THE BLOG

The Invisible Elixir of Youth and Vitality

01/12/2015 10:43 GMT | Updated 28/11/2016 10:12 GMT

I confess, I'm a complete skincare addict - but only to one brand and with very good reason! I'm also a supplement and superfood addict. I get very excited about the possibilities of how they'll help to support good health, skin health and 'getting the glow'. I doubt I will ever stop getting excited at any of these things.

However, there is one thing. One wonderful thing that can perhaps do as much for your skin, if not more than any serum or supplement. It's something that works in synergy with products to improve their effectiveness. If it could be bottled and sold, it would probably cost a ridiculous amount. It makes you feel great. It puts a spring in your step. It makes your eyes clear and sparkly. It makes your skin plump and glowing. It makes you feel calm, in control and more patient. It's an invisible elixir of vitality and youthfulness. If it was bottled, I'd imagine it to appear as a gentle swirling mist with a beautiful soft and relaxing scent.... it's the magical thing we call sleep. Beauty sleep is no myth. The words beauty and sleep belong together.

I'm writing this as a mother of two children. One of whom has never slept well, but has just started to improve dramatically at almost 3 years of age. I'm now getting a reasonable night's sleep for the first time in a long time and the word - grateful is top of my list. Of course, it's not just being a parent that can mean disturbed sleep. We can all go through periods in our life when we suffer with sleep deprivation.

I was a long haul Air Stewardess for 11 years, so I knew what sleep deprivation felt like long before parenthood. Long days and night flights, combined with jet lag. Though being much younger meant a faster bounce-back rate. I remember a conversation with another crew member on a night flight home. We were laughing about how we'd start work looking reasonably rested and glamorous, then would land from a night flight, look in the mirror and feel as though we'd aged 20 years overnight. All mirrors were avoided until some serious sleep indulgence had been had.

But why is it, when something is free we don't always value it as much? We stay up for just one more episode of something - my experience when introduced to Prison Break. We don't put our phone or iPad down early enough in the evening. Sometimes we sacrifice this amazing and free elixir of youth and vitality, for social media or a bit more of the latest TV obsession.

I am strict with myself now, bed by 10.30pm or earlier most nights - or I pay for it. The reflection you see looking back at you after less sleep, is tired with a dull complexion. Dark under-eye circles, red, sore eyes.... not pretty. Then there's the issue of how you feel...

Skin rejuvenation and repair happens whilst we are busy sleeping. This is when new collagen is being made, and this is what makes our skin firmer, plumper and more youthful looking. When you combine this with effective skincare products and supplements - you have a triple whammy effect.

Below are some tips to help you sleep better. If you have a child (or puppy) that doesn't sleep well, I appreciate they can only help so far!

My five tips for a more restful night's sleep:

Switch off the technology at least half an hour before bed - let your mind calm down and relax.

No caffeine from early afternoon onwards - Drink soothing chamomile or herbal tea of some kind.

Some fresh air in the bedroom helps - I always have my window open a little.

Spritz your room and pillow with a slumber spray - I love this particular one.

Be strict with yourself - Make a self-care rule and try your best to stick to it (although I know it's not always possible).

The reflection you see looking back in the morning, and the way you feel for the rest of the day will far outweigh another episode or more time on twitter.

After many years of unbroken sleep, I place a very high value on its importance. I don't miraculously look 10 years younger, but I feel and look better than the nights I get less, and so will you.

You can read more of Katy's blogs atTreat The Skin You're in