6 Ways to Get Prettier, Smarter, and Healthier While You Sleep


There's a whole lot you can accomplish in your sleep — a battery recharge, brain power refresher, and a more youthful glow among them. Read on for our round-up of the top six ways you can maximize your slumber. Because if you're going to multi-task during the day, you might as well do so at night, too. (See also: 10 Foods That Can Help You Sleep)

1. Lower the Thermostat

We can boost metabolic health and even burn a few more calories each day by sleeping in chillier bedrooms. Researchers say 66 degrees is ideal sleeping weather — it helps our bodies build up the good fats that burn off calories and fends off insulin sensitivity that can lead to diabetes. It's also good for our bank accounts during long, cold winters.

2. Opt for Satin or Silk

A pillowcase made of satin or silk is good for the hair and skin. Unlike cotton, linen, and polyester, dermatologists have found that these fibers actually soften wrinkles because they create only minimal friction between your head and the pillowcase. They're also packed with proteins that prevent hair from splitting and frizzing.

3. Go to Bed With a Clean, Moisturized Face

It's important to wash your face thoroughly to remove all the dirt and makeup that can clog your pores and lead to unpleasant morning breakouts. It's equally important to moisturize to help improve your skin tone and texture while repairing any sun damage. The good news is there's no need to break the bank on designer night creams.

Experts say even the most basic moisturizers are packed with peptides and vitamin C, and those are precisely the ingredients you need to make your skin firmer and prevent new wrinkles from forming. Creams containing retinol can be a bit more costly, but the bang for your buck is big: Retinol is one of few ingredients available without a prescription that treats the wrinkles you already have.

4. Sleep on Your Back

Over time, those crease lines you wake up with after a night spent on your stomach or your side will become full-blown wrinkles, according to the American Academy of Dermatologists. But you can avoid smooshing your skin against the sheets by slumbering on your back. Experts say it's the best sleeping position, and not just because it minimizes wrinkling. Sleeping on your back also prevents neck and back pain, reduces acid reflux and helps women retain perky breasts. (See also: Your Sleeping Position May Be Hurting You)

5. Listen to Classical Music

Playing soft classical music 45 minutes before bed or while you slumber has been linked to decreased anxiety, lower blood pressure, and curing insomnia. It also makes you smarter. Studies show that children who listen to Mozart become more intelligent. It's called "The Mozart Effect," and if it works for kids, it's apt to work for adults, right?

6. Get a Solid 7 Hours of Shut-Eye — At Least

Sleep experts recommend we all get seven to eight hours of sleep a night if you want to be fresh, sharp, and good-natured in the morning. Those who skimp on their slumber risk more than sluggishness and a grumpy demeanor. Studies show that people who average less than seven hours of sleep at night are nearly three times more likely to catch the common cold than those who sleep for eight hours or more. Those who sleep less than six hours a night are more likely to have excess body fat. And people who report sleeping less than five hours a night are more at risk for having or developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Are you getting enough sleep?

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