We know that sleep is a restorative function, one that allows the organs and tissues to rest and  repair themselves and finish processes like flushing out toxins that allow them to continue functioning at top notch. Why is it then that so often the importance of sleep is undermined by things that seem to matter more? Whatever the cause, many adults feel unable to maintain a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night. The result, of course, is often plainly observed in our physical appearances– dark circles, swollen, puffy faces and eyes, perhaps even a sickly pallor to the complexion– not to mention increased difficulty in focusing or concentrating.

When working to correct our sleep cycles, we must remember that quality matters nearly as much as quantity, sometimes even more. Here are our favorite tips, from the Leitrim Observer,  to help you reset and rest more fully.

  1. Avoid Caffeine: Not only coffee and tea, but fizzy drinks and sweets like chocolate may contain caffeine which will encourage your body to stay awake.
  2. Clear your mind: While you can certainly plan ahead for the next day, mentally listing your agenda or things to consider, make an effort to put it all aside before bed. Quiet activity like reading, which will distract you from your cares, may help.
  3. Enjoy something soothing, like a warm bath, but avoid worrisome things like news reports or finishing one last task.
  4. Close those blinds! The darker and cooler your room is, the more deeply you will sleep.
  5. Work to maintain your bedroom as a restful place. Associations with work or even entertainment can pull you from a calming place. Leave your files and the TV in the living room.

For more tips, read the complete article here. Once you’ve made a few changes to your bedtime routine, you may just find yourself waking up more refreshed and noticing the payoff in the mirror each morning through a clearer, rosier complexion, and brighter, whiter eyes. Good luck and Sweet Dreams!