It’s no secret that a lack of sleep can leave you feeling groggy, as well as wreak havoc on your looks, and we’ve all been there, panda eyes in tow, at some point. Heck! I’ve even used it once or twice as an excuse when I couldn’t be bothered to style my hair.
Well, a research study earlier this year revealed ‘beauty sleep’ is very much real. In fact, researchers at the Karolinska Institute found that a few nights of poor sleep could leave you looking ‘significantly’ less attractive. So, what can you do to ensure you remain looking your best?
Here I’ll share my own top tips on how to get a good night’s sleep, as well as delve into the night-time routines of some of Britain’s best beauty bloggers. Follow this advice and I’m sure you’ll be confidently saying “I woke up like this!” in no time at all.
Get Active and Tire Yourself Out
Whether it’s a fitness class after work or running around after your children, staying physically active during the day will ensure you’re tired and ready for rest come bedtime.
Besides the obvious calorie burning and muscle building benefits, partaking in exercise will also release endorphins which will calm you and improve your mood, meaning you’re more likely to snooze off successfully.
Just remember to leave two hours before exercise and sleep to ensure your body has time to stabilise before you begin to snooze.
And, however tempting they may be, try to avoid having a nap in absence of a good night’s kip. Check out our post ‘Are Naps Good for You? The Sleepy Science Behind Napping Explained’ to learn more.
Drink a Glass of Water an Hour Before Bed
Ok, so it may not be the best idea to down a pint of water right before you pull back the covers, but a bad sleep can leave your skin dry and dehydrated, so make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. And, if you don’t, have a glass of water an hour before bed to make up for it.
If you’re partial to a pinot or two on a weekend or maybe a gin or two, then why not try a spritzer or a soda water mixer? This’ll help counteract the dehydrating properties of the alcohol, meaning you’ll not only look better but have less of a hangover when you wake up the next day.
Get into the Habit of a Skincare Routine
Whilst quickly whipping a wet wipe over your face before bed probably isn’t enough to call removing your make-up a beauty routine, smothering your face in a dozen toners, exfoliators, moisturisers and serums, can also do damage.
Using too many products and over-scrubbing your face can wash away natural essential oils from your skin which causes your body to overproduce these in order to replenish moisture. This can leave your skin looking oily and will cause breakouts. Plus, too much rubbing can irritate your skin too.
Instead, wash your skin with a natural cleanser before bed in order to give your skin the night to breathe. Pad dry and then add a special night cream or moisturiser to keep your skin refreshed and avoid those dreaded panda eyes.
I chatted about sleep and skin health with Laura Pearson-Smith, the author behind Scottish beauty, style and travel blog ‘A Life With Frills’, and she revealed a bit about her personal bedtime routine. Laura said:
“When you have a bad night’s sleep, it can be seen on your face the next morning. I like to have a hot, Lavender-scented bath before bed. Once I get into bed, I pop on an Optrex Warming Eye Mask, lie back and listen to a sleep meditation app on my phone.
Adrienne from UK-based beauty blog ‘The Sunday Girl’ has also chatted with me about sleep and skin health, and how her bedtime beauty routine is an important part of her day. She said:
“A pre-bed evening, beauty routine is crucial for both helping the body and mine to wind down at night and to ensure that the complexion can regenerate overnight.
“Typically before slipping into my pj's, I shower with a lavender infused shower oil (great for its relaxation properties and easy to make at home), cleanse my complexion and then curl up in bed with a good book and sleepy-scented candle; the ambience helps me to unwind and go to sleep quicker than without.
“I pride myself on keeping my skincare ritual simple - less is more - rather than using numerous products, I will hone in on hard working and multi-tasking oils, layered with facial masks that I can sleep in, coupled with an intense eye cream.”
Purchase a Plump Silk Pillow
Like sleeping on two pillows? Then trade them in for one plump one. When you have two pillows they can move as you wriggle in your sleep causing bad posture and neck problems. One plump pillow will provide you with the same height all night, which can keep blood flowing and help you avoid puffiness in the morning.
Plus, make sure to wash your pillowcases frequently. Otherwise, you’ll end up resting your perfectly cleansed face on bacteria-ridden fabric for eight hours a night. Nobody wants that.
If you’re feeling fancy, why not buy a silk or satin pillowcase? Not only will you feel like a queen, but the soft texture will cause less friction meaning wrinkles and fine lines are less likely to form.
I recently worked with the lovely Hannah from Clarke and Wedgewood on a post about the importance of a good night’ sleep (read it here). In this she wrote:
“I’m a big believer in making your bedroom a little bit indulgent, a sanctuary if you wish, so when you take yourself to bed at the end of the day it’s your little place of zen where you can leave all your stress at the door.
“Whether it’s buying slightly indulgent bed linen or getting comfy in your favourite pair of joggers and baggy t-shirt, the best way to achieve a great night’s sleep is to be hitting the sheets in comfort.”
We all need our beauty sleep, but are you getting enough of it? Check out my top tips and some expert advice from Joy at @happybeds to help you get your forty winks in the run up to the big day #sleepexpert #beautysleep #fortywinks #weddingprep #slumber #sleeping #goodnightssleep #pinkblanket #fauxfur #cosynights #andrelax #bridalprep #happybeds
Tie Your Hair Up and Away From Your Face
There’s nothing worse than waking up with bed-head and having to spend what feels like hours taming your wild mop. Tie or clip your hair back loosely and it’ll not only be in better shape when you wake up, but it will also keep your hair’s natural oils from transferring onto your face.
Plus, it’s a little-known fact, but sleeping in a loose, high ponytail will help keep volume in your hair and a blowout intact.
Invest in a Good Night’s Sleep
Sometimes you can invest in all of the best lotions and potions and try various sleeping positions to give yourself a morning glow, but it’s simply all in vain as your uncomfortable mattress or squeaky bedframe keeps you up for most of the night.
Instead of counting sheep, why not bite the bullet and invest in a new bed? At Happy Beds, it’s easier and more affordable than you may think. You’ll be cursing yourself for not doing so sooner.
Whether you think you'll need firm support or something that will mould to your body, we're sure to have a mattress that's just right. Shop our range of mattresses or check out our mattress buying guide for more info.