Gorgeous skin starts with a good night’s sleep. Of course, you can “fake it” with the right makeup (see my Secret to the Universe ), but I always prefer the real thing. Danielle Diamond shows us how bedtime can be a beautiful thing.
“A well-spent day brings happy sleep” – Leonardo Da Vinci
Martha Stewart claims to thrive on four, Jennifer Lopez swears by a full eight to function. Read on to learn how many hours of sleep you really need, and the best tips to make them sound.
How to get a good night’s sleep:
Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. You’ll know your getting enough sleep when you naturally wake up at the same time without an alarm.
TRY THIS: Develop a schedule that allows time to unwind at night, and energize your morning.
Long days at work, away from natural light, can make your brain sleepy, and bright lights at night, from the TV or computer screen confuse your body’s production of melatonin and make it harder to sleep.
TRY THIS: Increase light exposure during the day:
- Remove your sunglasses in the morning and let light onto your face
- Spend more time outside during daylight.
- Let as much light into your home/workspace as possible.
- If necessary, use a light therapy box.
TRY THIS: Boost melatonin production at night:
- Turn off anything electronic that stimulates the mind. Record your favorite shows and watch them earlier in the day. If you read electronically, then choose a reader that isn’t backlit.
- Avoid bright lights before bed, use low-wattage bulbs instead.
- Make sure the room is dark in order to sleep deeply.
Create daytime habits that contribute to a good night’s rest.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, but at least 2 hours before bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol before bed, it reduces your sleep quality
- Cut down on caffeine- it can cause sleep problems up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it.
- Don’t eat big meals at night, and try to stop eating 3 hours before bedtime
- If you need a snack, pair tryptophan–containing foods with carbohydrates. This will calm the brain and allow you to sleep better.
TRY THIS: Eat half a turkey sandwich, or a small bowl of whole–grain, cereal before bed.
- Stay stress-free during the day, because all that residual fear, worry, and anger from 9-5 makes it difficult to sleep well.
TRY THIS: Practice yogic breathing to calm the body and neutralize stress. Use the 1:1:2 ratio breath. Inhale to the count of 4, then gently hold the breath for 4, and then exhale slowly to the count of 8.
Bedtime rituals: Do your kids have a peaceful nighttime routine? So should you.
- Make your bedroom sleep-friendly by eliminating noise with a sound machine or earplugs.
- Keep your room cool and make sure your bed is comfortable.
- Wind down with your favorite hobby or take a warm bath and listen to soft music.
- Prepare yourself for the next day; make your to-do list, pick out your clothes, etc.
- Incorporating relaxation techniques before bed is helpful to calm the body and mind; and restorative yoga is a great way to do so.
TRY THIS: legs up the wall pose
Some of Bobbi’s favorite all-natural sleep helpers:
A calcium and magnesium supplement encourages muscles to relax; a soothing herbal tea is a great bedtime ritual; and melatonin—a hormone your body produces naturally—taken as a supplement, can help control your sleep and wake cycles making it perfect for fighting jet lag.
Following these tips should ensure a good night’s sleep, and if all else fails, make sure you’ve checked under your mattress- there may just be a pea stuck under there!