The Ultimate Guide To Improving Your SleepBy See Girl Work
Mar. 22 2018, Published 4:05 a.m. ET
You’re probably knee-deep in building your career. Whether you’ve struck out on your own to start a business full-time, or you’re grinding full-time along with a side gig, or whether your hustle spans more slashes (creative/musician/accountant/yoga teacher) than you can count, you love doing your own thing and continuing to chip away at your goals.
But with all the work you’re putting into your career ambitions, it’s also important to put just as much effort into your health, your body and your soul. That means eating well, exercising, practicing meditation and getting enough beauty sleep.
Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. In fact, not getting enough sleep can impair your attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning and ability to problem solve.
Sleep deprivation can also hinder your memory, can make you gain weight and can age your skin. Most of us have been there. After a busy day, a good night’s sleep is often hard to come by.
You work all night revamping your website, drafting a new client proposal, editing photos from a recent shoot, or tallying up your expenses for the month. All before checking your Instagram feed one last time before finally hitting the sack.
The problem is—it’s 4:00am in the morning and your first client video conference is in four hours.
Shallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep is one thing, but chronic sleep loss can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines and dark circles under the eyes.
“Our skin is a big tell,” says Donna Regii, This Works Director, Brand & Retail Market Strategy, North America. “That’s why we’ve pioneered the belief that sleep is the first step in skincare.”
This Works is an award-winning British skincare brand (now exclusively available at Sephora Canada) with solutions formulated to work in harmony with your natural body clock and support skin performance through the 24 hours of the day—the night phase, the wake-up phase, the daytime and the evening phase.
“From our understanding of circadian rhythm, we know that sleep allows the skin to move into repair mode—creating new cells, replacing aged ones and removing harmful toxins.”
Through their partnership with leading neuroscientist Gaby Badre, their panel of 900 consumers who evaluate each product before it goes to market and their ongoing research in sleep science, This Works has become the expert in beauty sleep
“You can go to bed late, but skin repair and renewal doesn’t re-schedule.”
For good sleepers, skin systems can operate correctly and efficiently. But those who don’t get enough sleep risks poor stem cell activity, a drained complexion, signs of premature aging and loss of skin elasticity.
This Works skin solutions are developed to optimize your skin’s natural repair and renewal abilities to complete your beauty sleep cycle.
With the time change this past weekend and the loss of one hour of sleep, Donna was gracious enough to share her tips and tricks for getting a good night’s sleep.
Eat Well to Sleep Well
If your typical day consists of having a bowl of sugary cereal for breakfast, drinking coffee throughout the day and saving dinner for late in the evening, you’re not doing yourself any favours—especially when it comes to getting enough beauty sleep.
Get enough protein early in the day to set the stage for staying power and stable energy levels. Trying building your breakfast around 20-25g of protein from dairy, meats or nuts.
High-fat foods just before bedtime can make it harder to sleep. Say no to ice-cream or chocolate before diving into bed and instead reach for a little bit of Greek yogurt with fruit if it helps you sleep.
No Coffee After 2:00pm
Caffeine primarily prevents sleep by blocking the transmitter that tells your brain that your body is tired.
Caffeine combats sleep and feeling tired during the day, but it can also prevent you from getting enough beauty sleep at night.
Having a coffee meetup for work or with a new potential client too close to bedtime can throw off your entire circadian rhythm. Opt for an herbal tea or decaf.
No Alcohol After 9:00pm
You may think you sleep better after a glass of wine at the end of a long busy day, but ‘passing out’ after a nightcap does not count as deep, quality sleep.
Instead, it reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep—the stage of sleep when people dream and your skin actually starts to restore itself.
“Toxins from alcohol interfere with our natural deep sleep.” explains Donna. “It’s best to skip the glass of wine after 9:00pm.”
Create A Sleep Ritual
Just like having a bedtime routine as a kid, having a sleep ritual as an adult can signal to your body and your brain that you’re done for the day and it’s time to unwind.
“During the evening, around 6:00-10:00pm, our body wants to naturally unwind. But we don’t let ourselves unwind anymore. We need to reclaim our unwind time!”
A sleep ritual can be an important part of your daily self-care. Take a warm bath, steep a cup of herbal tea, moisturize your skin and hydrate your face, slip under the covers and read a chapter of your favorite book.
A sleep ritual must-have and a cult favorite at This Works is the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. It features an all-natural aroma therapeutic Superblend of Lavender, Vetivert and Chamomile to calm both mind and body.
“Lavender reduces anxiety and improves sleep quality. We call it ‘chill-out’ in a bottle.”
Keep Devices Out Of The Bedroom
You may think nothing of scrolling through Pinterest while laying in bed at night, but the light emitted from your tablet or smartphone is enough to make your brain think it’s daytime and that you should be awake and alert—making it harder to achieve deep sleep.
“The blue light depresses the melatonin in our brains.”
Keep devices out of the bedroom. If you use your phone as your alarm, consider investing in an alarm clock instead.
Reclaim Your Unwind Time!
According to a 2017 Statistics Canada report, 55% of Canadian women have trouble getting sleep or staying asleep and 1 in 3 Canadians sleep fewer than the nightly hours recommended for optimal physical and mental health.
“The reason why This Works works is that it mimics the detoxifying actions of the skin. So even when we snooze our skin doesn’t lose.”
Don’t subscribe to the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality. Yes, you’re building an empire or creating your dream career, but getting enough beauty sleep is a legit thing and not just for fairytale princesses. It’s for us women warriors too!