Getting a decent night’s sleep is something that many of us struggle with and with the recent lockdown, evidence suggests more and more of us aren’t sleeping as well as we should. A survey by King’s College London found that almost two thirds of people (63%) said their sleep has been worse since the first lockdown.
We can especially sympathise with those of you who are having trouble sleeping.
Sleep deprivation doesn’t just make us feel lethargic and irritable, it can also impact our physical health, being linked to issues such as low-immunity, depression and weight gain. But among its lesser-known repercussions are those it has on your skin (including your scalp-skin).
Here’s why – dermatologists agree that skin works according to the rhythm of your body clock (known as its ‘circadian rhythm’). This is our body’s own 24-hour clock that regulates our sleep – hence why we get jet-lagged when we fly to different time zones. The processes that take place in our body occur at different times of the day, which includes when our skin repairs and regenerates.
So if we experience disruptions in our sleep (and consequently our skin’s regeneration cycle) it means that it can’t repair or turnover new cells as efficiently. The result? Scalp dryness, irritation and accelerated ageing (coupled with stress leads to an increased risk of hair loss and conditions like eczema and psoriasis).
So what can we do to improve our chances of sleeping better?
Here are some good techniques to try …
Get moving during the day
Not only does it work wonders for your mental health, just ten minutes of daily exercise can hugely benefit the quality of sleep you’re getting. Especially if you go to a local park, where the combination of aerobic activity and being in nature can significantly reduce stress levels. Plus, exercise causes our body temperature to rise slightly, and later drop which triggers ‘sleep mode’.
Make ‘bedtime’ a thing
Working from home can mean our sleep schedule is slightly erratic. But thanks to our circadian rhythm, your brain has a specific time of day when it’s ‘bedtime’, by making sure sleep happens at a specific time each night. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule will ensure your brain knows when it’s time to switch off and you can fall asleep without a hitch.
Can’t sleep? Get out of bed!
Lying in bed, stressing about being awake will mean you’ll just continue to stay awake. Get out of bed (quietly!), remove yourself from the thing that’s causing you stress (i.e. your bed) and distract yourself with something like reading or listening to a podcast through your headphones. Soon your mind will become weary and you’ll feel ready to try again.
Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary!
Make sure your bedroom is a place your brain associates with sleep and relaxation. This means clearing out all clutter, work files and laptops. (FYI try not to work from your laptop in bed!) Adding some scented candles or houseplants can work wonders in making your bedroom more relaxing.
Avoid screen time a few hours before bed
While it’s really tempting to crash out in front of the TV, or chat on WhatsApp in the evening, choose a relaxing activity that doesn’t involve staring at a screen (the blue light is like caffeine for your brain). Instead of a Netflix binge, why not treat yourself to our new Gift Sets?
Our Ultimate Scalp and Hair Health Gift Set includes everything you need to grow beautiful, healthy hair and ensure your scalp is calm and hydrated. The relaxing scents of essential oils will help soothe the mind and restore equilibrium. Take time to mindfully apply each product, noting how your scalp feels as you massage each one in. Expect to feel supremely relaxed, as any whirring thoughts subside as your brain prepares to go into ‘sleep mode’.
Try our Ultimate Scalp & Hair Health Gift Set for an extra relaxing treat before bed. Pre-Order now.