The ultimate sleep guide for problem skin

Sleep is critical for health, well being and performance. Poor sleep disrupts mood, attention and thinking. Insufficient sleep can even affect the microbiota in your gut.

Not only do healthy sleepers differ from each other in how much sleep they need, but healthy sleepers also change their sleep needs over time as they age as well as based on their level of physical activity.

The National Sleep Foundation convened an 18-member multidisciplinary expert panel, representing 12 stakeholder organizations, to evaluate scientific literature concerning sleep duration recommendations. The panel agreed that, for healthy individuals with normal sleep, the appropriate sleep duration for newborns is between 14-17 hours, infants 12-15 hours, toddlers 11-14 hours, pre-schoolers 10-13 hours and school-aged children 9-11 hours. For teenagers, 8-10 hours, 7-9 hours for young adults and adults and 7-8 hours of sleep for older adults.

Researchers said the wavelengths at sunrise and sunset have the biggest impact to brain centres that regulate our circadian clock and our mood and alertness.

In the past, our circadian rhythms timed predictably to the solar light dark cycles. Since the adoption of electric light, however, exposure to night time lighting has blurred the boundaries of day and night, making it more difficult for our body to synchronize biological processes. Many systems are under circadian control, including sleep–wake behaviour, hormone secretion, cellular function and gene expression.

TIP: Get at least 30 minutes of direct light exposure in the morning, within an hour of waking. Keep a regular schedule, with a consistent wake time and morning routine. Stretching and going for a quick walk is a great way to balance your circadian rhythms. Watching sunrise & sunset is also useful.

TIP: The blood caffeine level in your blood peaks about 1 hour after consumption and stays at this level for several hours for most people. Six hours after caffeine is consumed, half of it is still in your body. It can take up to 10 hours to completely clear caffeine from your bloodstream. Keep coffee for the morning.

TIP: Nicotine is a stimulant that directly interacts with the neurotransmitters that control the brain's signals for sleep. It also disrupts the natural circadian rhythm and sleep quality. While asleep, nicotine users spend more time in light sleep states, especially in the early parts of the night when they should be in restorative, slow-wave sleep. Two hours after consuming nicotine, the body will have removed around half of the nicotine. Limit smoking, especially 3-5 hours before sleeping.

TIP: Include physical activity in your daily routine. Regular physical activity can promote better sleep. Avoid being active too close to bedtime, however.

TIP: Allow your skin to be completely dry from showering before sleeping to avoid irritation. Use minimal moisturiser before sleeping.

TIP: Use 100% cotton bedding sheets and wash it above 60°C every 1-3 weeks to kill the dust mites and remove the dead skin. Place a sheet as a layer between you and your blanket so you can wash it more regularly without needing to change the blanket cover as often.

TIP: If you are still in a highly flaking stage of recovery, you can add a loosely woven cotton sheet on top of your mattress protector. This allows the dead skin to fall through the sheet while you are sleeping and not create further irritation. Shake off any dead skin in the morning and sun dry the sheet regularly.

TIP: Place your bed head against a solid back wall which creates a protected, grounded feeling. It is preferable to having a window or door behind or next to the bedhead which creates the conditions for disturbance, be it through light, wind or noise. Your bed should be in a ‘command position’ as they call it in Feng Shui with a view of the door, yet not directly in line with it to create psychological safety. Position your bed to have a balance of space on both sides of the bed to create greater air flow and energetic balance. You’ll notice that most hotel rooms are in this configuration. Feng Shui might sound airy but it has been practiced for over 3500 years. It helps to balance the energy and energetic flow of spaces.

TIP: Ensure your blinds block out all light or use an eye mask.

TIP: Overheating during sleep is common especially in the heat prone areas of the body. Sleep naked or with loose cotton clothing.

TIP: Put some relaxing music, a podcast or guided meditation on before sleeping to calm the mind. 528Hz & 432Hz sounds are extremely relaxing or sound bath is alsogreat.

TIP: Turn off your router at night & place all devices on airplane mode, away from your head, for peace of mind and a break from EMF exposure. Reduce the amount of screen exposure for a few hours before sleep. Set the blue light filter to turn on automatically from 9pm.

TIP: Use an earthing or grounding sheet on your bed. It plugs into your electric socket, where one of the prongs are for grounding. The outlet itself can be turned off.

TIP: Use a high quality mattress and contoured memory foam pillow.

TIP: Ensure there is adequate air flow or ventilation to maintain the right sleeping temperature. You may need air conditioning to maintain a comfortable temperature during summer. A bedroom that’s too warm can interfere with your body’s thermoregulation abilities and cause fatigue. Body temperature affects not only sleep onset, but also sleep quality and the time spent in different sleep stages. A higher core body temperature has been associated with a decrease in restorative slow-wave sleep and subjective sleep quality. The best bedroom temperature for sleep is approximately 18.3 °C. This may vary by a few degrees from person to person.



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