Imagine a beauty treatment that boosts your immune system, revitalises cell renewal and rejuvenates your skin, while you simply lie back and relax. Then imagine it’s completely free. Well, that’s sleep – in a nutshell.
Far from being a throwaway expression, there’s plenty of research out there to prove beauty sleep is very real, and that good sleep is as important for our wellbeing as good diet and exercise.
Despite knowing this, the lifestyles we lead increasingly put at risk the quantity and quality of sleep we get. Long, demanding workdays, exhausting commutes, 24-hour tech connectivity and high levels of blue light exposure… it’s no surprise modern living is affecting our quality of sleep and, with it, our mood, concentration, health and complexion.
We can’t escape modern life, but we can adopt the small steps our experts recommend that will make a big difference, helping us unwind and take advantage of nature’s most powerful beauty treatment.
Optimise the sleep you get by starting your slowdown early:
Avoid caffeine after 2pm and heavy meals at least two or three hours before bed. If you feel peckish later in the evening, there are certain foods that work with your nervous system – switching it from active mode to rest and digest. Choose raw nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, oatcakes or bananas.
ESPA Senior Trainer Nicola Baillie also swears by golden milk… “I discovered this ancient Indian sleep aid while on a yoga retreat. Golden milk is a small cup of warm milk infused with ginger, cardamom and turmeric. Quite simply, it’s bedtime bliss!”
Dim the lights, play a little soft music and switch off all technology and blue light by 9pm – the halos of light that emanate from computers, tablets and phones can diminish sleep quality and even wake you up.
Reach for nature’s super-soothers
Through the olfactory system, our sense of smell is hard-wired to our brains, so certain essential oil aromas can really affect our mood. If you’re finding it hard to switch off, light our Soothing Candle, run a warm bath and add one or two capfuls of Soothing Bath Oil – these relaxing aromas will calm a busy mind.
Enhance the effects further with our full home spa ritual.
Create a sleep sanctuary
An uncluttered room, moderate temperature (around 18 degrees), regular bedtime, comfy bed, no synthetic light, as few digital devices as possible… these simple calm-inducing acts give your body and brain all the cues they need for deeper, uninterrupted sleep.
If you still find yourself tossing and turning, rather than lying there getting increasingly anxious, our sleep experts recommend getting up and leaving the bedroom for a few minutes before returning and trying afresh. If there’s something on your mind, keep a notebook by your bed and jot down any thoughts. You’ll sleep happier in the knowledge you’ve ‘let go’ of that worry.
Give skin and systems a helping hand
Our internal systems are pretty clever, automatically switching between protecting skin during the day to regenerating it at night. Specifically, the overnight repair mode (called mitosis) takes place between 11pm and 4am.
Sleep deprivation, however, knocks out this ‘circadian clock’, therefore preventing it performing essential overnight repair work. As a result, skin loses moisture quicker, lower levels of collagen are released, premature ageing is accelerated and, by morning, your complexion looks dry and lacklustre.
Step forward two clever skin saviours:
Our sleep-in face mask, Overnight Hydration Therapy, contains Yeast Bioferment. This rather ingenious natural active helps restore balance to the process, ensuring skin looks fresh, energised and in beautiful condition.
Secondly, our concentrated beauty supplement, Tri-Active™ Advanced Night Booster, intensifies skin’s natural overnight renewal cycle with its blend of Four O’clock Flower and Caffeine – so you wake to well rested, youthful skin.
Worrying about past or future events can keep you up all night. So, as your head hits the pillow, try to focus purely on the present:
- Lie quietly, bring your attention to your breath and its rise and fall.
- Let your eyes observe the room’s natural darkness and your body sense the softness of your duvet.
- If distracting thoughts arise, acknowledge them and let them pass by.