Well. What a week to be out of action. We saw the advent of the Chinese New Year – welcome the intuitive snake – on Sunday. On the very same day we saw Argo, Django Unchained and many other worthy opponents sweep up at the beautiful BAFTAS.
Did you see the fabulous Helen Mirren’s pink locks? Love her.
Then it was pancake day (lemon and sugar for me) and then the celebration of St Valentine himself (my raw chocolate hearts have yet to be made, a belated Valentine’s recipe it will have to be!)
What an eventful week and all the while I am laid up in bed sniffling, aching, reading and sleeping mostly. You see, I was getting under the weather and I pushed on and on and on and didn’t allow myself enough time for the most important beauty ingredient nature has to offer; SLEEP.
Why? I have honed my favourite facts about the subject to give you some of the reasons why getting a little more shut eye is essential (a lesson and reminder to myself also).
It makes you SMILE
As Audrey Hepburn once said “Happy girls are the prettiest girls”. According to the Great British Sleep Survey, those who suffer from regular sleep disturbances/lack of sleep are three times more likely to experience low moods. This can lead to depression and make people less receptive to positive emotions, resulting in a distinct lack of smiling. Studies have shown that a smile can instantly make you look more attractive, as well as lift your mood so a good sleep will help maximise on this.
Your immune system is constantly at work, trying to fend off all the pathogens we are exposed to on a daily basis. When certain types of pathogens such as viruses enter our systems, however, it has to work a whole lot harder, signalling to our bodies (with fevers, aches, pains, colds etc) that our immune system is about to launch serious defence. When the body is sleep deprived it is more susceptible to certain illnesses due to a peptide produced when you are sleep deprived. Eventually you get sick and, as part of your body’s defence you are forced to sleep. The immune system works to make you sleep; and sleep allows your immune system to work. Which leads me on to my next point nicely.
According to the National Sleep Foundation we enter the four stages of NREM (non rapid eye movement) every night. Stage 1 and 2 take us from being awake to complete disengagement from our surroundings into stages 3 and 4-where the magic happens. Once we are in the latter stages our body engages in a multitude of functions. Most notably tissue growth and repair. Correct – it is not called Beauty sleep for nothing. Deep sleep enables the body to enter a state of repair and recuperation, amongst other things.
Hormone release assists with bodily repair, particularly with the growth hormone which is a crucial ingredient in collagen production, keeping our skin looking firm and fresh.
Deep sleep enhances our circulation greatly. When we sleep well, the blood supply to our muscles increases, our facial muscles not being exempt from this. When blood circulation is poor, our complexion becomes dull (if you’re anything like me it resembles a pale battleship grey) so quality sleep is, therefore, an essential ingredient for a radiant complexion.
I know I’m going to be working hard to get my 8 hours every single night from now on and once I’ve done a little more research on HOW to get to sleep for those who might struggle like me, I’ll let you know.
For more information on the National Sleep Foundation click here, good luck and Happy Beauty Sleeping to you all!