A good night's sleep can give you more to smile about than just feeling refreshed. It helps improve brain health — sleep well and you remember better, think clearer, process quicker. A restful sleep lowers blood pressure, improves mental health, makes it easier to have a svelte waistline.
But there's another benefit we don't talk about enough in this industry: Getting eight hours every night can also take you one step closer to optimal skin health.
Eight hours of nightly sleep is scientifically proven to increase blood flow to your skin and create cell regeneration. It also lowers cortisol levels in your blood stream — cortisol is the stress hormone produced when your body thinks it's under attack. Elevated cortisol levels can promote a host of undesirable skin symptoms: Sensitivity, dryness, a dull ashen tone, dark circles, redness, a diminished skin barrier. Skin lacking sleep is like a disinterested bodyguard: It has a reduced ability to protect, leaving you more susceptible to allergens, toxins, sensitivity, and acne.
The answer sounds simple: If you want your skin to glow and show fewer fine lines, then get more sleep.
Right ... except sleep has become an elusive concept, sharply at odds with current lifestyles. We're working longer hours and have never-ending responsibilities, leaving us more stressed and with less time to sleep. Technology is another sleep disruptor, making it harder to unwind at the end of a demanding day.
The pursuit of proper sleep is such a serious need that the sleep industry is growing faster than any other segment right now. A $70B business, it's projected to grow to $100B within the next few years.
How can Starling help? Sleep is an issue we're always thinking about, in relation to our products and personally. A few of us in the Starling family suffer from sleep disorders, so we consider proper rest a challenge and a goal. We believe lifestyle and habit affect skin health, and we're serious about making positive changes all around.
We've cobbled up a few tactical ideas/resources on how to help you get better 💤's while improving your skin:
- Keep the same bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends. This continuity helps to regulate your body's biological clock, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try setting an alarm that reminds you of when to go to bed each night to establish the consistency you need.
- Blue light is one of those buzzy key phrases you see everywhere right now, but it turns out it is something we should all be concerned about. We're all spending more time in front of a computer screen since we're in a WFH phase. The blue light rays that a computer emits can block your sleep hormones from doing their work. The solve? Invest in some specialized computer glasses that block them. The other solve – spend less time in front of the screen and limit computer use two hours prior to bedtime.
- Create a nighttime ritual that helps you relax. This can include light stretching, meditation, a bath, or reading. Something you enjoy that will reduce anxiety and de-clutter a cluttered mind.
- Wash your face at bedtime every night. Light facial massage with a face roller, or your hands, will relax facial muscles and help you feel at peace.
- Exercise daily for at least 20 minutes. Raising your body's levels of serotonin (those feelgood hormones) can help you sleep better; exercise also encourages sweating, which clears pores of toxins. Hello GLOW! ✨
- Try taking a magnesium supplement or using magnesium in a bath. If you're tired all the time, prone to depression or irritability, chances are you're deficient in this mineral.
- Let's talk dinner. Always eat dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime to allow your food to digest properly. Make it your lightest meal of the day - 500 calories is sufficient. Include foods rich in magnesium (kale, spinach, avocado), proteins like fatty fish or chicken, and hydrating foods like broccoli or watermelon. The proteins and magnesium lull you to sleep. The hydrating foods hydrate and aid in your digestion, so you don't wake up with an upset tummy. They also help aid skin regeneration.
- Use Starling's Sleep Multitasking Balm. Essential oils of Lavender, Cedar Wood and Geranium are simple, natural and super effective. Rub the balm on your feet or temples and dab under your nostrils or on your chest. Let it sink in and get wooed to sleep by the intoxicating scent. 😴
- Change your pillowcase several times a week. This might not make you sleep better but it will benefit your skin. Pillow cases harbor bacterial matter and allergens, so regularly using a new one every night will help optimize your skin health.