Slumber can seem like a passive event, but a lot actually happens while you’re catching z’s. It’s a restorative activity in some important ways, and sleep can have a strong impact on your skin’s health and appearance. Here’s how to ensure your skin is getting the best benefits whenever you take a snooze.
#1 Select a smart sleep position
While it might seem unrelated at first glance, the position in which you sleep can influence your skin’s appearance. As Plexus explains, sleeping on your back might be the best position for avoiding wrinkles. Snoozing on your side or stomach can push your face into positions which can contribute to a wrinkled appearance. While sleeping on your back can alleviate pressure and make the best use of gravity.
Trying to change your sleep position can seem impossible, but some experts feel with some training and tools, you can switch to sleeping on your back. Start with a firm mattress, and add supportive pillows for best results. Elevating your legs can help your spine remain in proper alignment, and there are pillows with appropriate thickness and support for alleviating pressure on your neck and shoulders, encouraging you to stay on your back.
#2 Change your pillowcase
Equipping your bed for healthier skin goes beyond your mattress and pillows. Choosing linens can make a difference as well, particularly your pillowcase. There are several pillowcase options out there which are designed to help improve your skin’s appearance, from smooth silks to high-tech fabrics designed to whisk away bacteria and leave you with a more appropriate environment for healthier skin. Some even contain cream to encourage healing while you snooze, and there are versions that offer essential oils which can not only help heal blemishes but also promote sounder sleep.
#3 Adjust your schedule
No matter what position you sleep in or what bedding you use, going with insufficient slumber is a no-no for your skin. MD Edge points out you’re probably aware of some of the more obvious effects of sleep deprivation on your skin, such as a pale complexion, bags under your eyes, drooping eyelids, and dark circles under your eyes. However, burning the midnight oil has deeper effects, slowing your skin’s ability to heal, reducing skin hydration, inhibiting collagen growth, and worsening skin texture. It can also lead to bouts of acne, psoriasis, allergies, and eczema, due to increased inflammation.
Putting yourself on a proper sleep schedule can be a key to improving skin health. Some research indicates most adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. If you feel groggy through the day, rely on caffeine to feel alert, or have trouble concentrating, those are signs you aren’t getting enough sleep.
Setting a specific time to go to bed each night and get up in the morning can help ensure you get enough restorative slumber. Be sure to stick to your schedule, even on your days off. To help unwind, plan on a restful evening routine. Consider setting out the things you’ll need first thing in the morning and doing some journaling to help clear your mind. Reading can also help reframe your mindset and improve relaxation, and soothing music can help put your mind in a restful state.
#4 Avoid inflammation
Going on too little sleep isn’t the only sleep-related concern which can cause inflammation. If you are inclined to drink more than one serving of alcohol in the evening or if you enjoy salty snacks after lunchtime, those habits could be contributing to inflammation under your eyes. The alcohol and sodium, combined with lying down for several hours, can lead to the pooling of fluids under your eyes we commonly refer to as “bags.” If you get bags and circles under your eyes in spite of temperance, you can apply a caffeine-based cream to help combat inflammation and help your skin appear taut.
#5 Pump up humidity
Boosting the humidity level in your sleep environment can keep your skin healthier and more hydrated. Dry, cold air can deplete the moisture in your skin, leading to a flaky, dull, damaged appearance, and it can even accelerate aging. Not only that, but more humidity can also ease snoring, which is disruptive to sleep cycles. Different types of humidifiers offer different benefits. There are whole-house, warm-mist and cool-mist, and ultrasonic humidifiers. The size of the space and other factors can weigh in on what will work best for you, so examine pros and cons to select the best one for your needs.
#6 Add an overnight mask
Periodically treating yourself to a spa-like experience in the way of an overnight mask can bolster your skin’s health. There are recipes for pampering every skin type, from helping to heal dry, damaged skin, to combating oily accumulations. Some can help old scars disappear. And you can even concentrate a mask in an oily area, such as an oily T-zone. Plan to cover your pillow with a towel to protect it from messy ingredients.
If you prefer not to fuss with homemade products, there are plenty of readymade overnight masks. There is a wide variety for managing all sorts of concerns; for instance, some focus on restoring elasticity, some improve texture, some are better for those with sensitive skin, and some offer a substantial boost in hydration.
#7 Follow doctor’s orders
Do you suffer from sleep apnea? Many people who are prescribed a CPAP machine to manage sleep apnea symptoms don’t use them or don’t use them as prescribed. However, some studies indicate using your CPAP can lead to healthier, younger-looking skin. It can alleviate forehead wrinkles, reduce puffiness under your eyes, and ease redness over your cheeks and under your eyes. What’s more, it can help you get better quality sleep, reducing the interruption of oxygen into your body and helping you feel more rested in the morning. You can potentially feel and look more vibrant, as well as improve your general health.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your skin’s appearance, you can accomplish a great deal while you’re sound asleep. Look for opportunities to improve your habits and environment. And think about adding a product or two to help your skin’s health. Thanks to a few smart choices, you can sleep your way to better skin.
About the Author:
Jennifer McGregor co-created Public Health Library (http://publichealthlibrary.