Strategies for Adults and Kids to Maximize your "Beauty Sleep”
Sleep like a Babe!
It's been over a year waking up to our World in a Pandemic. The not knowing of it all is enough to keep you awake at night. Now that things are sort of going back to "Normal" (I use that term very loosely here) all new types of questions and therefore anxieties are rattling through my brain keeping me up at night. The last time I endured this lack of sleep was when my daughter was an infant. I made a point back then to research ways to ensure a restful night sleep for both of us and it worked! We both slept like champs! Twelve years later, still a big fan of sleep, not only for my sanity but also yes, for my vanity, I’ve revisited some of my favorite “beauty sleep” techniques from when my daughter was a baby and included a few new ones I discovered along the way.
1. Wash your Face:
Seems simple enough, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t wash their face before climbing into bed. Cleansing your face with warm water is not only soothing but it also sets the tone that you are “washing away the day” in preparation for sleep. Create a routine for you and your child. Warm water on a soft washcloth is great for babies and toddlers. As your child gets older (or maybe you as an adult could use this too?) a cleanser and moisturizer routine helps to wash away sweat and dirt that clog our pores and dry our skin. Added bonus of to going to bed with a clean face is a clean pillowcase! Less dirt = less blemishes, something we can all benefit from!
(Model Credit: Skyla B.)
2. Silk Pillow Case:
I’m willing to bet when your child was born you were gifted some form of a silk lined blanket or “lovey”? Babies love to snuggle the cool, soft texture of silk against their skin. Why should that stop when we get older? Silk Pillow Cases are like big oversized “Lovies” for our face and hair. If you are a side sleeper you may notice deeper lines forming on the side you sleep on. Sleeping on a silk pillow helps to glide your skin over the pillow rather than tugging on it causing wrinkles. Silk also prevents your hair from snagging and tangling as you sleep. When you wake up your pillow won’t be the only thing that is silky and smooth.
3. Sleep Mask:
I used to think of sleep masks as something ladies in old Hollywood movies or first class frequent flyers wore. They seemed a bit “overkill” when I went to bed. However lately when I have a hard time sleeping I’m likely to grab one. There are so many to choose from these days, even for kids. While they may be more “fun” for kids, for us adults they really do “function”. My personal favorite is a weighted mask. The gentle pressure of the mask on my eyes helps relax the muscles in my face and the weight keeps me on my back instead of turning to the side and ultimately squishing my face on the pillow. Concerned it might irritate your skin or cause acne? Make sure your mask is made from a breathable fabric like cotton or silk and wash your mask regularly.
(Model Credit: Presley J.)
4. Essential Oils/diffuser:
Essential Oils sourced from unadulterated pure ingredients have long been a source for healing the body. Whether diffused or applied directly to the skin, essential oils such as lavender help to soothe the nervous system, promote sleep and provide a sense of well-being. There are many ways to enjoy essential oils before bedtime. (Consult your doctor before using with babies under 3 months old) Diffusers are a great way to dispense essential oils into a room. For a fun alternative, allow your child to pick out an essential oil scent they like and fill a small spray bottle with distilled water and about 10 drops of oil. Use the “magic sleep spray” to mist their room, sheets and cherished stuffed animal. My daughter and I enjoy using essential oil rollers before going to bed. We roll them on her pulse points and bottom of her feet. When your kiddo is sound asleep, don’t forget to get you and your room too!
5. Epsom Salt Bath:
Baths aren’t just for baby. After your child goes to bed, or even while you are getting your child to bed, fill your tub with warm water. Instead of settling into the couch, swap your usual habit of watching television and checking your phone before bed with a warm bath. It will help to soothe away aches and pains, and leave you feeling mentally and physically relaxed. The warm water is also good at reducing stress and tension. Add an Epsom salt and baking soda mixture to remove toxins and soften the skin. Be sure always to read any advisements on Epsom salts.
6. Brush/Braid Hair:
Growing up my mom and I would sit in front of the TV and watch the tonight show while she would brush and braid my hair. You don’t have to be a pro braider, (you are going to be sleeping on them anyway) but the act of brushing the hair (we recommend a wet brush for smooth brushing) is very soothing and bonus the braids the next day will leave curly locks. Have a child with a sensitive scalp? Skip the brush and simple massage the hairline around the temples and base of the neck.
(Model Credit: Presley J.)
7. Under Eye Patches:
We all know sleep and drinking plenty of water are important for our health and appearance of our skin. Sadly most of us are not getting enough of either. When I am tired and dehydrated the first signs show up on my face, especially around my eyes. One of my favorite ways I’ve found to hydrate and de-puff is with moisturizing hydrogel eye patches. Used before bed, they are quite relaxing too. Simply place them under your eyes and lie back to feel the soothing sensation. While you may enjoy some alone time, added bonus, they are safe for our kids to use too!
(Photo Credit: Nicole Crockett and Daughter Solana-Owner of Puresol Beauty)
8. Meditation/Breathe Work:
Meditation doesn’t necessarily mean sitting in lotus in front of a Buddha statue. Meditation can be as simple as paying attention to your thoughts and/or your breath. The moment you slow down your breath a signal is sent to your parasympathetic nervous system that you are safe. Help your child to breathe properly by placing their favorite stuff animal or your hand on their belly, and every time they inhale watch their belly rise and then see how slowly they can exhale their stuffed animal back down. Together you will find that as you slow your breath down, the body is more relaxed and ready for sleep.
In this day and age where our health is more important than ever, there is no greater time than now to get the best sleep possible. When we don’t get enough sleep, our immune system may not be able to produce the infection-fighting antibodies it normally does. So make some time to discover the beauty of sleep!