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How to Get a Better Beauty Sleep

Sleep ranks numero uno when it comes to our beauty routine, that’s because when we sleep our body recovers and repairs itself.  The more quality sleep we get, the better we not only look, but also feel – physically and mentally.  Here’s a rundown on the importance of sleep and how to get a better beauty sleep.

Why is Beauty Sleep so Important Anyway?

During sleep, the body releases the most amount of growth hormone, an important recovery agent. This hormone is synthesized and secreted by the anterior pituitary gland that is involved in the control of several physiological processes, including metabolism, muscle recovery and growth. Essentially, when growth hormone levels peak, they help to stimulate amino acid uptake and increase protein synthesis in muscle and skin tissues. Additionally, growth hormone has a positive effect on fat burning, enhancing the utilization of fat by stimulating fat breakdown and oxidation in fat cells.

How Much Beauty Sleep is Enough?

The amount of sleep a person requires is dependent on various factors, including age, but in general, most adults require between seven to nine hours of sleep per night for optimal functional benefits. Some people may need less or more sleep, however, our bodies never adapt to getting too little sleep; although you may have adapted to a sleep-deprived schedule, you’re not doing your body or your beauty any favours.

Sleep and Weight Loss

Recent research has shown that not getting enough sleep can actually affect your ability to lose weight. In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, it was found that those who got 5.5 hours lost less fat and more muscle than the group that got 8.5 hours of sleep. All participants were given the same caloric intake and activity regimen. Losing lean body mass is an unwanted side effect of all weight-loss diets. After all, the more lean mass you have, the more active your metabolism. What’s more, it was also found that not only was fat loss affected, but limited sleep also resulted in an up-set of the regulation of two important hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin. Without sleep, these hormones remain turned on, causing hunger to continue.

Sleep and Hormones

Compromised sleep can mean poor recovery and poor results, not to mention poor training the next day. Chronic sleep loss can have a direct effect on our metabolism, by reducing the body’s ability to regulate hormones and process carbohydrates. This increases the likelihood of glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, not to mention slows or reduces the storage of glycogen in the muscles. Since glucose and glycogen are the main source of energy for athletes, impeding storage can directly hinder performance, particularly for endurance training. Loss of sleep can cause elevated levels of the catabolic hormone cortisol, which may interfere with tissue repair and growth. Research has shown that sleep deprivation can negatively impact exercise performance, intensity and cause increased psychological strain when training!

Sleep and Low Carb Diets

To top that all off, it has also been suggested that ultra low-carb dieting, such as following a keto diet, can also have a negative effect on sleep patterns. Our brain needs carbohydrates not only for energy but also for sleep. Combine that with a high-intensity training program and you are no doubt using whatever glucose is available for your muscles, which means the brain is not getting sufficient glucose for sleep. Although the brain can use ketones, a by-product of following an ultra low-carb diet, as a source of energy, there needs to be enough ketones available for sleep to occur. This is also dependent on whether your body is in ketosis or not.

Sleep and Skin

There is no such thing as woke-up-like-this, especially if you are falling short in the sleep department.  One night of shitty sleep can result in eye bags, dark circles, swollen eyes and may even cause your skin to wrinkle just a bit more!  If you have read all the way to here, then you already know how important sleep is, bottom line you need more quality sleep to have more youthful, glowing and healthy skin.  Sleep will allow your skin to recover from UV rays, environmental stressors like the wind, pollution or anything else you put in front of your skin.

Get a Better Beauty Sleep Routine:

Now that you understand the importance of sleep, here’s a few ways to maximize your night-time routine to ensure a better beauty sleep!

Wash Yo Face, Moisturize & Use Lavender Oil:  Use a balm to remove make-up, a cleansing foam and moisturizing night cream.  If you finish your routine with facial oil such as argan, coconut or rose oil, add a drop or two of lavender essential oil to help you relax.  This aromatic oil can have a soothing effect.

Shut Off Earlier:  LED light from the TV, laptop and digital devices can result in sleep loss and disruption of our natural circadian rhythms.  Make an effort to shut them off sooner.  Instead of reading from a tablet, try a paper book instead.     

Journal Every Night:  Get all the shit out of your head that’s going to cause you to have conversations with yourself all night long.  Put your thoughts on the day to sleep, before you rest your head.  Keep a journal specifically for jotting down the trials and tribulations of the day.

