by Juliet Wheater
Sleep deprivation is detrimental to our physical and mental health. When was the last time you had a restful, undisturbed night’s sleep? Although its vital for our health and wellbeing, seemingly most of us just aren’t getting enough. While you’re sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. It’s formingnew pathways to help you learn and remember information and the body is healing and repairing itself.
According to The Sleep Council, when we first fall asleep we enter non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM). This is divided into three stages, with each becoming progressively deeper. NREM1 and NREM2 are light phases of sleep, from which we can be easily roused. NREM3 becomes deeper and if woken, we can feel disorientated. Following on from this, is rapid eye movement sleep REM, the stage at which we dream.
Each sleep cycle lasts around 1.5 hours and in order to feel fully rested when we wake up, we must experience all four stages.
A change in seasons can greatly affect our energy levels, so it’s important to keep our bodies well rested. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the body has a 24-hour body energy clock, allowing each organ its own time to regeneration. In Western medicine this is referred to as the body’s circadian rhythms. For example, if waking between 1am-3am it is usually your liver and if it is between 3am-5am it is usually your lungs, meaning that these particular organs may need more attention and mayrequire more nutrition to detox, repair or nourish them.
Findings show clear evidence that lack of sleep leads to signs of ageing as skin cell renewal is most active while we sleep, so it’s important that spa clients understand from their therapist, during any skin treatment consultation, how consistent poor sleeping patterns can directly affect their skin.
Perhaps you might like to educate your clients to the benefits of pure essential oils within their bedtime routines.
This calming scent is perfect for nights when the mind is buzzing. Lavender is believed to slow down the nervous system and decrease the heart rate and blood pressure, which helps with deep sleep.
If feeling anxious or stressed, try using beauty products containing vanilla before bed. Studies have shown that vanilla can reduce the startle reflex, calm the mind and ease breathing problems. Its cosy aroma can be nostalgic to some.
With an aroma that smells like roses, geranium can reduce stress and has a sedative effect. This means that if waking in the night, you should find it easy to go back to sleep again.
Kathryn Pinkham of The Insomnia Clinic gives her top tips on catching healthier Zzzzzzs.
A bedtime routine is key. When we’re born we don’t know how to sleep but we learn. A bath and a bottle of milk, for example, might become cues which lead to sleep. As adults we should continue to use such cues so our body becomes to understand what’s next.This could be as easy as washing your face and applying moisturiser.
The 15 Minute Rule
If you wake in the night, try to avoid looking at the clock but if you’ve been awake longer than about 15 minutes, leave the bedroom. When we start relating our beds to tossing and turning, we can quickly start to feel stressed. Perhaps relax and read for 10 minutes.
Ban Blue Light
The stress of long, demanding workdays, exhausting commutes, 24 hour connectivity to mobiles, computers, plus the high levels of blue light they emit, are all contributing to poor quality of sleep. The blue light from our phones mimics daylight and inhibits the development of the sleep hormone melatonin. Don’t confuse your body before bed by being on your phone before switching the lights out.
Put the Day to Rest
As the day closes, try and mentally put it to rest, writing down anything concerning you. This is a therapeutic way of telling your brain that you have acknowledged your worries.
Neom, Perfect Night Sleep – Lavender Facial Oil
This Works, Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
The Scentered Aromatherapy Sleep Well Balm Stick
Pukka, Sleep Tea
Be sure to join us during National Spa Week as from 4th– 10thNovember, over at the UK Spa Association’s website, where we’ll revisit the importance of sleep, offering beneficial tools from The Sleep Council.