For those of us who won’t see 30 again, the effects of poor sleep can be seen in the physical form of bags under the eyes, pronounced lines and wrinkles. When sleep problems occur over a long period of time, it can rapidly speed up the ageing process. The parallels between sleeplessness and ageing are in part because the effects of both impair the pre-frontal cortex – the region of your brain that is very active when you are awake.
Lack of sleep has also been shown to cause skin disorders in both animals and humans. Another less obvious problem that is in part aggravated by sleep deprivation is the onset of breasts and pot-bellies in middle-aged men. This is because men produce their growth hormone almost exclusively when they sleep. When a man is sleep-deprived therefore, his body will not be producing enough of the growth hormone. Scientists believe that this is a factor in turning muscle into flab. For men to avoid blobbing out in middle age, good sleep is a must.
Sleeping for less than your personal requirement over prolonged periods will undoubtedly detract from your looks. Unfortunately, sleeping for hours on end will not enhance your physical attributes, which is a pity!
The beauty sleep supercharge
If you have a big celebration or a wedding coming up, you will want to be at your best, so a good night’s sleep is vital. Follow these steps on the day before any big event:
– Do not drink any tea, coffee or alcohol, and avoid sugar and salt.
– Have a light meal early in the evening. Avoid meat or anything hard to digest.
– Drink lots of water during the morning and afternoon.
– Exercise during the day as much as possible. In the evening, wind down with some gentle exercise, like yoga.
– Avoid watching TV and minimise computer use, certainly in the evening.
– Before bed, have a warm bath with lavender oil. Add a sprinkle of lavender to your pillow.
– Go to bed early.
– When you get into bed, run through the following day’s events in your mind and visualise everything in a very positive light. See yourself on top form and feeling really good in yourself. Use all of your senses to make this real.
– Don’t think about the following day too much, other than when you use the above technique. Thinking about it on a conscious level can create unwanted pressure, whereas visualizing the day in a 20-minute self-hypnosis session will set you up to be at your very best.
If after your visualization you still need help getting to sleep, listen to the Sleep Well audio session.