Forget expensive facial creams and concealers; investing in a good nights rest could save you lots of money, make your skin glow and leave you feeling and looking better than ever. Getting enough sleep sounds as obvious as drinking enough water, but it is another one of those things that people often struggle to do. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. If that sounds too luxurious amount for you, then read on for tips on how to change that.
Why do we need sleep?
Sleep is vital to help the body recover and repair itself and also keep it functioning at it’s absolute best. Lack of sleep can cause weight gain, puffy eyes, a dull complexion and can even make you look older and age faster. Other than the signs that appear on the surface, more serious side affects include fatigue, increased stress levels and depression, loss of concentration and in serious cases serious disorders like insomnia. How we feel directly affects how we look and sometimes no amount of under-eye can cover up how sleep deprived we are.
Lack of sleep increases the amount of the stress hormone cortisol that is produced. Too much cortisol can cause increased inflammation in the body which can lead to breakouts and can also worsen pre-existing conditions like eczema and acne. Increased inflammation also leads to the break down of collagen and hyaluronic acid that helps to give our skin a gorgeous glow, leaving our skin looking dull and lacklustre. To improve how we look on the outside, it is important to start from the inside and sleep is a huge part of that.
Let’s be honest, in our busy day-to-day lives, long hours of work, study and basic tasks, getting extra sleep sounds impossible. This is why apps are extremely easy and convenient ways to learn about our sleep habits and how to improve them. Here are the top apps you can use to catch those Z’s!
‘Sleep Debt Tracker’ – Tracking Your Sleep To Build Good Habits
Sleep debt tracker is a free app that automatically tracks how much sleep you are getting. It will detect sleep if you do not use your phone for about 3 hours and there is no movement and no light. Once you wake up, you can check to see if the app guessed the amount of time you slept correctly and edit if necessary. Tracking sleep is an excellent way to learn when you go to bed and what your sleep habits are. Do you go to bed to late? Are you waking up in the middle of the night? This app will let you know!
It has a “target sleep duration” feature which uses the National Sleep Foundations recommendations to help you reach the right amount of sleep. This app allows you to view your sleep history over time and it even tracks how often you nap! It is very easy to use and requires no effort at all. Building a good habit is the best way to start improving and getting enough sleep and sleep debt tracker is a great way to start.
‘Calm’ – Using Sleep Stories To Unwind And Relax
Calm is a fantastic all around app for reducing anxiety and relieving stress, but the sleep stories feature is a real gem. If you haven’t heard of sleep stories before, they are relaxing stories for adults designed to ease you gently in to sleep. This app has many free stories for you to listen to, some of which are narrated by Stephen Fry! Blue Gold, narrated by Stephen Fry, takes you on a journey through beautiful lavender fields in the sleepy villages of Provence, France. It is very dreamy, relaxing and sure to help you unwind after a stressful day.
Check out our full review on Calm and see if the sleep mist is really worth it here.
If you feel particularly stressed, stories are a great way to distract yourself and disappear of in to the wonderful lands that they describe in these stories. Calm has some of the best narrators available whose soft voices really help you nod off. If fiction isn’t your thing, they also offer non fiction, music, nature and even ASMR. Pop on a silk eye mask and some headphones and get ready for the best nights sleep you have ever had!
‘Lifelog’ For Android- Apps You Already Have But Do Not Use!
Lifelog for Android is one of the default apps that is already installed on your device. It has an excellent feature on it which automatically logs your sleep. It differs to sleep debt tracker because it also takes in to consideration your age, height and weight to give a more personalised experience that you can track over the course of days, weeks, months and years! Lifelog helps you to understand your sleeping patterns so you can figure out how best to get a better night’s rest.
Do you have any apps or gadgets you like to use to help you get a good nights rest? Share your top tips in the comments below!