What helps your skin look more radiant, your eyes brighter, your hair shinier and your overall health better and costs next to nothing or nothing at all?
Water and sleep!
It seems like I read or watch a news story every week about the health benefits of water and sleep, my brain takes in the information and yet I don’t really pay attention to it. Instead, I lament how dull my skin looks and then I dole out money for any and every beauty product that promises to diminish lines, make my eyes look less… puffy and make my complexion more… radiant.
And then I proceed to drink more coffee than water and survive on as little sleep as possible and wonder why the beauty products I’m buying don’t work! I think my “thought process” was, the more expensive something was, the better it would work and if it was “free“, how much could it really do?
Well, here’s the scoop: water and sleep will do more for you than the most expensive beauty product on the market. Here’s just a few benefits they provide:
Benefits of Water
Water is essential to our survival and overall health. In areas with lower humidity and higher altitude, it’s even more important to get plenty of H2O. It’s calorie-free, caffeine-free, inexpensive and readily available. Plenty of water helps with bloating and puffiness, flushes out toxins, lubricates joints, improves circulation and blood flow, helps with constipation, gives you more energy, makes your eyes brighter and clearer, helps fight bad breath, fills you up, soothes stress-induced symptoms… and hydrated skin is more luminous and wrinkles are less noticeable. Ever heard the term prune face? Prunes are dehydrated plums so that’s the visual image I’m focusing on-I want more hydrated, smoother skin like a plum versus the dried up, wrinkly skin of a prune. How much water your body needs really depends on your age, activity level, medications you use, the weather and your overall health.
The Mayo Clinic suggests 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water a day (as a ballpark number but again, it actually depends on you and your specific needs). When I first moved to Colorado Springs about 10 years ago, I became severely dehydrated and had to go to the hospital (you’d think I would have learned my lesson at that point). Physically my skin was dry and shriveled, my eyes were sunken and dull, I was suffering with a severe headache, I was extremely lethargic, dizzy and light-headed and mentally I was very confused and couldn’t think straight. And at that point, when I did try to drink, I couldn’t hold anything down and just threw it up, which made me even more dehydrated. So, when your body is properly hydrated, you’ll look and feel better.
Benefits of Sleep
“Beauty sleep”….I think I thought this was a made-up phrase a woman came up with so she could sleep in late. Growing up I watched a lot of old black and white movies where the women always wore long gowns, were rich and had housekeepers who got the kids up in the morning and seemed a bit self-indulgent. I read about women who survived on little sleep, rose in their careers because they never slept and somewhere along the lines I equated sleep with laziness…(I was probably confused because I was sleep deprived!) Here are just a few benefits your body gets with the proper amount of sleep: your appearance improves with less puffy and dull eyes, your hair is less limp and your skin less dull. Your metabolic and endocrine functions work better and help with your immune system and thyroid function. Collagen 1 production is accelerated during sleep which helps keep moisture in our skin. The body’s growth hormones are at their optimum when we’re in “delta sleep” (our deepest stage of sleep) which helps kick-start the repair of cells and tissues. And it’s restorative to our cognitive and emotional function which helps keep us calm and pleasant.
Drinking more water and getting enough sleep can help your outer appearance, your mental state and keep your body functions working better and not gauge the pocketbook. And this is just a very small example of how water and sleep benefits the body!