Sleep Your Way to Younger-Looking Skin

1. Sleep on Your Back

Did you know that resting your face on the pillow the same way every night for years leads to wrinkles? Called “sleep lines” or “sleep wrinkles”, they’re formed when skin creases during the night and eventually become etched onto the surface of the skin! I saw it happening in my own mirror each morning as my 50th birthday approached. I had a vertical line forming below my eye and a “V” on my chest. I was shocked when my dermatologist told me she could tell which side I sleep on because of deeper wrinkles on one side.

Chest wrinkles from side sleeping

Chest wrinkles from side sleeping

I immediately started retraining myself to sleep on my back. It took about 6 months to finally get used to it (click here to read exactly what worked for me). Unfortunately, most people have a hard time retraining themselves, but a reader sent me a product that just might help.

Pillow with Label

The Back-to-Sleep Pillow was developed by a woman in her mid-40s to help her learn to sleep on her back after she noticed chest wrinkles forming. It’s made of Cool Gel Memoryfoam and comes in soft or firm. The pillow has a channel that cradles the head and gently reminds you to stay on your back when you start to roll to the side in your sleep. The Back-to-Sleep Pillow sells for $119.00, but Hot & Flashy readers can get 10% Off with Discount Code “Hotandflashy” at www.sleeptimeproducts.com.

The Back-To-Sleep Pillow comes with an organic cotton cover, or there's a bamboo cover for $19.95 extra.

The Back-To-Sleep Pillow comes with an organic cotton cover, or there’s a bamboo cover for $19.95 extra.

2. Sleep with Your Head Elevated

It ‘s pretty common knowledge that lack of sleep leads to more under-eye puffiness, darkness and wrinkles, but did you know why? It’s because blood and other fluids pool under the eyes during the night. To reduce eye bags and dark circles, sleep with your head slightly elevated. The fluids will drain away rather than pooling under the eyes. This is especially easy to do if you’re sleeping on your back (hint hint. . . )! I noticed right away that a side benefit to sleeping on my back with my head elevated was more rested looking eyes in the morning. I have less puffiness since I started sleeping this way.

I elevate my head by sleeping on 3 pillows that I prop up, but it leads to a lot of adjusting and sinking during the night. I’m going to get a foam wedge that I saw on Amazon.com to make elevated back sleeping easier to accomplish.

Foam Wedge on Amazon

Brentwood Foam Sleep Wedge

 

3. Get Plenty of Sleep

While we sleep our bodies produce more protein and HGH (human growth hormone) to help skin repair itself and remain more elastic. Research shows that skin cell regeneration almost doubles at night, peaking between 11p.m.and 4a.mLack of sleep causes production of stress hormones that cause inflammation and oxidative stress and makes skin look older.

Those are 3 great reasons to get 8 hours a night, but it’s easier said than done for menopausal women. During perimenopause our bodies decrease production of estrogen and progesterone (a sleep promoting hormone) making it harder to fall asleep. Throw in night sweats (hot flashes) and it’ll come as no surprise that 61% of menopausal women struggle with sleep disturbances. The generic advice for menopausal women is to stick to a regular bedtime routine, wear light clothing, keep the room cool and sleep with a bucket of ice water next to your bed OR go on antidepressants or HRT.

I do find a regular schedule and bedtime routine helpful, but what helps me sleep the most is getting plenty of regular exercise and staying active. If I’m tired at the end of the day it’s much easier to fall asleep. Part of my bed-time routine is reading on my iPad. I know the experts say not to use electronics,  but this really helps me. I set the page to black and the type to white and turn the brightness all the way down so it’s casting much less blue light. Then I read until I can’t keep my eyes open (usually within a page or two). The lights are already off so I just drop my iPad on the bedside table and it’s off to dreamland!

If I do wake up with a hot flash I usually fall back to sleep within a few minutes. I fan the covers until I feel cool again, but these episodes really do disturb my quality of sleep. It’s fine if I have one on occasion but when I have a few restless nights in a row, it makes a huge difference in how I look and how I feel. When that happens and I’m desperate for a good nights sleep, I use a sleep aid. My night-sweats aren’t bad enough for a prescription yet, so I take Vick’s ZzzQuil. It’s a non-habit forming sleep-aid from the makers of NyQuil and it works like a charm.

ZzzQuil

I drink a capful of the liquid half an hour before bed, and I’m off to dreamland!

 

I help skin do it’s repair work and retain more moisture by using a night-time moisturizer with hyaluronic acid and antioxidants like Olay Regenerist Microsculpting Cream for the face, Aquaphor Original Balm for lips, and Gold Bond Ultra Healing Cream for hands.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

Aquaphor Healing Ointment - $4.99 for 1.7 oz.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment – $4.99 for 1.7 oz.

Gold Bond Healing with Aloe Hand Cream

Gold Bond Healing with Aloe Hand Cream

I slather up with these 3 moisturizing products every night so I can wake looking my best in the morning!

I wish you all a good night’s sleep tonight and every night! 

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