The cost of a poor night's sleep - 5 Best Practices to avoid it

Waking up and jumping out of bed is usually the ambition, but the reality is often a long way off. Poor sleep has become an epidemic in our culture, and it's taking a toll on our beauty. If you're not getting enough sleep, it can show on your skin, in the form of dark circles and premature wrinkles. Not to mention, a tired appearance can make you look older than you are. So what's creating negative outcomes for us, and how do we best focus on a positive outcome, and a spring in our step in the morning? Here's 5 best practices to a good night's sleep.

1) Establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Our bodies love routines, and when it comes to sleep, that means going to bed and waking up at relatively the same time each day. This will train your body to know when it's time to wind down and when it's time to wake up, making it easier for you to fall asleep—and stay asleep—throughout the night.

2) Make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep. In order to get deep, restful sleep, your bedroom should be dark, quiet, and cool. Consider investing in blackout curtains or an eye mask if light is an issue. And if noise is keeping you up at night, try using a white noise machine or earplugs to block out unwanted sound. As far as temperature goes, most people find that sleeping in a cool room (around 65 degrees Fahrenheit) is ideal.

3) Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake well into the evening hours, so it's best to avoid caffeine after 2pm if possible. And though drinking alcohol before bed may make you feel drowsy at first, it actually disrupts your sleep later on in the night. So it's best to avoid alcohol altogether if you're looking to get a good night's sleep.

4) Disconnect from electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The bright screens of our electronic devices emit blue light that suppresses melatonin production—the hormone that makes us sleepy—so it's important to disconnect from electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime in order to give your body ample time to wind down naturally. Instead of scrolling through social media or watching TV before bed, try reading a book or taking some relaxation breaths instead.   

5) Practice some form of relaxation before bedtime each night. Whether it's reading or listening to calm music or taking some relaxation breaths, finding a way to relax before bedtime will help prepare your body for sleep. Once you've established a routine that works for you, stick with it as much as possible in order to get the most benefit from it.

If you're not getting enough sleep at night, it can take a toll on your beauty—and your overall health. But by following these simple tips, you can get on track for a better night's sleep—and ultimately feel more rested and refreshed each day.

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