It may have seemed silly when grandma told you to make sure to get your beauty sleep. However, as it turns out, grandma was right. A 2014 study found that poor sleep increased the visible signs of aging, such as fine lines, dark circles under the eyes, and wrinkles. A more recent 2019 study found a correlation between poor sleep and acne breakouts. What does that all mean? You need your rest.
The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep. One way to make sure you’re getting your shut-eye is to have a relaxing bedtime routine. A bedtime routine signals your brain that it’s time to shut down and get ready for your sleep cycle. Your bedtime routine can, and probably should include relaxing skincare treatments too.
How to create a relaxing bedtime routine
Before you jump into your routine, remember that every person is unique. Something that soothes your partner to sleep might not work for you. Once you find a routine that works for you, try to start it at about the same time every night and perform each activity in the same order. The consistency of the routine helps your brain recognize that it’s time for bed.
Shut down electronic devices one or two hours before bedtime
Scrolling through your social media feeds might be one of your favorite bedtime activities. However, electronic devices can emit blue light, which suppresses your sleep hormones.
Dim the ambient light, and turn off those devices one or two hours before bed. If you absolutely cannot skip your nightly scrolling, check to see if your device has a nighttime mode. Night modes often shift the light color from blue to orange so it doesn’t disrupt your sleep cycle.
Develop a consistent nighttime skincare routine
Your nighttime skincare routine should include, at the very least, washing your face and moisturizing your skin. Use a gentle facial cleanser like SkinResourceMD’s Total Facial Cleansing Gel or Tea Tree Deep Clearing Facial Cleanser if you’re prone to acne. These formulas cleanse the skin without removing the skin’s natural moisture.
At night, you can use a deeper moisturizer than you do during the day. Try SkinResourceMD’s Baobab Skin Correction Facial Cream to target uneven pigmentation and wrinkles or the Ultra Rich Biolipid Cream for deeper moisturizing.
Before bed is also a good time to apply any deep wrinkle treatments like Eye Perfection Therapy or Alpha Hydroxy Skin Renewal Serum. Applying deeper treatments before bed gives them plenty of time to absorb into the skin.
Meditation or calming yoga
Doing a few minutes of meditation before bed can help reduce sleep problems. Meditation trains your mind to be present in the moment, which can help you calm yourself from the stresses of a long day. Meditation often works best with consistent practice because it takes time to train your brain to shut down after a busy day.
Yoga, too, has been shown to improve sleep quality. If you do yoga right before bed, make sure it’s a relaxing and not a strenuous routine. A few moments of Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose or Child’s Pose may be all you need to stretch a few stiff muscles before getting into bed. You can even do a few poses while lying in bed.
Reading a book
Reading a book is a classic bedtime activity from childhood into adulthood. Dim the lights and, if you can, read a physical book rather than a book on an e-reader or screen. (Unless you can set it to a nighttime mode.)
Bonus—Create the right conditions
It will take time to develop a bedtime routine that works for you. But there are other ways to help you get the rest you need that go beyond a routine. Try to keep the room temperature relatively low, somewhere between 60°F to 68°F. Your body temperature drops at the beginning of your sleep cycle, and cooler temperatures help support this change.
Make sure your bedroom is dark, blocking out as much light as possible. Any light, no matter the light color, can interfere with your sleep cycle to a degree, even the power light on a television or DVD player.
Clear a path from your bed to the bathroom in case you need a nighttime visit. The easier and faster you can make your trip, the easier it is to fall asleep again.
Make time for better sleep
We live in a world that keeps us running 24/7. Making time for adequate sleep not only supports your skin health but your physical, mental, and emotional health, too. Go to bed early enough that you have time for that full seven to nine hours of rest. Your skin and the rest of your body will thank you.