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We all have our “magic” number, but UK sleep expert and Co-Founder of The Sleep School, Dr. Guy Meadows, asserts that we are simply not getting enough. He believes that our bodies need eight continuous hours of sleep to receive the full regenerative benefits of the nightly act; in addition to making us feeling tired and sluggish, a lack of sleep is damaging to our appearance. “New skin cells grow and replace older cells, explaining why when you restrict your sleep it shows on your face,” Meadows explains. So how can we improve our beauty sleep? Dr. Meadows shares his thoughts with Daily Mail.
- Set an Alarm Dr. Meadows suggests setting an evening alarm, indicating that it is time to wind down activities and prepare for bed. The National Sleep Foundation asserts, “Establishing a pre-bedtime routine—a.k.a practicing good ‘sleep hygiene’—is likely to help you fall asleep more easily at night and stay asleep until morning.”
- Sleep on Your Back We all know that sleeping on our stomachs and sides can lead to permanent wrinkles, but did you know that sleeping on one’s back allows the head, neck, and spine to rest in a neutral position? This wards off back and neck pain, and can also prevent acid reflux.
- Switch Off Screens That means all screens — tablet, laptop, television, digital clock, and phones! The first hour of sleep is often referred to as the “golden hour,” because this is when the body experiences an increase in activity with growth hormone production and release. “If you’re going to bed late or struggling to fall off to sleep this repair process fails and therefore skin integrity is likely to be challenged,” Dr. Meadows explains.
- Tidy Up Physical clutter can also clutter our minds, leading to unnecessary stress and anxiety. This is when the body releases cortisol, which breaks down collagen. Collagen is key is maintaining skin’s structure and elasticity.
A new survey conducted by the meditation app, Calm.com, concluded that Sunday is, by far, the cruelest night of the week for those having trouble sleeping. Among the 4,279 Americans and Britons surveyed, three times as many of the subjects slept poorly on Sunday than on any other single night. The biggest reason is that during the weekend, one’s normal sleep pattern is disturbed, according to Dr. Steve Orma, a clinical psychologist and insomnia specialist in San Francisco. Anxiety about returning to work on Monday is often a secondary factor, he suggests. “Sunday may be the day of rest but it seems the night of restlessness,” explains Michael Acton Smith, co-founder of Calm, which many users rely on to help them sleep. “Thursday, in contrast, seems the true night of rest.”
In response to the study, Calm launched an innovative sleep-inducing subscription series of bedtime stories for grown-ups, called Sleep Stories. Calm’s more than thirty tales mix soothing words, music and sound-effects to help adult listeners wind down and drift off to dreamland. They have now been listened to over 10 million times since their launch at the end of last year and Dr. Orma, himself, has participated in one of Calm’s non-fiction stories.