There’s no prize for the martyrdom of sleep deprivation. Yesteryear’s burning the candle at both ends and I-worked-all-night hustler rhetoric seems as backward as hustle culture itself. The #Girlboss has been replaced with simply ‘the founder’, health is the new wealth and dark circles are no longer a badge of honour. Yep, getting a good night's sleep is set to take over after-work drinks as the busy Australian’s favourite pastime (well, maybe).
In 2022 it seems we can’t get enough quality time with our silky pillows for a blockbuster night of zs. No really, we can’t. Did you know a lack of quality sleep affects up to 4 in 10 Australian adults? That’s almost half your office floor who’s woken up needing a dozen coffees, and looking like they need a dozen coffees.
But herein lies the problem, all that’s going on in the world, the deadlines, social stresses and even that darn possum outside the window can keep you up longer than you expected. Getting your beauty sleep isn’t always a bed of roses. In light of World Sleep Day, when the sandman fails to visit you on any given night, it’s less about faking it to make it and more about just giving yourself a chance.
Here’s how you can wake up still looking like you’ve had the best 8 hours sleep of your life.
1. DO YOUR SKIN SERVICE
Dehydrated skin is the calling card of a bad night’s sleep. Fine lines and wrinkles, breakouts and patchy skin can be stopped in its tracks by simply hydrating enough to keep your natural glow. This starts with downing a big glass of water and removing your makeup before you go to bed to prevent congestion and breakouts.
Try a sheet mask before bedtime for a super-injection of hydrating ingredients in an effort to reduce future puffy-face, with enough vitamin-boosting oomph to carry you over ‘til the morning.
To truly look like you’ve woken up, don’t forget to remove the dirt and grime that emerged overnight with a refreshing face wash. This will set the tone to allow your sleep-recovery beauty products to really give it some.
During the day, or as part of your morning routine use an SPF to protect your skin from UV damage and premature aging, not to mention the ingredients can lift your face from sleepy to glowy. Try using a face oil massaged in with a chilled facial roller to help cool and soothe your skin. Or do as the catwalk queens do; fill a bowl or sink with ice cubes to submerge your visage into, in order to combat puffy eyes and calm inflammation.
2. UP YOUR BEDROOM ANTE
First things first, your bed is not the dining room table or tv lounge. To truly reap the benefits of bedtime, create a sleep-inducing bedroom in an environment focussed on maximum comfort and minimal reasons to stay awake.
Use a high-performing mattress and pillow that suits your needs so that you are always comfortable enough to relax. It also ensures, along with the best pillow, that your spine gets proper support to avoid aches and pains that can have you looking haggard in the morning. Next, look at your bedding. It must be comfortable to the touch and made from fibres that help maintain a comfortable temperature during the night. Think; ethical silk, hemp and bamboo.
The breathable fibres and natural hydrating properties of peace silk pillowcases will help you to retain essential oils and absorb your skincare, so you wake hydrated with a supple complexion. Not to mention, it’s super comfortable and highly relaxing (not that we’re biased or anything, it’s just the truth).
Cultivate peace and quiet by keeping noise to a minimum. If you can’t eliminate nearby sources of noise, consider drowning them out with a fan or get an app featuring white noise or sleep sounds. Earplugs or headphones will work wonders if certain sounds are preventing you from relaxing into sleep. For your smell receptors, a light scent can help ease you into sleep. Essential oils with natural aromas, such as lavender are known to soothe and relax (and it's a scent you’ll never tire of).
3. DON’T MAKE LIGHT OF THE LIGHT
Light disruption is a pretty big deal when it comes to getting proper sleep, and waking up looking like that 8-hour girl.
Excess light exposure can throw off your sleep and circadian rhythm. Using blackout curtains over your windows or a sleep mask over your eyes can block light and prevent it from interfering with your rest.
Blue light from your devices can reduce hormones like melatonin, which help you relax and get deep sleep. To reduce nighttime blue light exposure, you can install an app that blocks blue light on your smartphones and devices. Get into the habit of turning off the TV and any bright lights for 2 hours (yes, 2!) before heading to bed.
4. LET THE DAY INFLUENCE THE NIGHT
Setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep starts as soon as your alarm goes off. Our internal clocks are regulated by light exposure, and as sunlight has the strongest effect, try and get those rays of vitamin D by getting outside or opening up windows or blinds to natural light early in the day. This will help set your circadian rhythm on the path to sleep success.
Get moving. A no-brainer for a world of sleep-inducing benefits and glowing, radiant skin, daily exercise initiates change in energy use and body temperature to promote a pretty solid sleep, provided you don’t go pumping some crazy iron too close to bedtime. And if you don’t get the sleep you need, exercise will make it look like you did.
We love coffee. Love it! But sometimes it affects our sleep. As can tea, sugary sodas, and energy drinks. Keep an eye on your caffeine intake and avoid it later in the day when you know it can be that final barrier to falling asleep.
5. NO QUICK FIXES
It can be so tempting to jump on a quick-fix bandwagon for sleep, but consider the long-term effects. Most quick fixes are unhealthy and will leave you looking and feeling groggier than if you only had a few hours naturally.
For example, sleeping pills are unlikely to help with insomnia in the long term according to reports and might do more harm than good. Similarly, with prescription medication for chronic pain to temporary sleep relief, there is no evidence that this works long-term.
Then there’s the subject of alcohol… While you might enjoy that sleepy feeling from red wine or two, alcohol can disrupt your sleep later, which can possibly lead to frequent waking, night sweats, headaches, and restlessness. Not pretty. According to the Sleep Health Foundation, binge drinking can affect melatonin levels for up to a week (eek!).
Lastly, drop the sleep calculators with no scientific backing. It might be best not to let an app determine when you should fall asleep, as this will probably have the reverse effect when all you can think is, “why aren’t I asleep yet?”.
For more ways to support your sleeping patterns and waking up looking like an 8-hour goddess, read up on why it’s sustainable, skin-saving, and just plain suitable to sleep on peace silk.