Getting your beauty sleep by Denise Leicester
It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing: from both a scientific and an esoteric viewpoint, sleep brings the ultimate renewal to our cells and systems. During the day we are in a metabolic phase, our cells requiring and burning energy. During sleep, most of our systems are in a heightened anabolic state, accentuating cellular growth and rejuvenation – particularly in regard to the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems.
On a subtle level, it is no coincidence that the 16 petals of the throat chakra – the body’s sleep centre – are found on the face. Or that this is the chakra that governs our ability to express our purest inner truth – the key to our innermost beauty.
On a physical level, a good night’s sleep helps counter signs of ageing – from dark circles and swollen, bloodshot eyes to dull skin and wrinkles. It also boosts mental clarity, improves physical performance, takes the edge off emotional traumas, helps defend our body against pathogens and protects against everything from heart disease to stress. Not bad for the cheapest and most effective beauty treatment out there!
Understanding what we need to sleep well is essential. A room that is dark, quiet and slightly cooler helps promote deeper, more restful slumber. Not stimulating the mind with TV, alcohol, caffeine or close-up screen-time in the evening is equally important. A regular night-time cleansing routine not only give cells important breathing space to renew but also helps body and mind to shut down (much like the regularity of a nightly bath for babies). Finally, a glass of warm almond milk is great at night for the skin and is also an effective way to promote sleep and relaxation. (It’s an excellent source of essential minerals including iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper and manganese; packed with vitamin B2 and E; and rich in tryptophan – an amino acid that promotes sleep.)
Trouble relaxing at bedtime? Try a glass of warm almond milk with a teaspoon of agave syrup. The sweet, creamy combination not only tastes delicious but also contains powerful ingredients that promote cellular rejuvenation – ultra-beneficial at night when they are in harmony with the body’s natural regeneration processes. For the skin, I love blending organic shea butter (an excellent replenisher) with a rich rosehip seed oil and a few drops of sandalwood – a special oil that hydrates and repairs at the deepest possible level. If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, add a few drops of neroli. I love this blossom; as well as being divinely relaxing, neroli oil also helps to regenerate skin cells. Sweet dreams.