If you feel like you’re too busy to sleep – or too stressed to sleep well – you’re not alone. At the end of a long day working and tending to others, eight hours of shut-eye can feel like a luxury you just can’t afford.

But the truth is, you can’t afford not to get your rest. It is absolutely essential to your health – and beauty. Adequate sleep increases productivity and quality of life while significantly reducing the risk of disease and weight gain. And a good snooze gives your beauty products a chance to do their job. Your cells regenerate at night while you’re in dreamland, improving your skin texture and tone. They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing!

Here are a few strategies for restocking your sleep bank:

Lay low on the Joe, and the cocktails, in the afternoon and evening. Resist the urge to reach for a latte at 3 o’clock. Or to unwind with a few glasses of wine after dinner. We know it’s tough, but caffeine and alcohol wreak serious havoc on your natural sleep cycles. Try satisfying your cravings with herbal teas, like citrus chamomile or vanilla rooibos, with a touch of honey, milk or lemon.

 

Take a hike. Aim for 45 minutes of exercise a day. Hit the gym during lunch, try a new Crossfit class, or hike with a friend. If that’s a stretch for your schedule, break your exercise into more manageable chunks of time. Walk briskly to the grocery store instead of driving. Bring the kids to the pool and dive in yourself. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Small snippets of activity can really add up.

Give your bedtime routine a makeover. A consistent bedtime routine is critical to good sleep hygiene. Go to bed at the same time each night, even on the weekends. Take a leisurely stroll, do some gentle stretches, or take a hot bath each evening. An hour or so before bed, dim the lights in your house to increase your natural melatonin production, and turn off all screen devices (no Facebook!) And make sure your bedroom is a dark, peaceful haven. This will signal your body that it’s time to hit the hay.

 

Take five. Every day, pause for 5-10 minutes and do – well, absolutely nothing! Or brush up on your relaxation techniques:

How do you relax and get a good night’s sleep?

(This post soon to be published on Edelbio Skin Care – stay tuned!)