By BR Kellie
I really did not need to read the latest research on sleep and lack of it. Like, really.
After months of broken sleep, of waking up for hours in the middle of the night, or sleeping through for a few hours only to wake in the early hours of the day when even the birds are still alseep, I did not need to know that research has shown that people who do not get enough sleep are considered less good looking than those who get a decent amount.
Turns out, according to this study published on Royal Society Open Science, beauty sleep really is a real thing. So how'd they figure it out?
25 people who usually slept 'normally' were recruited for the study - though they didn't know what was being studied. For two nights in a row they had to sleep for around eight hours, photos were then taken of them, with one chosen by someone not aware of the study that they felt best represented them. The people were then put on restricted sleep of four hours for two days. And again photos were taken, and a photo chosen by someone unaware of the study's purpose.
122 'raters' were then chosen, who also had no idea about the study, and they had to look at the photos and rate the faces based on attractiveness, trustworthiness, sleepiness and how much they'd like to hang out with the person in the picture.
The results are disheartening for those of us who are prone to sleep disturbances. The raters found those who were sleep restricted were less attractive, less healthy looking, and the raters were less likey to want to socialise with them.
The good news? Well, even if you're this side of buggered, people aren't likely to think you're any less or more trustworthy than they would if you were getting eight solid hours and feeling like a box of fluffies. So that's something I guess.
So what's a sleep-deprived girl to do? Well after decades of dodgy sleep I have quite the bag of tricks...
Cut out caffeine after 3pm. 12pm if you can. The earlier the better.
No TV or screens in the bedroom.
Keep the bedroom dark as you can - on the odd (NAUGHTY) occasion that I've had my laptop charging under my bed you can guarantee that little green light blaring onto my bedroom wall will wake me up at 3am.
Try drinking warm milk before bed. Better - add in Horlicks. Don't know what's in that stuff, but during a light sleep disturbance pattern it can keep me asleep all night. BUT don't drink it too soon before bed or you'll wake up in the middle of the night needing to pee.
Chamomile tea - also good a bit before beddy byes.
Spritz a lavender spray on your pillow.
When you're in bed and can't get to sleep scrunch every part of your body up tight as you can, then release it section by section until you're all nice and relaxed.
Another thing I don't understand but during the writing of this article I've discovered works wonders for me are magnesium tablets. Apparently it's a muscle relaxant and can help with sleep disturbances. And this is what helped me most recently sleep through the night. But as always, before you shove magnesium, or anything medicinal for that matter, down your throat talk to a pharmacist/doctor/trained medical person first.
In fact, if your sleep patterns are of real concern do talk to a medical professional - because while according to that study good sleep might make us more attractive to other people, more importantly it helps up function physically and mentally - so the better sleep we have the better we can rock our own personal parties.
So do tell... are you a light sleeper? Do you find it hard to get a few good solid hours? What tips and tricks do you have up your sleeve? Sharing is caring!