By Huda Heidi Kattan

Ok, we all know that sleep, sometimes referred to as “beauty sleep” is a huge determinant to good health and of course, beauty, but how many of us actually get enough of our z’s? I admit it! I am totally guilty of not getting my share of rest! In fact, I’m lucky if I get a good 6 hours on some nights. So just what are the affects of not catching enough shut eye?

Well for starters, if you are trying to be physically fit, not sleeping the worst thing you can do.  Poor sleeping habits can increase the amount of body fat percentage as well as cortisol in the body (a natural hormone that increases abdominal fat and causes fatigue).  In order for your body to breakdown and produce protein, you must be getting your fair share of deep 8-hour sleep.  Not only is protein crucial for our physique, but also for repairing damage from factors like stress and sun damage.

You may not know this already, but your skin will thank you for making time to sleep.  Hydration is one of the biggest benefits of sleep.  You may have noticed that when you sleep, the rate at which you perspire is far greater than when you are awake.  This perspiration acts as a natural moisturizer and actually helps keep skin soft while smoothing out wrinkles.  While not getting enough sleep can cause skin disorders and hinder the ability for your skin to repair itself, resulting in an unhealthy, dull appearance.

If you struggle sleeping, here are a few tips on how to get bed-ready:

  1. Finish all of your to-dos at least an hour before your desired bed-time
  2. Dim the lights
  3. Concentrate and listen to your breathing, take long breathes
  4. When you are in bed, do not look at the time
  5. Try a pillow mist with lavender in it (just a spray will go a long way)

image courtesy of fanpop