S LEEP When it comes to get­ting much needed rest, some sur­pris­ing tac­tics may be just the cure. By Li Ying Lim.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Beauty Bazaar -

Sorry, but here’s the big news—be­ing tired full-time or sleep de­prived is not “the norm”, and nei­ther is it “life”. “We’re so ac­cus­tomed to this shared weari­ness that we dis­miss it like a runof-the-mill windy day,” laments Dr. Holly Phillips, au­thor of The Ex­haus­tion Break­through. “My feel­ing is, it shouldn’t be that way and it doesn’t have to be that way.” Pick cat­naps over caf­feine, be­cause these Stage 2 naps—as coined by ex­perts—can sub­stan­tially awaken mo­tor learn­ing skills and im­prove alert­ness. Tip: Naps have to be con­sis­tent and not ad hoc, and never ex­ceed 30 min­utes for high-per­for­mance in­duc­ing naps. Light is the of­fi­cial reg­u­la­tor of our sleep­wake cy­cles,” ex­plains holis­tic psy­chi­a­trist Dr. Ellen Vora. “When we’re get­ting sleepy, light from screens, lamps, and even am­bi­ent light pol­lu­tion en­ters our eyes, telling the brain, ‘Good morn­ing, it’s 7am!’ (even though it’s 9pm).” “Our brains get con­fused, think­ing the sun just rose, and re­lease hor­mones that make us wide awake. Then, we lie in bed, won­der­ing why we can’t sleep.” Keep the light out when you nap, too, prefer­ably with an aro­mather­apy sleep­ing mask. En­ter your sleep mode grace­fully. Vora rec­om­mends us­ing F.lux on your com­puter—a free pro­gramme that grad­u­ally dims the screen to a softer, red­der light, mim­ick­ing sun­down. “Slouch­ing makes you feel tired, too, be­cause it places ex­cess strain on your neck, back, and hips; when your joints aren’t prop­erly aligned, your whole body has to work harder. Ad­di­tion­ally, stand­ing or sit­ting tall will im­prove the flow of oxy­gen to your brain, which in­creases your alert­ness,” ex­plains Phillips. Ex­er­cis­ing daily makes sleep come eas­ier, but a caveat be­fore you jump on that tram­po­line— night-time fit­ness rou­tines may bring on an ad­verse ef­fect, es­pe­cially if you re­fuel with post­work­out snacks, iso­tonic drinks, or a big meal. Hor­monal changes should also be mon­i­tored, as lack of sleep may lead to adrenal fa­tigue. “Pa­tients wake up feel­ing ex­hausted, crav­ing caf­feine. They are ir­ri­ta­ble and ‘hangry’ for salty or sug­ary foods. They can’t lose weight, and have lit­tle to no sex drive,” re­veals Dr. Wil­liam Cole. Please lie down. Beauty ex­pert Renée Rouleau says, “When the body is in a ver­ti­cal po­si­tion, blood and flu­ids in your body cir­cu­late down­wards due to grav­ity. At night, with the right amount of sleep, the flat po­si­tion of the body helps reg­u­late proper blood cir­cu­la­tion.” Can’t get more than five hours of sleep? Rouleau rec­om­mends splash­ing your face with re­ally cold wa­ter. “This will boost the cir­cu­la­tion and add needed colour to the skin.” If all else fails, ban­ish tired eyes in­stantly with white eye­liner close to the wa­ter­line and some high­lighter in the in­ner cor­ner of the eyes. Sleep— it is as easy as count­ing sheep.

Get a good night’s sleep, or look like you did, with a few savvy tricks

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