This he following article,  “6 Serious and Surprising Beauty Impacts of Sleep Deprivation,” is by Author Kimberly Hayes, who is currently working on her new book on alternative addiction treatments.  Read more below.

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Do you have challenges falling or staying asleep more than a few times a week? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. Nearly one quarter —  or 70 million —  Americans deal with chronic sleep issues, says the National Institutes of Health. Not getting enough sleep can have serious —  and surprising —  consequences for how you look and feel. Are you tired of feeling tired? Here are six ways lack of sleep may be affecting you and a few tips on how to catch more zzs.

Brittle Hair and Dry Skin

Sleep is a time when our body’s cells repair and regenerate, so if you can’t fall asleep, your body doesn’t have time to work on its regular maintenance routines, like hair and skin rejuvenation.

Good Sleep Tip: Want glowing hair and brighter skin? Try out a bedtime ritual to help care for your body and relax your mind. Take a warm bath, moisturize and listen to soothing music. Make the habit stick by starting your routine the same time every night.

Poor Mood and Brain Function

When your mind is tired it can’t function at top capacity. This means your processing can be slower, memory less reliable, problem-solving skills less organized and mood unstable. How does brain function impact beauty? It impacts your self-esteem. How you feel about the way you look happens in the mind —  and a well-rested mind stands a better chance of feeling good about how you look.

Good Sleep Tip: Try painting your bedroom walls in soothing, neutral colors to help create a serene space for sleeping. Avoid bright colors and shoot for light blues, soft greens and neutral earth tones.

Weight Gain

Lack of sleep impacts the hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. So if you are losing out on sleep, the weight can start to add up.

Good Sleep Tip: Maintain a regular exercise routine —  the CDC recommends 150 hours of moderate activity a week along with two days of strength training. When you exercise regularly, your body needs more rest to repair and rebuild. However, try not to exercise too hard too close to bedtime.

Off-Balance

Lack of sleep can dampen your balance and physical reaction timing. This can be especially challenging for people who enjoy wearing high heels, trendy boots and enjoy running or working out. When your balance is off and your reaction time slow, the chances for injury and illness from accidents go through the roof.

Good sleep tip: Reduce the amount of blue light you get in the evening. This is the light emitted from our screens —  laptops, tablets and smartphones —  which we often have the bad habit of using in bed. Blue light is mentally and physically stimulating, so if it is part of your wind down routine, it’s actually probably doing the opposite.

High Blood Pressure

Chronic sleep issues are often linked to higher blood pressure, which if left unattended has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease. Hypertension, the medical name for high blood pressure, is often the result of high stress and anxiety, which can also negatively impact sleep. We know stress has a direct impact on physical appearance —  from wrinkles to dark circles under your eyes.

Good Sleep Tip: Meditate to help let go of intrusive thoughts, regrets that you cannot change and future worries you cannot control. There are many great apps you can explore to become more familiar with the various types of meditation, from Calm to Headspace to Insight Timer.

Weakened Immune System

When you sleep, your immune system powers up. Not only is it an optimal time to recover from an illness or injury you’re already battling, but your body is also working on ways to protect against ickiness you have yet to come up against. A weakened immune system can lead to skin breakouts, easier bruising and damaged teeth and gums.

Good Sleep Tip: Eat more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and caffeine. Not only will you sleep better, but a balanced diet will also add an extra boost to your immune health.

Sleep has a strong influence on how you look and feel. If you’re not getting good quality sleep, try changing your routine or exploring proactive ways to get better rest. If that still doesn’t work, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about next steps for getting good sleep.

About River

Entrepreneur. Vegan. Naturalista. Lightworker. Indigo Twin Flame. River Kia. trailblazer in the natural hair scene, River is a leader in bringing resources to communities on achieving healthier lifestyles. It was for this reason she founded the Coffee, Curls & Cupcakes Healthy Hair Series in 2010. The program has attracted more than 2,500 attendees to enjoy educational discourse, products and services on hair and other topics by local and national stylists, vendors, academics, authors and medical professionals. Partners have included Miss Jessie’s Co-Founders Miko and the late Titi Branch, social media guru and psychologist Dr. Nina Ellis-Hervey “Beautiful Brown Baby Doll” and Master Stylist Sandra Dee just to name a few. River also enjoys a broad spectrum of music genres; stemming from Classical to DubStep and everything in between. Hence the creation of SoundCloud Sunday’s Ipod Pick of the month. She’s interested in all things creative – included but not limited to fine arts and good vegan eats! She’s fashion conscious…something… but most comfortable in jean and a part of chucks. She is a believer of giving back to the community through voluteerism, an ideas addict, and an aspiring “spirit junkie” on the path of exploring everything enlightening through the power of LOVE.

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