Sleep on Your Back: Try not to sleep on your face and don’t cheap out on your sheets.  Pick something soft to minimize skin irritation and compression.   Sleeping on your face can lead to face compression in certain areas, now that might not seem important but if you’ve put any filler in your face or have had face threads, you’ll definitely not want to squish that around to other places – and yes it does happen!  Invest in a proper pillow!  The Sleep & Glow pillow is an anatomical designed anti-aging pillow that helps fight sleep wrinkles and morning puffiness.  Go here to try the pillow for yourself!  Use code sexystrongfit to get a discount.

Six Supplements for Maximum Beauty Sleep:

Still can’t sleep?  Try adding one or two of these supplements for a better beauty sleep.  My personal stack – melatonin + GABA + Mag = night night!

Melatonin:  Hormone produced in the brain by the pineal gland, from the amino acid tryptophan. The synthesis and release of melatonin is stimulated by darkness and suppressed by light, suggesting the involvement of melatonin in the circadian rhythm or the “sleep wake cycle.” Levels of melatonin in the blood are highest prior to sleep.

Studies have measured the effects of melatonin on sleep in healthy individuals, and found that melatonin decreases the time it takes to fall asleep, increases the feeling of sleepiness and increases the duration of sleep. Melatonin has also been shown to increase the release in growth hormone, which is essential to recovery and building lean muscle.  Take 3 to 5 mg of a dissolving tab or gummy prior to sleep.

Passion Flower:  Traditionally used to treat anxiety, tenseness and insomnia. The mechanism of action for passion flower is not completely understood, but it is thought that the flavonoids in passion flower contribute to its effectiveness for relaxation.

Theanine:  A derivative of green tea leaves, which have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, research has shown that this amino acid stimulates the brain’s production of alpha wave activity, which is associated with feelings of relaxation. Theanine also helps the body produce other calming amino acids, such as dopamine, gamma amino butyric acid or GABA and tryptophan.

Valerian Root:  Traditional uses included treatment for reducing anxiety, insomnia and nervousness. Valerian has been shown to have an affinity for the GABA receptor, primarily due to its relatively high content of GABA. In fact, the amount of GABA present in valerian extract is sufficient to induce release of GABA and inhibit re-uptake inducing a mild sedative or relaxation feeling.

Magnesium:  Regulates certain neurotransmitters that signal the nervous system and brain to relax.  It helps regulate melatonin – the hormone that regulates our sleep wake cycle.  It also binds to GABA – gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is a neurotransmitter that is also involved in relaxation.  Take 400 mg of magnesium 30 minutes before sleep.

5-HTP:  An amino acid that converts to serotonin in the central nervous system. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter primary in the control of mood, sleep, motivation and appetite. Taking 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) has been shown to decrease appetite, enhance mood and promote deep sleep through its positive impact on serotonin levels.  Take 50 to 100 mg prior to sleep.

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Until Next Time,

Be Fierce & Rule the World!

Lauren Jacobsen

References:
Arlet V, et al. Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity. Ann Intern Med. 2010; 153(7): 435-441.

Attele AS, Xie JT, Yuan CS. Treatment of insomnia: an alternative approach. Altern Med Rev. 2000; 5(3):249-259.

Bent S, Padula A, Moore D, Patterson M, Mehling W. Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2006; 119(12): 1005-12.

Boirie Y, Dangin M, Gachon P, Vasson MP, Maubois JL, Beaufrère B. (1997). Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 94(26):14930-5.

Lyon MR, Kapoor MP, Juneja LR. The effects of L-theanine (Suntheanine®) on objective sleep quality in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Altern Med Rev 2011;16(4):348-354.

Ngan A, Conduit R. A double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the effects of Passiflora incarnata (Passionflower) herbal tea on subjective sleep quality. Phytother Res. 2011;25:1153-9.

Phyllis C, Zee MD. Shedding Light on the Effectiveness of Melatonin for Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders. Sleep. 2010; 33(12): 1581-82.

Welbourne TC. Increased plasma bicarbonate and growth hormone after an oral glutamine load. Am J Clin Nutr. 1995; 61(5): 1058-61.

 

 

 

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