere with how well you sleep. Should you feel lumps, springs, or notice that you wake up feeling tired or achy, it’s time to replace it. The type of mattress you get largely depends on the way you sleep. Sleeping on your back, which is the best style to avoid wrinkles, needs a medium firm bed. Side sleepers need something soft to uplift their joints, whereas stomach sleepers benefit most from firm mattresses that support the lower back. Unfortunately, most of us sleep in a combination of styles. A memory foam mattress is the best overall choice, for every position. Because they can be expensive, you should always check reviews to compare warranties and purchase choices before making a decision.
Stick to Your Schedule
When we have a schedule for slumber, we tend to sleep better. That may mean resetting our sleep clock, so to speak. If you wake up often or don’t get tired at regular hours, try doing a 16-hour fast. This can help our bodies re-establish our circadian rhythm. Go to bed and wake at the same hour each day; routine will make it easier to rest regularly. Start by adjusting your schedule by 30 minutes a day for optimum efficiency. Devote time each evening to relaxation without technology. Don’t use your phone or watch TV, as the light and stimulation can keep us up. These small adjustments may lead to large change down the line.
Eat for Sleep
What you eat and when can have a direct impact on the quality of your sleep. Make sure your meals are spread throughout the day. This should keep you from feeling overly hungry at night and, as a result, eating a heavy meal or snacking before bed. Avoid any foods or drinks that can cause an upset stomach, as this can interrupt your sleep. Reduce your sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. If you do need a nibble before turning in, have a complex carb to boost sleepiness. Milk and a bite full of B vitamins can also help us feel ready for bed.
Reduce Your Stress
Our stress levels can keep us up at all hours of the night. Your mind may run over the same things again and again. Your heart may pound without warning, or your muscles might be tense. These are all indications you need to let go of stress. This is easier said than done, but it helps to incorporate relaxation into your nightly routine. Take a hot shower or a long bath, drink herbal tea, and read a good novel before bed. If you can, write in a journal to get negative thoughts out of your head. It can be anything, as long as it makes you feel relieved and relaxed.
We all want to keep our looks youthful and be energetic each day. Although we might hate to admit it, so-called “beauty sleep” is necessary for both. Thankfully, with a few tweaks, a new mattress, and stress reduction, we can sleep like a baby every night.
Article by Sheila Olson