Sleep is an essential element of human existence. In sleep, our bodies repair and reset from the daily strains of modern life. While we’re sleeping, our hormones regulate the digestive system, our heart slows and our brains…well what do our brains do?
Without sleep, we’re more likely to look and feel dull and lifeless. We’re more likely to be crabby and easily irritated. Our skin looks dull and lifeless. We physically have no or very little energy. Our recall and memory tend to be slow and lackluster and solving complex problems gets harder. So, do we do all of this in sleep? Let’s take a look!
Building and restructuring
Every day we take in and process a lot of information. A lot of it is important, but even more is pretty worthless. When we sleep, our brain is essentially sifting through the minutiae of our day and deciding what to keep and what to toss - it’s very Marie Kondo!
As the brain creates these neural pathways, key information is stored as memories and the others are disconnected.
This is why the concept of “Sleeping on it” is actually a valid response to a problem you’re wrestling with. When you think and think until you’ve exhausted yourself, going to bed with the problem still on your mind effectively lets your brain sift through the key information. The insignificant things that seemed to matter so much in the daylight fade away and the big picture emerges.
We wouldn’t advise every decision to be made by sleeping on it! Now that you know there’s science behind the old adage, you might go to bed earlier for a good night’s sleep instead of stressing!
One of the best ways to sleep is with the luxury of a Silk Pillowcase. Adding a Silk Pillowcase to your nightly routine will help to soothe your skin, reducing irritation and helping to prevent breakouts. Silk’s natural fibers are moisture wicking, preventing the absorption and transference of oils and sebum that occur naturally in the skin and hair. Reduced absorption and transference means clearer skin and hair for you, every day.
Making the Most of the Day
It’s a bit of an oxymoron but sleep is where your day happens. As we move through the cycles of sleep, from pre-REM sleep and into REM sleep or slow wave sleep, our bodies are getting ready for the day ahead. Our brains take the time while we’re asleep to sift through the events of the day, restructuring the neural pathways and helping to consolidate the information we’ve learnt or taken in.
The lighter stages of sleep, as we’re just drifting off, are thought to play a key role in motor skills and motor skill learning. As we learn and develop new skills sets we develop muscle memory that assists us in the tasks. This early stage of sleep is thought to be the key to helping us maintain and retrieve the muscle memory information for later use.
As we slide into deeper states of sleep, we enter into waves of REM sleep. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. There are actually thought to be 4-5 stages of deep REM sleep that we cycle through each night. During this stage, we’re sleeping at our deepest and dreaming.
This stage of sleep has been hypothesized to help with creativity and emotional learning. Sleep specialists and sleep scientists posit that in deep REM sleep, our dreams are connected to highly emotionally charged events, which impact on their development and retention as memories. By contrast, pieces of information that are important, but not attached to emotions are less likely to be remembered in the same way and less likely to inspire dreams.
It is thought that the amount of the hormone cortisol that is released throughout the night has an impact on the stages of sleep and the types of dreams we have, from the fanciful to the terrifying.
For light sleepers, adding a Silk Eye Mask by Beauty Pillow can help to block out light and other sensory stimuli that can interrupt the stages of sleep. The Silk Eye Mask by Beauty Pillow is designed to sit comfortably on the delicate eye area. The cushioned silk fabric provides soft padding to the eyes, reducing the impact of nightly compression and preventing the development of dark circles and bags that can make you look more tired than you feel. Adding a Silk Eye Mask to your nightly routine can help to improve your sleep hygiene, for better, deeper sleep every night.
Riding the Wave
As we dream, our bodies release a variety of hormones, each with different and specific tasks in our body. Melatonin helps promote sleep. You might have seen or even taken melatonin supplements as sleep aides. Though helpful during bouts of insomnia or erratic sleep, caution should be taken when taking sleep supplements on the regular. Too much of anything can be damaging, and too much melatonin can throw off your body's natural hormone production, which could impact your slumber long term.
Cortisol is released as we dream. Cortisol helps our bodies regulate stress levels. That’s why, for some, in stressful times you might yawn or crave a nap, your body has upped its production of cortisol to help you cope. Our general advice would be to go with it, if you can. Getting in a short nap can help you conquer a stressful or complex problem.
They say teenagers sleep the day away, but that’s partly because when we sleep our bodies release growth hormones that are responsible for bone and muscle growth. Going through a growth spurt as you get older is certainly rare, but you might find that you need more sleep to recover from a new exercise routine. Adding a support pillow like the Knee Pillow to your bedtime routine can help to reduce your recovery time and alleviate the strain and tension on your legs and the muscles in the lower back.
Sleep support pillows help to support tired muscles and joints and help to promote blood flow. Increased circulation can help the muscles repair themselves quicker and can help to boost lymphatic drainage. Boosting blood and lymphatic flow is especially important as we get older, as fluid can build up around the joints and muscles, leading to painful inflammation.
Sleep can help to reset and revive tired muscles and joints. Our focus in sleep tends to be on our internal versus external. It’s often overlooked that the skin is the body’s largest organ. In sleep, our body’s cells repair and rejuvenate. Without a good night’s sleep we look dull and haggard. Our lines and wrinkles tend to look more pronounced and are harder to treat with topical or cosmetic treatments.
When we sleep on traditional pillows, we tend to push our body weight into our face and body unevenly. This can lead to compression lines and wrinkles, puffiness from constricted blood flow and muscular aches and pains. Adding in a support pillow like the anti aging Beauty Pillow can help to support your face and neck in sleep. Using an anti wrinkle pillow like the Beauty Pillow can help to reduce facial compression and swelling and prevent the formation of deep set sleep wrinkles.
Supporting your beauty and skin care routines with an active pillow and pillowcase like the Skin+ Pillowcase can help to boost the texture of the skin, while you sleep. Adding a Beauty Pillow and Skin+ Pillowcase to your nightly sleep routine can help to nourish and elevate your skin in sleep, for deep, restful beauty sleep every night.