How Sleep Can Affect Your Health & How To Create A Healthy Night-Time Routine
It may sound simple, but creating a healthy nighttime routine is something that many of us struggle to do. Doing so will help improve your sleep quality... and in turn, so many other aspects of your health! Here are just some ways:
Sleep is a time when your body works to repair itself, and the benefits it has on your skin is no different! First and foremost, there is an increase of blood flow to the skin while you’re sleeping (which helps achieve that healthy glow we all crave!). Not to mention collagen stores are working hard to rebuild. Sleep deprivation on the other hand can lead to the appearance of dull, puffy skin (and eyes).
Just like everything else (gut, skin, immunity), stress and sleep are intimately linked! Not only can stress affect both sleep quality and duration, insufficient sleep can increase stress levels. Typically, our cortisol levels start to drop in the evening as our body prepares for sleep. Feelings of stress increase cortisol levels, which at night, can interfere with the release of melatonin (the sleep-inducing hormone).
Lack of sleep can not only increase your chances of getting sick, it can also affect how fast you recover from illnesses such as viruses or the common cold and flu. When we’re asleep, our immune system releases proteins called cytokines which target infection and inflammation. To fight infection or inflammation, there needs to be an increased number of cytokines. With sleep deprivation, however, comes a decrease in the production of these protective cytokines. Shop the Vita Life Immune shot here.
Did you know that a lack of sleep is linked to overeating? Yep! In particular, the overconsumption of unhealthy foods AND excess sugar. This has a lot to do with the two hormones that help regulate hunger - ghrelin and leptin - which are altered in response to sleep, or lack thereof. When our bodies don’t get enough sleep, we experience a spike in ghrelin levels (stimulates appetite) and decrease in leptin (the satiety hormone which communicates with your brain when you are full).
How To Create A Healthy Night-Time Routine
Now let's turn out attention to the infamous 'blue light' - the common culprit to a restless night’s sleep that we are all very much aware of! The blue light emitted from tech devices disrupts your body’s natural circadian rhythm AND slows down the production of melatonin.
By switching off all tech devices (smartphone, tablets and TV) at least an hour before bed, you’re giving your body the best chance to relax and unwind. Investing in a pair of blue light blockers is also a great idea in general!
Here are some of our favourite tips for creating a healthy night-time routine:
- Invest in a pair of blue light blockers when using technology (you'll find Baxter Blue over on the GoodnessMe Shop!)
- Make friends with magnesium: Did you know that magnesium plays a role in over 300 chemical reactions in the body? Yep! It's super important to sleep, stress and muscle repair amongst other benefits, but many of us are not meeting our daily magnesium requirements. We love Raw Medicine's Wild Berry Flavour magnesium powder. Simply add a teaspoon to a glass of water, mix and enjoy.
Top tip: You can even enjoy a relaxing bath with magnesium and lavender for added sleep benefits (Shop the Weleda Lavender Relaxing Bath Milk here).
- Switch off an hour before bed and instead, read a book (check out these awesome Affirmation Bookmarks)
- Limit your caffeine intake at night and treat yourself to a calming herbal tea instead
- Embrace your evening beauty regimen (This includes teeth brushing! You'll find the TePe Toothbrush and Grants Australia Toothpaste in the July Sleep Box)
- Jot down your to-do list or any worries you may have on a notepad to help clear your mind
- Go to bed at the same time every night
- Ensure your room is dark with no distracting lights
- Turn your phone onto flight mode and or leave it in another room
Join our FREE 14 Day Better Sleep Challenge kicking off 20th July 2020! You automatically gain access when you subscribe to the GoodnessMe July Box! Click here to learn more.