IMG_2315.JPGWe’ve all heard time and time again that the best thing you can do to maintain a youthful appearance is to get enough rest. Sleep is key to keeping your skin fresh and achieving optimal health.  The thing is, for all of us night owls, getting eight or more hours of sleep just doesn’t fit the schedule. Most women are busy in the late evening responding to emails, house chores, or catching up on The Bachelor (priorities people!). We don’t have time to be lying in bed waiting for Mr. Sandman to help us fall asleep. It’s rare for me to be in bed before midnight most nights, which really isn’t good for my health. I knew I wasn’t getting enough sleep because I was extremely groggy in the mornings and barely on time for work most days. The worst part was I could start to see bags under my eyes, and I had an overall tired-looking appearance. No Bueno.

I knew I needed to make a change a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to put a few tips, tricks and products I learned about to the test! Here are my 5 tried and true remedies to get the best beauty sleep possible!IMG_2307.JPG

1. Take a hot bath or shower.

By warming up the body and immersing yourself in a relaxed environment, you start to prep your mind and body for a good night’s rest. Don’t be afraid to light some candles, put on soft music and just pamper yourself for 15-20 minutes. Your body and mind will almost immediately begin to unwind. While in the tub or shower, I love to scrub down with Bloke Body Vanilla Chai Sugar Scrub. The scent is so yummy, and sloughing off the grime of a long day will instantly make you feel better. Plus slipping in between the sheets with smooth legs is one of the best things in the world!


2. Natural Supplements.

If I don’t feel myself getting sleepy and it’s getting pretty late in the evening, I usually take some melatonin. Melatonin is a natural supplement that instructs your brain to know it’s time to go to sleep. Most over the counter brands are completely safe, but be sure to consult with your doctor or health care physician before taking it. When I use melatonin it helps me fall asleep really naturally and I wake up in the morning refreshed.

3. Turn off your phone/ iPad/ electronics.

I know this is a tough one! If you’re anything like me, my iPhone 6+ is practically my baby. I used to lie in bed trying to fall asleep by reading an e-book, or scrolling through Pinterest. Turns out, the blue light your device emits is similar to that of the sun, which isn’t good for your brain when trying to fall asleep. Instead of perusing Instagram before hitting the hay, opt for a real book instead! There’s nothing turning the pages of a good old-fashioned novel or magazine while snuggled up under the covers!


4. Essential Oils.

I’m kind of a skeptic when it comes to essential oils, but I am absolutely in love with my Serenity Blend from doTERRA. It has Lavender, Roman Chamomile and Sandalwood among other great essential oils. It’s commonly used to calm your mood, help with anxiety, treat insomnia, mental fatigue and induce sleep. Before bed I like to rub a couple drops onto the bottom of my feet and on the back of my neck. You can even add a few drops to your pillow insert. It has a very calming scent and I can tell it really helps me to relax.


5. The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique.

When practicing yoga, you’re usually taught a few breathing techniques, including that of Ujjayi breathing. Ujjayi breath is a way of controlling your breathing by restricting the muscles in your throat. When you exhale you want to do it like you would fog a window with your breath on a cold day. You apply that same restriction when you inhale. Once you get used to it, you can begin inhaling and exhaling through your nose. When I came across the 4-7-8 breathing technique used to help folks fall asleep, I wasn’t surprised at all to see that it had a really positive effect. Basically what you do is inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, then exhale slowly for 8 seconds. When you hold your breath and exhale slowly, it helps to slow your heart rate down which immediately helps calm your mind and nerves. Try it a couple of times the first night, or just practice mindful Ujjayi breathing and see if it helps you doze off naturally!

After a week of trying these tips, tricks and products I found that I was able to fall asleep at 10 o’clock every night! Even better, I didn’t hit the snooze button in the morning even once! I’ve been sleeping thru the night and I can already tell a difference in my appearance. My skin is a bit brighter, and because I’m getting enough rest I have plenty of time in the morning to read emails, eat breakfast, and actually wash my hair instead of dumping dry shampoo on it!

Plan on using any of these tips or products? Snap a pic and tag us with @laurenkelp and #LKbeauty on Instagram/ Twitter!

breann bowman