Sleep On It: 6 Tips for Better Sleep this Autumn

Sleep Med Page“Getting deep sleep is one of the best things you can do for your skin. It’s during REM sleep that your body regenerates cells and produces collagenboth keys to maintaining youthful skin.” ~ Dr. Howard Murad

A change in season gives us an opportunity to cast off bad habits and embrace changes to our regular routines. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re getting a good night’s sleep:

  1. Create a sleep sanctuary. Transform your bedroom into a place for slumber, not an entertainment centre or office. This means keeping your bedroom cool, dark and quiet. If your bedroom is not dark enough, try using a sleep mask. If ambient noise is disturbing your sleep, use soft foam earplugs or a white-noise machine. It’s also important to have a good mattress, pillows and sheets. Think about how much money you spend on a car. Chances are you spend more hours in your bed than you do in your car, so consider it a wise investment. And make sure you’re wearing loose-fitting, comfortable sleepwear.
  1. Exercise for great sleep. Exercising during the day supports sleep, but remember to give yourself enough time to decompress (at least three hours).  Exercise too late in the day will stimulate your body and mind when you should be winding down for sleep.
  1. Keep an eye on seasonal partying. Christmas parties are a blast, but keep in mind how this will affect your nightly rhythm. If you consume alcohol up to three hours before you hit the sheets, you may fall asleep easier, but your sleep cycle will be disrupted. Instead of a night cap, try a cup of chamomile tea with honey.
  1. Tune technology out. We’re attached to our devices from the moment we open our eyes in the morning until we crash at night. The problem is that the light emitted by smartphones, iPads, laptops, etc mimics daylight and sends a signal to our brains to get active! The release of melatonin (the sleep hormone) is inhibited, which is bad news for getting a good night’s sleep. So commit to turning off technology at least half an hour before bedtime.


  1. Prepare for sleep. Once you’ve finally powered down all of the gadgets, what’s next? Do you have a good book? What are some books you want to read but never seem to have the time? Bedtime is also a great time to practice relaxation techniques, including gentle yoga poses and breathing exercises to calm the mind and body. Start by breathing slowly and deeply as you ease into slumber. Another soothing way to transition from a busy day and mind chatter is to develop a gratitude practice. As you lie still in bed, make a mental list of all the things you are grateful for.
  1. Create a sleep schedule. Try to go to bed at the same time every night. Realistically, we know this is not always possible. But if you can, try going to bed at approximately the same time every night, within a half hour. You’ll start to train your mind and body that “this is bedtime, time to go to sleep.” Same goes for waking up. No sleeping in on Saturdays! If you can get up and go to bed at approximately the same times every day, you can train your mind and body to naturally be on track for good waking energy and a sound night’s sleep.

Preventing “Sleeping Lines”: Wrinkles Caused by Sleeping Patterns

sleepDon’t we all want to hibernate in winter? Snuggling up in a cosy duvet and settling down to sleep always seems more appealing in the colder months. However, while you’re snoozing away, “sleep wrinkles” could be sneaking up on you! It may be one of the most often-overlooked causes of wrinkles but, if altered, the position in which you sleep can help to prevent wrinkles from forming.

Sleep Lines and Sleep Wrinkles are Not a Myth

The idea of “sleep wrinkles” is often considered to be a beauty myth, but sleep wrinkles are recognised as a dermatologic reality. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology supports the idea that sleeping in certain positions will increase and cause wrinkles.

Which Sleeping Positions Cause or Prevent Wrinkles and Why

Sleeping on your side or with your face down on your pillow can cause wrinkles to form, while sleeping on your back can prevent the formation of wrinkles. The reason for this has to do with two other causes of wrinkles: repetitive motion and gravity. Repetitive motions can ultimately lead to wrinkles over time; e.g. expression lines around your mouth and crow’s feet around your eyes. When you sleep on your side or with your face down into the pillow, you “push” your skin into positions in a way that is similar to repetitive facial motions.

Gravity also plays a role in the development of wrinkles. As skin loses its firming collagen and becomes looser, the life-long push of gravity downward leads to the appearance of wrinkles or sagging skin. When you sleep on your side, you allow gravity to push your face to one side or the other, causing the wrinkles on that side of your face to appear deeper.

When you sleep on your back, you don’t push your face into wrinkled positions and gravity pulls your skin back away from your face rather than towards the centre of it.

The Role of Collagen and Elastin in Sleep Wrinkles

While the repetitive motions of sleeping positions and the impact of gravity are the lifestyle causes of sleep wrinkles, it’s the natural breakdown of collagen and elastin as you age that really makes the lines appear. While you most likely have slept in the same position for most of your life, you’re unlikely to see the first appearance of sleep wrinkles until you are beginning to see the signs of ageing skin throughout your body. Why is that? It’s because while you sleep, wrinkles are forming throughout your life, they become defined and apparent as your collagen and elastin breakdown.

Elastin is the skin protein that makes skin smooth and allows it to “snap back” from positions. Collagen is the protein that’s responsible for supporting skin in order to make it appear firm and full. As you age, genetics, UV damage, environmental factors and the hormonal shift for women associated with menopause all work to deplete your collagen and elastin. When this happens, your skin becomes looser and wrinkles that have been forming over time become more visible.

SONY DSCRelated Product: Rapid Collagen Infusion

This is the first-ever product to penetrate the skin’s surface with pure collagen! After the age of 20, a person produces about one percent less collagen in the skin each year. This product combats the break down of collagen and keeps skin plump.

This product is available exclusively from QVC in January 2014. Tune into the show on Friday 17th January.

It will be available at from February 2014.

Treating and Preventing Sleep Lines and Sleep Wrinkles

To treat and prevent sleep lines from forming, you should make both skincare and lifestyle changes. Of course, the best change is to learn to sleep on your back, but it’s actually quite uncommon that an individual is able to change their natural and habitual sleeping position! Adopting the practices of Inclusive Health®, Dr. Murad’s revolutionary youth-building lifestyle, can assist in preventing and minimising wrinkles and ageing skin. Here are the three prongs of his Inclusive Health® philosophy:

SONY DSCLook Better: Anti-ageing products are a vital part of any anti-wrinkle regime. Develop a personalised anti-ageing skincare regime that combines products that hydrate with those that support the production of collagen.

summer fruit

Live Better: Healthy skin begins on the inside, and the most effective form of youth-building is via diet and nutrition. Staying hydrated by eating your water daily in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as embracing a diet that’s rich in Essential Fatty Acids and antioxidants will improve not only the youthfulness of your skin, but also of your body.

laughing11Feel Better: Your stress levels and your sense of self have an overwhelming impact on the health of your body and your skin. Learning to control Cultural Stress® and taking time for you can improve the health of your body and its largest organ, the skin!