Get a better night's sleep with these expert tips
While most people are probably lacking sleep today from staying up late to ring in the New Year, others often spend the remaining 364 days overly tired, as well.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of Americans aren’t just tired, but actually sleep deprived, getting less than the recommended amount each night. And while you might think sleep is a luxury, not getting enough can actually cause serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression.
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It’s true what they say about needing to get your beauty rest. A lack of hours logged in bed can actually wreak havoc on your appearance, as well. “During restorative sleep our blood pressure drops and breathing slows allowing blood to flow to our muscles, repairing tissue,” Jules Miller of The Nue Co., a line of food-based supplements, told Violet Grey.
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“A bad night’s sleep can also cause an increase in cortisol, the stress hormone, which, at continually high levels, can cause inflammation in the body. Long term, cortisol can have a huge impact on your skin, causing breakouts, poor texture and fine lines through a decrease in collagen,” Miller said.
The CDC recommends adults 18 and over get an average of seven to nine hours of sleep a night, however everyone’s needs are different and this number can vary.
“It’s best to establish good habits and prioritize sleep, then keep track of your sleep for a few weeks and see what your body needs,” Janet Kennedy, PhD, clinical psychologist and founder of NYC Sleep Doctor, told Violet Grey.
“If you have a consistent sleep schedule and are feeling reasonably well-rested most of the time without resorting to tons of caffeine, long naps, or other artificial means of staying awake or falling asleep, you’re probably getting enough sleep for your body’s needs.”
The quality of sleep also plays a critical role in your overall health. Signs you might not be getting a good night’s rest include still feeling tired after sleeping for a long enough period of time, repeatedly waking up throughout the night, or experiencing symptoms such as snoring or gasping for air, which could be a sign of a sleep disorder.
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To make sure you wake up feeling well-rested, it’s important to adopt good sleep habits. Zack Holland, designer and co-founder of Cloudten luxury all-natural bedding, recommends having a consistent nighttime routine. He’s also a fan of the "10, 3, 2, 1 Rule," which advises that 10 hours before bed you should avoid caffeine; three hours, stay away from food and alcohol; two hours, abstain from work; and one hour, turn off your screens.
Your environment is also a crucial element in determining what kind of sleep you get. It’s important to create a calming space that’s relaxing, comfortable and promotes rest. From luxury bedding to calming smells and natural supplements, these items can all help create the perfect space for you to get the maximum amount of Zzzs.
A year-round down comforter
Brooklinen Down Comforter, $349; at Brooklinen
Crisp, cool sheets
Parachute Home Percale Sheet Set, $109-$149; at Parachute Home
Beauty sleep-friendly silk pillowcase
The Hollywood Silk Solution Silk Pillowcase, $45; at The Hollywood Silk Solution
Stylish essential oil diffuser
Vitruvi Stone DIffuser, $119; at Violet Grey
Relaxing pillow spray
This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, $29; at This Works
Olly Restful Sleep, $13.99; at Olly
Blue light-blocking glasses
Felix Gray Sleep Glasses, starting at $95; at Felix Gray
Black-out eye mask
Slip Silk Sleep Mask, $50; at Slip Silk Pillowcase
Calming candle and sleep balm
Scentered Sleep Well Therapy Balm, $24, and Sleep Well Home Therapy Candle, $52; at Scentered