Sleep makes an enormous difference in your overall health, and sleep habits show up in your skin, too. It all goes back to inflammation. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body increases its production of the stress hormone cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels raise your body’s inflammatory response, putting your entire system on alert. When this condition persists, real health problems can begin, which is why adjusting to the daylight savings time change with intention is so important.
Here’s the scenario: you’ve been struggling each night since the time change because the clock indicates you should be heading to bed but it still feels like it’s an hour earlier and you have energy to burn, so you stay up later and feel exhausted in the morning. Sound familiar? The time change seems minor at a glance, but the affects of losing an hour can build up and have a lasting impact. If you’re loosing sleep because of daylight savings, it’s time to reset your internal clock. Need some motivation?
Lack of sleep can worsen existing skin conditions, interrupt your body’s ability to repair damaged cells and increase the breakdown of collagen and hyaluronic acid, both of which keep skin looking youthful.
Of course, these are just the skin-related risks associated with poor sleep. When I need to reset my internal clock and make sure I’m getting enough sleep, I focus on preparing myself to sleep deeply and soundly. It’s all about shutting down and disconnecting from the busyness of the day. These three strategies are a tremendous help for getting into sleep mode.
- Set the bedroom temperature somewhere between 65 and 67 degrees. Cooler temps help trigger your body’s sleep mode and help you sleep longer and more soundly through the night. Just get under a warm blanket so that you’re not uncomfortable. Trust me, I don’t enjoy the cold in general, but this works.
- Drink a small cup of warmed milk or almond milk with vanilla and a dash of honey. Admittedly, I’m not aware of any science that backs this strategy, but I always feel soothed and slowed down by warm, slightly sweet almond milk just before bed. It’s nourishing and comforting, and it makes my stomach feel settled and satiated just before bed, giving that drowsy “let’s go to sleep” vibe.
- Use lavender essential oil and deep breathing to shift your mindset and empty your thoughts. This only takes a minute, but the results are powerful. Once you get into bed, put a drop of lavender essential oil in the palm of your hands, rub together and cup your hands lightly over your nose. Breathe in slow motion in and out for 20 breaths, focusing on the scent of lavender and your breath. After 20, lights out. Your mind should feel clear, your senses should feel relaxed and you should drift off in no time.
If you’re one to lie in bed, thoughts racing, hoping to feel a wave of sleep hit you then give these strategies a shot. Whether it is daylight savings time or something else that has disrupted your sleep, these tips will get you on track.