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Sleep and Your Skin

Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than a night spent tossing and turning – especially this weekend when the clocks go forward and we’re set to lose an hour’s sleep! It can leave you feeling lethargic, dull, and cranky and often dreading the night ahead. Thankfully, though, the sleep experts at This Works have a few tricks up their sleeve when it comes to getting a great night’s sleep…

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About one in five people has some difficulty with sleeping, but it is important to understand the role of good sleep on our general health and appearance – especially the state of our skin, which is the largest organ in the body.
It is generally accepted that during sleep the body can undergo repair and detoxification. Poor sleep patterns are linked to poor health – and those who sleep less than six hours a night have a shorter life expectancy than those who sleep for longer. So sleep has a profound effect on our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing

Hormones play a large part in our general health and development. Many of these are produced during sleep and have beneficial effects on the body’s wellbeing. For example: as levels of stimulant hormones such as adrenaline and corticosteroids drop in sleep, human growth hormone (HGH) increases and growth and repair of cells are encouraged. HGH also encourages the repair of muscles and bones – which might indicate why sleep is so important at times of injury or illness.

Melatonin, which helps to control our sleep cycle, is produced as darkness falls and our core body temperature drops.
Getting enough sleep can also help the resist infection, as some studies have shown that moderate amounts of sleep deprivation reduce the levels of white blood cells which form part of the body’s defence system. The health and appearance of skin is especially affected by sleep achievement. No amount of moisturising will make up for poor sleep habits. The top layer of the skin (epidermis) is made of closely packed dead cells which are constantly shed during day. During deep sleep, the skin’s metabolic rate speeds up and there is a reduction in the breakdown of proteins – the building blocks of the body. Sadly daytime sleep does not have this effect!

There are practical things you can do, not only to improve your sleep, but to refresh and protect your body’s health but also the glowing appearance of your skin – at any age:

1. Ensure your bedroom is dark, cool and comfy – clear it of clutter.
2. Use aromatherapy oils and sprays to aid relaxation.
3. Get into a good sleep routine – try to go to bed and get up at regular times.
4. Use relaxation techniques to help dispel stress and worry.
5. Eat as healthily as you can – especially food rich in tryptophan – essential in helping improve the brain chemistry (turkey, steak, chicken, pumpkin seeds – also other nuts and some vegetables like beans).
6. Keep hydrated – neither your body systems nor your skin will thank you for being dried out!

Check out the full This Works collection, including their Deep Sleep and Sleep Plus ranges, at The Birchbox Shop.