You can’t talk about beauty without sleep. From the beginning of time, man has relied on deep sleep as a vital part of good health and well-being. Studies have shown that sleep affects growth and stress hormones, heals, boosts the immune system, and more. But experts are now seeing just how little sleep or “good sleep” 💤millennials and Gen Z are getting from their own lifestyles. Said disruption of sleep is why we’ve partnered with hims, an all-encompassing wellness brand for men, to launch our first SLEEP WEEK. Among hair, sex, skin, mouth products, hims launched sleep gummies. Together, we’re bringing you an entire week of stories that are all about achieving your best sleep – ever. From influencers sharing their best sleep tips, to the science behind sleep, to the best products before bed and more, we’ve rounded the best info to get you zZz-ing asap 😴.
On January 2, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology published a study warning that getting 6 hours or less of sleep each night is bad for your heart. Like, really bad.
Basically, the fewer Zzz‘s you catch, the narrower your blood vessels get over time, which got us thinking about all the other things that happen when you doze off for the evening. Once you approach the deepest parts of sleep, your body temperature and blood pressure drop, there’s increased blood flow to your muscles, all kinds of hormones are released and … your mouth gets all bacteria-y. (Essentially, your saliva circulates through the night with lots of antibacterial compounds to keep you healthy.)
SEE ALSO: You don’t know sheet about sleep
While the science of sleep isn’t always pretty, there are plenty of ways to make sure you get your beauty sleep – literally. And, yes, “beauty sleep” is a real thing, by the way.
The University of Oxford found in a 2013 study that people who were sleep deprived or didn’t sleep enough actually looked unattractive to others. Saddled with “hanging eyelids, redder eyes, more swollen eyes, darker circles under the eyes, paler skin, more wrinkles/fine lines, and more droopy corners of the mouth,” Oxford’s super sleepy test subjects were “perceived as … less attractive, and even less healthy … confirming the colloquial notion of beauty sleep and suggesting a role of sleep history in social interactions.”
So now that we know that getting enough sleep is the first and most crucial step in waking up (mostly) flawless, what else should you be doing before, during and after you go night-night to lock down your beauty rest regimen?
The University of Oxford found in a 2013 study that people who were sleep deprived or didn’t sleep enough actually looked unattractive to others.
Lucky for you, in honor of Sleep Week, I tested a range of head-to-toe beauty and wellness must-haves designed and formulated to ensure that you can look in the mirror each morning and declare with confidence (and without lying): “I woke up like this!”
From gummy bear sleep aids to silk pillowcases and charcoal m, these are Very Good Light’s beauty rest MVPs:
I know these cute, beet-infused gummy bears are not technically dessert, but it’s still a treat to pop 2-3 before bed each night knowing that a) I’m not busting my diet with actual candy and b) I’m about to get the. best. sleep. ever. Seriously, hims is the GOAT when it comes to over-the-counter sleep aids with the added bonus of not leaving you all groggy and spaced out when it’s time to wake up. BUY hims Sleep Gummy Vitamins, $19
The Nue Co
When I read that nutritionist Daphne Javitz takes her probiotics before bed (rather than in the morning), my life changed. Seriously. Your gut is still hard at work while you sleep, so feeding it the millions and millions of good bacteria it needs (and craves) to function properly while you snooze makes tons of sense. Now, waking up less bloated and blah each day is my new obsession thanks to The Nue Co’s capsules, which deliver 15 billion spores per dose. BUY Prebiotic + Probiotic, $85
Call me bougie, but I love a good pillow spray. It just feels so luxe and special — but it’s easy to get addicted. And, it’s especially easy when your pillow spray of choice pulls double duty as a sleep aid. This Works’ Deep Sleep Pillow Spray is a cult favorite, winning awards and basically being hailed as the nightstand must-have for those in the know. The hype is real — and warranted — since the spray’s combo of lavender, vetivert and camomile gently rock you into Losing My Religion levels of REM. BUY This Workds Deep Sleep Pillow Spray – $29
A 6-step beauty process is obviously time-consuming — and perhaps even a bit intimidating — but Savor Beauty has transformed my bedtime routine from a chore into cherished self-care time. The MVP of the lineup is “step zero,” a pre-cleansing oil that takes everything off and leaves your skin baby-soft before you’ve even gotten to Steps 1-5. Now, I can’t imagine going to bed without it. BUY Step #0 Organic Coconut Pre-Cleanse Oil – $32
OK, so no one’s perfect and on the occasional night when I don’t feel like going through my 6-step skincare process, it’s POND’S to the rescue. Their pillowy, soapy wipe is gentle on eyes, smells amazing and cleanses almost as well as washing, wiping away most of the guilt of not rinsing your face with actual water. BUY POND’s Original Fresh MoistureClean Towelettes
The struggle is real when it comes to managing screen time and as I attempt to wean myself off of Instagram and my computer just before bed, I’m at least taking measures to block the blue light blasting from all those screens. Pixel’s range of fashionable, functional computer glasses have been saving my eyes late-night when I just can’t help tapping through Stories. BUY Pixel Non-prescription computer glasses, $75-95
Overnight moisturizers can be tricky. Some are too thick. Some are too oily and stain your pillowcase. Some smell too strongly, keeping you awake/annoyed. Herbivore’s natural, vegan formulation made with a trio of superfruits — prickly pear, goji berry and red raspberry seed — avoids all of those pitfalls, working while you sleep to hydrate and soften. I’ve been massaging into freshly washed skin once a week and there is a definite glow up going on. BUY Herbivore MOON FRUIT Superfruit Night Treatment – $58
This floral-fresh blend is exactly what I need on nights when I’m not looking to lay it on too thick, but still want a product to work overtime while I sleep. The combination of Aesop’s brilliant fragrance combos and just-right hydration game makes this a bi-weekly treat I truly look forward to. BUY Aesop Blue Chamomile Hydrating Facial Masque -$55
I’ve been sleeping on silk and satin pillowcases for almost 15 years to make sure my hair is tamed and manageable in the morning. Recently, however, I’ve learned about the skincare benefits of sleeping on silk, which is said to absorb less of your lotions and potions overnight and prevent creases on the face. Slip’s pillowcases, eye masks and scrunchies do all of that and are also chic, modern and highly addictive. You’ve been warned … BUY Slip Pillowcase ($85-105), Sleep Mask ($50) and Scrunchies ($39)
In the morning
Charcoal is everywhere in the beauty world these days, so it’s no surprise that it’s showed up in oral care lately, too. After the aforementioned bacteria have had a field day in your mouth overnight, you need something strong enough to make you feel fresh but gentle enough to not burn your mouth first thing in the morning. Hello strikes the balance perfectly with its charcoal trio that’s so fresh you’ll feel like you just chewed an organic mint leaf or two. BUY Charcoal Whitening with Fluoride Toothpaste ($6), Charcoal Mouthwash ($7) + Activated Charcoal Toothbrush ($4)
Celeb hairstylist Kristin Ess has concocted a dry shampoo so perfect and luxe-smelling that I practically leap up from my silk pillowcase to spray my locks all over — whether my hair is actually dirty or not. It’s the perfect way to extend and seal in all the hours of beauty rest you put in the night before. BUY Kristen Ess Style Reviving Dry Shampoo – $14
Before I even think about coffee — or even my daily celery juice — I down a bottle of DIRTYLEMON +rose to activate the collagen in my skin, ensuring that I look as rested and glow-y as I feel. BUY DIRTYLEMON +rose – $45/case