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Is there really such a thing as ‘beauty sleep’

Beauty sleep is not a myth, sleep is a vital part of life, essential for physical and mental regeneration. Without sleep we not only look tired, but our bodies also are tired and can’t function efficiently this shows in our mental clarity and the appearance of our skin. A recent study group proved that the most ageing thing to a person’s appearance was lack of sleep. Lack of sleep renders the body unable to regenerate fully this can result in dark under eye circles, a dull and sallow complexion and blemishes. The circulatory system is compromised reducing the nutrients being supplied to the skin and reducing lymph flow removing toxins. All of which are going to increase the visible appearance of ageing, not conducive of a beautiful complexion.

Here are a few tips to aid in a restful night’s kip and to keep you looking and feeling beautiful.

Turn it off! Clear your sleep space of electrical equipment, the bedroom should be for sleep and sex, not work. Computers and phones emit electromagnetic fields (EMF’s) that interfere with the brain’s sleep patterns and speeds brain degeneration

Avoid caffeine after lunch. This includes tea and also dark chocolate, this can keep you awake for hours! Caffeine can interfere with your sleep for up to 10 hours after drinking.

Regular bedtimes. Try to go to bed at a similar time every night.

Watch the temperature. Keep the room cool, overheating will immediately rouse the mind, as will ice cold feet, a cool room and bed socks to keep those toes warm is ideal.

Bathe! Run a deep bath, not too hot as this is only going to stimulate the body too much. Fill a muslin with fresh or dried sage and lavender heads, secure with thread and run the bath water through this, sage is very grounding, while lavender relaxes, or for an easier option soak in a bath of your favourite night time tea bags, chamomile and lavender soothe the nervous system, and while soaking you can also enjoy sipping a cup of hot herbal tea.

Enjoy a massage. Slowly massage an oil all over your body into damp skin, a lavender or chamomile infused oil is perfect, wrap up in fluffy dressing gown and slowly and deeply massage your feet, use your thumbs to press firmly all over the soles, pressing and holding to stimulate reflex points, this takes energy and mental focus away from an overactive mind.

Lovely lavender. Hang a lavender bag by the side of your bed, or even under your pillow.

If you have been tossing and turning for hours don’t get upset, get up and make yourself a hot drink (caffeine-free) and read a book. To stop an overactive mind from dwelling on your stresses, get into someone else’s story.

Deep breathing. Close your eyes and try taking deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last.

Relax. Use a classic relaxation technique – starting at your toes, tense all the muscles as tightly as you can, then completely relax. Work your way up from your feet to the top of your head.

Visualising a peaceful place. Close your eyes and imagine a place that is calming and peaceful for you. Concentrate on how relaxed this makes you feel.

Image:istock.com/Tatiana Dyuvbanova

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