Sleep is essential for the body to rejuvenate, and with deep rejuvenation comes a well-rested glow. There’s a reason ample sleep is called “beauty sleep,” as it truly improves your appearance. Without getting the recommended eight hours of sleep per night, your skin, hair, nails and attitude might bear the burden.
There are several strategies you can use to make the most of your slumber time and wake up more beautiful. These are not gimmicks or fads but well-established methods to enhance your body’s natural ability to replenish and repair. These are steps you can follow throughout the day and make a part of your regular routine. You’ll notice that not only do you wake up and look better, but you also may start to feel more energized and relaxed.
Better Health With Hydration
There is no substitute for staying properly hydrated. The human body uses water for nearly every cellular function. Strive to drink over 65 ounces of water a day. Sodas, juice and coffee don’t count, only water. Many health complaints arise from dehydration. Without drinking enough water, your digestion will suffer and so will your energy level. Your skin will be drier and flakier, and even your hair can become drier. Develop a habit of drinking a glass of water before sleeping and immediately upon waking. This will assist your natural elimination processes, boost your health and amplify your glow.
Vitamin B for Beauty
B vitamins are essential for new hair, nail and skin growth. These water-soluble vitamins are best obtained through dietary sources like spinach, leafy greens, lean meat and whole grains. Vitamin B-12, in particular, has been dubbed the “beauty vitamin” because of its role in maintaining healthy hair and skin. Vitamin B can also be used to improve hair texture and growth rate along with hair-optimizing therapies such as Nioxin hair growth.
Avoid Expensive Skin Products and Creams
Expensive face creams and body moisturizers are commercially available, each one claiming to be the next fountain of youth or magical elixir for radiant skin. Instead of spending hundreds a year on products that are often heavy with unnecessary and potentially toxic chemicals, opt for a simpler approach to moisturizing your skin. Inexpensive pure oils such as almond oil, coconut oil and grape seed oil are all excellent emollient moisturizers when applied topically. These oils absorb quickly and leave no residue. They are free from additives and preservatives. Experiment with different oils to see which one you like best. Other options include high-quality olive oils, vitamin E oil and hempseed oil. Choose an oil that is food-grade and ideally certified as organic. Applying oil before you sleep is a great time to reap its beauty benefits.
Get Your Essential Protein
Without a doubt, you won’t look as beautiful if you don’t get enough dietary protein. Dietary protein is the human body’s building block and necessary for cellular regeneration. At every meal, include at least one source of lean protein. Good sources include lean chicken, turkey, beef and fish as well as vegetarian options such as lentils, beans and tofu. If you are not getting enough protein in your diet, you are also likely to feel fatigued. A combination of dietary protein and proper sleep can work wonders for your health as well as your appearance.
Breathe More Deeply
Breathing more deeply throughout the day can have immense benefits on your overall health and appearance. By oxygenating your blood through slow, methodical breathing, you improve circulation, immunity and your sense of well-being. You can also practice deep breathing for 10 minutes prior to sleeping. Simply sit in a comfortable position, and breathe in and out as slowly as possible, filling your lungs with each inhalation and fully emptying your lungs with each exhalation. You will feel more relaxed and will likely fall asleep faster. Higher oxygen levels in the blood are associated with slowing the aging process as well.
Stretch Before and After Sleep
Simply stretching your body before sleeping and immediately upon waking can help you sleep deeper and wake up feeling more refreshed. Stretching has been proven to improve circulation and support a relaxed state of mind. Don’t overdo it — simply choose several easy stretches that feel good to you. If you watch mammals in the wild, most of them stretch upon waking up. Even dogs do the “downward dog.” Reap the benefits of stretching for a few minutes a day while contributing to the quality of your sleep.
Circulation is another well-established key to health and beauty — even longevity. When we sleep, our circulation naturally decreases due to the supine position and the tendency toward sleeping in positions that cut off blood flow to certain areas. There are several ways to improve circulation, and two of the easiest ways are doing moderate daily exercise and gently massaging yourself. Your daily exercise can consist of walking, light jogging or simply dancing around the house. Your self-massage can be massaging your legs and arms with your hands, pressing gently into the muscles. These strategies for improving circulation are effective and free and will help you achieve your goal of better circulation while sleeping at night.
About the Author: Sylvia James is a longtime aesthetician, nutritionist and freelance writer.