28 May

Getting Your Beauty Sleep, Sleeping Beauty?

Lissa Coffey

Lissa Coffey

Lissa Coffey

The movie “Maleficent” comes out Friday. It is the story of Sleeping Beauty.  This made me think, can sleep really make you more beautiful?

The notion that a good night’s sleep enhances beauty has long been accepted, but there is also scientific evidence that “beauty sleep” is more than just an expression.

The study, from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, was published in BMJ, a British medical journal. It set out to explore the effect that sleep has on how one is perceived, specifically on others’ judgments of an individual’s attractiveness and health.

A group of 23 participants, all between the ages of 18 and 31, were photographed twice: once after getting a full eight hours of sleep, and then again when limited to five hours of sleep followed by 31 hours of sleep deprivation. The researchers then asked a group of 65 untrained observers to rate the photographs based on healthiness, attractiveness and overall tiredness. The observers were unaware which of the two photographs in each pair was taken after a normal night’s sleep and which was not.

“Our findings show that sleep-deprived people appear less healthy, less attractive and more tired compared with when they are well rested,” wrote the researchers. “This suggests that humans are sensitive to sleep-related facial cues.”

While the long-term effects of poor sleep on overall health have been widely researched, this is the first study to provide evidence that in the short term, sleep deprivation does in fact show up as a discernible change in facial appearance.

Here are some tips for princes and princesses alike to get the sleep they need to let their beauty shine through:

TIPS to getting good beauty sleep from Princesses who KNOW:

1-   Set aside those glass slippers. Wear socks to bed.  Might not be pretty, but warm feet help you to settle in and fall asleep faster.  Feet also often feel cold before the rest of the body – so wearing socks reduces night awakenings.

2-   Keep a journal.  Before you lay down in bed, write down any thoughts you have. This help to stop your mind from racing – you won’t be worried about forgetting something, and your mind will be able to get settled more quickly. As one princess sings: “Let it go, let it go!”

3-   The Princess and the Pea. Is your mattress lumpy or uncomfortable? Get a new one!

4-   The bed should be for your royal sleep – not for work! Keep electronics out of the bedroom, and the bed. Look at the beds of princesses compared to the ones we sleep in today. They are draped beautifully, inviting sleep – where today ours are covered with smartphones and laptops!

5-   Keep a royal routine. In bed by 10 pm preferable – but the same time every night, and up at the same time every morning, preferably 6 am. Like Pocohontas, connected with and in harmony with nature’s time clock, the sun.

6-   Keep a bedtime routine or ritual – could include breathing, tapping, aromatherapy or a warm bath. Princesses deserve just a little bit of pampering. Find something that helps you to relax, and repeat it each night to prepare yourself for slumber.

7-   Wear an eye mask to block out the light. Keep the room dark, cool, quiet and comfortable.

More sleep tips at BetterSleep.org

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