By Andrea Michelle for Olay
They say on average we spend one third of our lives sleeping – nearly 230,000 hours in a lifetime, based on people getting 8 hours sleep per night. Yet if you’ve got young kids at home you’ve probably just snort-laughed reading this because it’s unlikely you’ve clocked up the recommended 8 hours since you gave birth*.
Throw a social life into the mix of motherhood – especially as the Silly Season hits us – and the idea of a good night’s sleep gets even sketchier.
So unless you’re willing to auction off the kids on Ebay and forgo the occasional night out with friends, it’s something we need to suck up.
There are however, ways to make those precious hours of sleep that we DO get more peaceful, potent and valuable.
Sleep on your back
No, this one is not easy to do, and naturally you’re going to move around during the night, but its worth practising and trying to make it a habit for the beauty benefits.
Sleeping on your back allows excess fluid to drain from around your eyes making them look less puffy. It ensures face creams and treatments are not rubbed off, and reduces the amount of wake-up wrinkles on your face and décolletage caused by smooshing yourself against a pillow.
Manage your dreams
One day there’ll probably be an app that’ll let us choose exactly what we dream of – Ryan Gosling saying “Hey Girl!” on repeat anyone?! – but in the meantime, try Brainwave 32 Binaural Programs App that helps to manage the types of dreams you have. Want a deep sleep? There’s a setting for that. Want more of a dreamy slumber? There’s a setting for that too.
I found this app especially helpful when I was going through a period of having quite vivid and frightening dreams. By setting the app to ‘Deep Sleep’ I seemed to side step those, having a more chilled out night. The app also has a bunch of settings to help you fall asleep that I’ve had success with, not only for myself but for my kids.
Tailor your skin care regime
While we are snoozing, our DNA repair is doing the equivalent of a high-energy workout. Research by Olay shows that our skin repairs itself more at night because our bodies are not focusing on other functions. To take advantage of that, it’s key to use a night cream designed to accelerate skin cell renewal and nourish, instead of just whacking on your usual daytime product.
Look for products containing Vitamin B3, Olive extract, Amino Peptides, Dill Seeds Extract, Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerol that together will speed up renewal and slow down the ageing process, like the Olay Regenerist Overnight Miracle Range, which includes Miracle Boost Youth Pre-Essence, a cream for the day and one specially tailored for night.
I’ve been using the Olay range for the last couple of months and have seen a visible reduction in wrinkles. The product I liked most from the range is their night-time offering – Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Night Cream. This cream is quickly absorbed and feels light on your skin. Much more conducive to night-time cuddles than heading to bed covered in a thick, greasy film.
Invest in a silk pillowcase
Because it won’t leave thick crease marks on your skin, and is more gentle on your hair – meaning less tangles and breakages long term. Also a god send for maintaining a blow dry!
Change your alarm
In a perfect world we’d be gently woken up by delicate soft kisses from someone we love accompanied by the scent of a freshly brewed coffee that’s waiting for us on our bedside table.
But in reality it’s more likely that we’re rudely startled awake by the sound of a crying kid or a screaming alarm clock.
While there’s not much that can be done about the little ones – except count down the days till they are teenagers and want to sleep in till noon – changing your alarm is doable. And I’m not just talking about changing the sounds you wake up to.
There are a bunch of sleep apps available that track and analyse your shut eye determining when you are getting the most deep and restful sleep. They’ll then wake you up within a window either side of your specified alarm time while you are lighter sleep mode. So instead of your alarm ripping you out of that amazing dream, it’s more likely you are gently prodded awake. Some of the top rated apps include Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock, Sleep Bot, and Good Morning Alarm Clock – Sleep Cycle Tracker which I’ve been using for the last month or so and does a good job.