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Advice

Sleeping Soundly: How Sleep Affects Your Looks

There is never a more relevant time to talk about sleep than after the holidays. With the parties, family obligations, and last ditch efforts to get presents wrapped and casseroles cooked, who has 8 hours each day to spend sleeping?

Maybe it is the fact that I am getting older, or maybe it is because I have put more effort into taking care of myself in recent years, but either way I have definitely noticed a drastic difference in how sleep has impacted me this holiday season. When I am lacking it, like right now, my brain functions at a snails pace, my ability to turn down junk food is non-existent, and my skin looks like it did when I was 15.

The reality is I am willing to sacrifice for most of the downfalls of sleep deprivation, but as soon as my appearances start to suffer I know it is time to take action. So if you are like me and are putting Zzzz's at the top of the to-do list for 2013, here are some things to consider:

Resting each night is the only time that our bodies have to fully focus on restoring itself, so when we don't get enough of it our brain starts sending distress signals. Eventually this can lead to inflammation in our skin which can cause acne outbreaks, as well as ominous dark circles under our eyes.

Before it is time to hit the hay, the most important thing to do is wash your face.  Going to sleep with makeup on prevents oxygen from getting to the skin, so even if you make the effort to have a full night of sleep your skin will still suffer.

During the day your skin is subjected to all kinds of harmful things such as UV rays and pollution, so sleep is when we get a much needed break from that. When we lay down and close our eyes the body begins to build the necessary proteins in order to repair the damage of the day. To complete the process it is recommended to get a full 8 hours of shut eye. To further the glow that your skin will have after a great sleep, try out some of these amazing DIY skin treatments.

I have tried just about everything to help my troubled sleeping, but what I have found works the best is going back to the basics. The single most important thing you can do is drink more water because water and sleep go hand-and-hand. When your body is dehydrated it also prompts the brain to send distress signals, making you naturally more on edge and naturally less likely to drift into a peaceful slumber.

Every day I limit my caffeine intake to one cup of coffee in the morning and strictly water thereafter. This has many benefits because chronic dehydration not only affects our sleep but can also cause our hair to become dry and brittle.

The more water we drink the easier it is for our body to get into a rhythm that promotes sleep, but a healthy diet is vital to this as well. Loading up on healthy foods (that promote hair health, too!) like salmon, low-fat dairy, and leafy greens is important. As I mentioned above, be sure to avoid caffeine and sugary food and drinks all together. But if you can't resist, try to limit your intake to earlier in the day.

Do you have a relaxing beauty routine you do each evening to help you fall asleep? Share your tips with us! Visit us on Twitter @loxabeauty or leave a comment on our blog.

For the love of hair,

Courtney