Pre-snooze habits to help your body re­pair it­self

Shape (Singapore) - - November 2018 -

A mirac­u­lous thing hap­pens when your brain tunes out: Your body shifts into ac­tion, re­pair­ing the dam­age done through­out the day. These are hours you want to take ad­van­tage of. The four strate­gies here will boost the re­cov­ery process, so you wake up health­ier and more en­er­gised.

Take these nu­tri­ents be­fore bed Spe­cific vi­ta­mins and min­er­als that help you sleep bet­ter may im­prove the func­tion of your body’s nat­u­ral re­pair sys­tems, says Dr Jill Car­na­han, founder and med­i­cal di­rec­tor of Flat­iron Func­tional Medicine in Colorado. Look for a sup­ple­ment that con­tains the neu­ro­trans­mit­ter GABA or mela­tonin, which re­laxes you, and mag­ne­sium or zinc, which calms the ner­vous sys­tem. Power up your skin­care “Skin tem­per­a­ture rises slightly at night, so you ab­sorb in­gre­di­ents bet­ter,” says Dr David Bank, der­ma­tol­o­gist and founder and di­rec­tor of The Cen­ter for Der­ma­tol­ogy, Cos­metic & Laser Surgery in New York. He sug­gests us­ing a prod­uct with one or more of these three sub­stances: retinol to pro­mote healthy cell turnover; vi­ta­min E, an anti-in­flam­ma­tory that coun­ters the dam­age caused by pol­lu­tion; and hyaluronic acid, a su­per­hy­dra­tor that helps skin re­tain mois­ture. Paula’s Choice Re­sist Ul­tra-light Su­per An­tiox­i­dant Con­cen­trate Serum (from $15, has two of the three: hyaluronic acid and vi­ta­min E. Do a quick rinse The acidic and sug­ary foods and drinks we con­sume dur­ing the day slowly eat away at tooth enamel, and the process in­ten­si­fies at night. “When we sleep, saliva pro­duc­tion de­creases, mak­ing our mouths more acidic and vul­ner­a­ble to cav­ity-caus­ing bac­te­ria,” says Yas­min Chebbi, a den­tist with the Floss Bar in Bos­ton. Rinse with a rem­iner­al­is­ing mouth­wash be­fore bed to lower the acid­ity and “give you seven or eight hours when the teeth can re­pair them­selves,” sug­gests Yas­min. Sleep on your side This po­si­tion speeds up the body’s glym­phatic sys­tem, which helps re­move harm­ful de­bris from your brain as you snooze, says Ben­jamin Plog, a re­searcher at the Univer­sity of Rochester. “The brain pro­duces a lot of metabolic waste dur­ing the day,” he says. “If that de­bris builds up, it could po­ten­tially pre­dis­pose a per­son to Alzheimer’s dis­ease.” Side sleep­ing helps your brain detox and stay healthy.

THE NIGHT FIX As you doze, your body works hard to re­pair a day’s worth of dam­age.

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