Sleep is such a hot button issue right now. People are struggling with sleep more than ever. I wanted to share some key tips to help get your sleep back on track. Sleep is one of the most powerful tools we have to stay strong, calm, and healthy – and that is exactly what we need during this incredibly challenging time.

Beauty Sleep

First, beauty sleep is a real thing. Deep, restorative sleep is crucial to our health and our skin health, specifically. Our skin is in its most restorative state during sleep. Poor sleep, on the other hand, is linked with problematic skin: dark circles, breakouts, dull complexion – we’ve all been there.

  • 1 in 3 people suffers from poor sleep.
  • 1 in 10 people suffers from insomnia.

Long term consequences of sleep deprivation include premature skin aging and significant health issues.  If you want to enjoy a healthy body, a healthy mind and skin that glows with health, listen up!

Circadian Health

The key to getting that deep, restorative sleep that allows your mind and your skin to truly repair itself overnight is to recognize that sleep is part of a larger cycle: circadian rhythm.

The secret to a healthy circadian rhythm is regular, cyclical and precisely timed exposure to periods of daylight and to darkness.

LIGHT cues are the strongest way to set your internal clock, and regular, predictable light exposure is essential to setting every organ’s circadian rhythm so that your whole body is in sync.

And it’s not just any light- it’s all about BLUE light.  When blue light enters your eye, it tells your brain to turn OFF its production of melatonin, so you can wake up and feel alert.  When blue light no longer enters the eye, the brain can begin pumping out the sleep hormone melatonin, allowing your body to begin to relax and ultimately fall into a deep state of reparative and restorative sleep.

If you can manage your eye’s exposure to blue light, you can align your internal circadian clocks, and this can have profound effects on your health and the health of your skin.

YOUR TOOLS:

Here’s what I do to limit my exposure to blue light to establish a healthy bedtime routine and optimize my sleep hygiene:

(1) I use blue light filtering glasses as soon as it starts to get dark outside. These are under $15 on Amazon and they work wonderfully. I use them anytime I have LED lights on, or if I am doing work after dinner on my computer or my phone.

(2) I limit my TV time before bed, instead opting to read. It makes a huge difference in my sleep, so it’s worth it to me. I try to shoot for no more than 30 mins of screen time (with my blue light glasses on) per night.

(3) Make sure your bedroom is cool and you aren’t overdressed for bed. You should feel cool and comfortable.  Your body is more likely to dive into deep sleep if the air temp in your bedroom is on the cooler side.

(4) Consistency is key as well when it comes to sleep hygiene. Whenever possible, I try to stay on a schedule and a routine when it comes to bedtime and setting my alarm – even on weekends. Plus, your sleep in the earlier hours of the evening is more restorative for your body, so I try to get as much of that quality sleep as possible!

(5) I have been syncing up my meals with the circadian diet philosophy, so I’m eating my heavier meals during daylight hours. This has made a huge difference in my energy and in my sleep quality.

Sweet dreams!

Dr. Whitney

 

Before you hit the pillow, apply an overnight-focused formula as the last step in your p.m. regimen. “Skin cells grow faster when you’re asleep, so a nighttime treatment can add nutrients that help to repair and restore even better, says NYC dermatologist and The Beauty of Dirty Skin author, Dr. Whitney Bowe.

As I discussed today on Good Morning America, nighttime is the perfect time for your skin to heal itself from any damage sustained during the day (including environmental stressors like UV rays and pollution). When we sleep, our stress hormone (cortisol) goes down and our sleep hormone (melatonin) goes up. Our body, and our skin, are in repair mode. In fact, studies show that new skin cells grow faster while you sleep!

I encourage my patients to take advantage of this period of skin renewal and restoration by giving their skin some nighttime pampering! Here are some of my tips and fave products to get the most out of your beauty sleep:

First, try to sleep on your back! If you tend to sleep on your side or plant your face in your pillow, then you are prone to develop what are called sleep lines- they are creases on your face that ultimately form permanent wrinkles. If you just can’t get comfy on your back or want to get fancy, there are more sophisticated pillows that are designed to keep the face off of the pillow, even if you roll onto your side. One of my favorites is the JuveRest Sleep Wrinkle Pillow with cover ($160 at Amazon.com),

Second, as I discussed on air, skin is prone to dehydration at night because your skin metabolism rises as it works hard to renew itself and you lose hydration as a result. Drink a glass of water before bed, invest in a cool mist humidifier and layer your skin with a serum first and then, a richer night cream for added moisture. One of my favorite serums for night is dr. brandt’s GLOW Overnight Resurfacing Serum. This serum contains retinol which stimulates skin renewal and works in harmony with your skin’s natural nighttime repair process ($86 at Sephora.com). **SEE DETAILS BELOW TO WIN THIS PRODUCT!!

Third, I use a copper infused eye mask when I sleep. Copper oxide is clinically proven to have anti-wrinkle properties! One of my faves is the sleep mask by Iluminage ($25 at Amazon.com).

**CONTEST DETAILS**

To enter for a chance to WIN dr. brandt’s GLOW Overnight Resurfacing Serum, (1) tell me one thing you do to unwind at night and (2) tag a friend!

BE SURE TO COMMENT UNDER THIS POST on either my IG (@drwhitneybowe) OR on my professional FB page, starting at NOON EST on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. I will announce the winner on WEDNESDAY, May 1, 2016 at 8:30 PM EST.

**This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be announced on my FB, Instagram, and Twitter pages and notified via FB Message or Instagram Message. The winner will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

@DrWhitneyBowe

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This site offers health, wellness, fitness and nutritional information for educational purposes only. The information on this website is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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