Written by Stuart Miles- the UK's leading anti-ageing expert and founder of MilesYounger.com
Health experts agree that 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night is best but like many of us I struggle to achieve that. When you look in the mirror in the morning after a bad night’s sleep you look and feel older.
Surviving on less sleep means that you try to do everything you can to catch up. If you have a young child, a demanding job or simply have trouble sleeping, the one thing I discovered is that quality of sleep can be just as important as the quantity.
Our bodies repair and restore most intensely during the deep sleep cycle, that’s the part where you don’t dream and your system is truly at rest. With less hours available for us to sleep, we need to make sure we are reaching this deep sleep cycle as quickly as possible. The deep sleep cycle, it turns out, is the one that has the most anti-ageing benefits. According to sleep experts, during deep sleep we release the most amount of human growth hormone which affects the firmness of our skin and the muscles underneath it. I’ve come up with some tips for quality deep sleep that are quick and efficient and won’t delay your bedtime routine!
Herbal teas that contain ingredients like valerian or chamomile
There are all sorts of teas that really work to calm and relax you so that you fall into a deep sleep more quickly. Those which contain valerian are really useful if you are anxious or stressed.
Reducing noise and light.
Earplugs and eye masks allow you to fall asleep more quickly and means the deep sleep cycle is less likely to be disrupted.
Exercise enhances sleep quality as tired muscles will send a message to the brain that you need a deeply restoring level of sleep. Don’t exercise too close to bed time though as this can impair your ability to fall asleep as it produces those feel-good endorphins.
This may sound random but it is deeply relaxing as any reflexologist will tell you. It works well in short bursts unlike a full body massage which takes a while. If you can’t find anyone to do it try an electronic foot massager, HoMedics have some great ones. 5 minutes or so is all you need.
Avoid laptops and phones too close to bedtime.
Tests have proven the blue and white light given off by them prevents our brains from producing melatonin, the hormone that tells us it’s time to sleep. Some experts suggest not using devices for two hours before bed which could help us fall asleep faster.
I read that Retinol cream is really good for wrinkles, is this true and which is best?
Pat in Tonbridge, Kent.
Yes, Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A and proven to have an effect on fine wrinkles, skin texture and hyperpigmentation. The problem is some over the counter creams contain so very little. Do your homework and look at online reviews to see what works best for you. ROC retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream contains a good amount.
Dear Stuart, my husband’s hair at the front is very fine and no longer suits him when he styles it with product, what can you recommend?
Waxes and gels will clump the hair together at the front and reveals the scalp even more. Instead he should use something like a matt clay which may also thicken the hair. Some sea salt sprays are great to thicken and texturise the hair without weighing it down.
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