Sleeping Beauty

Above: If you thought catching a few extra winks is for wussies think again. It’s time for a little beauty sleep.
Above: If you thought catching a few extra winks is for wussies think again. It’s time for a little beauty sleep.

“Honey, you’ll look like hell if you don’t get a good night’s sleep,” Elizabeth Taylor said during an interview with fashion designer Michael Kors for Harper’s Bazaar in 2006. Her now famous words have been reprinted countless times and spoken as sage advice ever since.

Fact is, women have been referencing beauty sleep for decades. Mostly as a catchall phrase to sum up their appearance, an excuse to leave the party early or as an easy way out of a little nocturnal hanky-panky. The truth is though: Liz was right. We all need our beauty sleep…and not just the ladies.

“Getting the right amount of sleep is crucial to cell growth and hormone regulation in our bodies, which is tied to health and beauty benefits,” affirms Michelle W. Book, an in-house holistic nutritionist for the Canadian Health Food Association. “So simply put, if you don’t get enough sleep, you may not look or feel your best.” Here’s what you need to know:

What is Beauty Sleep?
It’s getting the seven to eight hours of quality sleep your body needs to rejuvenate itself, including your complexion, every night.

When you sleep, your skin makes new collagen, which prevents sagging, fine lines and wrinkles and even acne. Quality zzzzz’s also ensure your body’s blood is pumped to your face for a nice healthy glow, helping banish puffiness especially under your eyes.  Plus, a good night’s sleep can “help you deal with stressful situations more clearly and increase your decision-making capacity,” adds Book.

Do men need beauty sleep as equally as women?
Simply put: yes! So don’t view your sleep needs in terms of gender, warns Book. Think lifestyle, instead. “If you live a very active lifestyle, you’re going to need more energy,” says Book. “You will require more sleep for your body and mind to recharge. A good night’s sleep also supports your immune system, keeping you happy and healthy, while preventing serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and early mortality.”

How can you make sure you’re getting quality sleep?
Shut down the electronics at bedtime. This means cutting down on your screen time, like checking WhatsApp on your smartphone, answering emails on your Mac Book Pro and watching Netflix late into the night. “This can seriously affect your sleep patterns as the blue light emitted from devices confuses our biological clocks,” affirms Book. And refrain from drinking too many liquids right before you jump between the sheets. There’s nothing like a late-night bathroom break to interrupt your rest and have you tossing and turning in the wee hours.

Can’t sleep?
While Book recommends speaking with your doctor, she also suggests taking a supplement like calcium, Vitamin D, magnesium or natural sleep aid melatonin before bed to help your mind and body wind down. “Magnesium is a great mineral and addition to your sleep-seeking toolkit,” adds Brook. “It calms the nervous system, induces relaxation and reduces blood pressure while taking Vitamin D can also help you sleep longer.”

Adriana Ermter

Adriana Ermter

Adriana is an award-winning writer and editor. The former beauty director for FASHION magazine and editor-in-chief of Salon and of Childview magazines has hosted beauty videos for fashionmagazine.com, as well as contributed to Men’s FASHION, Chatelaine and chatelaine.com, Flare and flare.com, Huffington Post Canada, National Post, AmongMen.com, thekit.ca, iVillage.ca and thewhaleandtherose.com. She lives in Toronto with her very spoiled feline, Trixie-Belle, and a fantastically large perfume collection.

You may follow Adriana on Twitter: @AErmter and on Instagram: AdrianaErmter.

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