Sleep is important, for both beauty and health

Beauty sleep We have all heard the clichĂ© ‘beauty sleep’ but it does seem that the easiest way to look attractive and healthy is to get a good night’s sleep.

However, it is clear that lack of sleep affects more than our attractiveness. It also affects our ability to make coherent decisions, operate machinery and complete everyday tasks.

Evidence for sleep’s aesthetic bonus (taken from a recent research project in Sweden) has been published in the Christmas issue on bmj.com. The study, led by John Axelsson from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, investigated the relationship between sleep and perceptions of attractiveness and health.

Twenty-three people between the ages of 18 to 31 took part in the study. They were photographed between 2pm and 3pm on two occasions, once after normal sleep (8 hours) and once after being deprived of sleep (31 hours of wakefulness after a night of reduced sleep). No alcohol was allowed for two days before the experiment.

The photographs were taken in a well-lit room and the distance to the camera was fixed. During both photography sessions participants wore no make-up, had their hair loose (combed back if they had long hair) and were asked to have a relaxed, neutral facial expression for both photos.

Sixty-five observers, who were blinded to the sleep status of the subjects, rated the photographs for attractiveness and whether the individuals looked healthy/unhealthy or tired/not tired.

The observers judged the faces of sleep-deprived participants as less healthy, less attractive and more tired.

Are we just stating the obvious about the importance of sleep? It is easy to tell by sight alone when someone is tired or not well, which this study is said to prove. The implications for our health are not as easy to see as under eye shadows and droopy eyelids and are far more worrying.

The authors believe their topic of research is becoming ever more important considering the rise in stress, disturbed sleep and the ongoing trend of ours to try and wring every last possible moment of usefulness from each day. Sleep disorders are also on the rise. 

If you would like to read the paper associated with this story please visit http://www.bmj.com/cgi/doi/10.1136/bmj.c6614

Banish Jet lag with aromatherapy – win an Aroma Therapeutics Travel Kit

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London: Designed to take the hassle out of travelling – from long haul trips to short weekend breaks, Aroma Therapeutics Travel Tool Kit is the suitcase essential.

This exclusive treatment package contains a package of indispensable goodies, worth $50 (€40, £36) to help alleviate the stress of long-haul travel including the following:

Relaxer Aroma Candle, Sleep Enhancer Aroma Candle
Sleep Enhancer Spray Concentrate
Recharger Spray Concentrate
Relaxer Bath & Body and Muscle Comforter Bath & Body

Ensure you get to your next destination and back, in stress-free style.
A delay at the airport might leave you feeling run down and lethargic – the answer? Aroma Therapeutics Recharger Spray Concentrate. A powerful blend of: Rosemary, Ginger, Rosewood, Nutmeg and Orange is guaranteed to lift the most weary travellerÂ’s spiritÂ’s. Spray directly onto pulse points and inhale deeply – itÂ’s that simple and it really works.

If you would like to win one of these special travel packages email us at readeroffer@elixirnews.com with your name and address and AROMA in the header – by 31 April 2009. Please note that no cash equivalent is offered and the Editor’s decision is final.

Upon arrival, Relaxer Aroma Candle releases a wonderful stress-beating aroma of: Bergamot, Lavender, Marjoram and Vertivert. When you need to unwind, simply light the wick and enjoy a full two soothing hours of burning time.

Before heading back out, be sure to unwind with Relaxer Bath & Body. A few drops added to a warm bath will ensure youÂ’re stress free. Alternatively, soothe away aches and pains with Muscle Comforter Bath & Body. Cooling Peppermint, Lavender, Black Pepperand Birch (a natural painkiller) blend together for instant relief.

Before bed, donÂ’t forget to light Sleep Enhancer “Travel Light” Aroma Candle containing a winning blend of: Petitgrain, Ylang Ylang, Lavender and Galbanum. All you have to do for the sweetest dreams and the best nightÂ’s sleep ever – is light the wick and relax (always extinguish before going to sleep).

Finally, spray Aroma TherapeuticsÂ’ best-selling Sleep Enhancer Spray Concentrate onto your pillow at night or during a long-haul flight. The effectiveness ratings of this product are so high that for years British Airways has given it to their prized First Class passengers to help them drift off in flight.
Travel Tool Kit ÂŁ35.85
Sleep Enhancer Spray Concentrate 20ml
Recharger Spray Concentrate 20ml
Relaxer Bath & Bath 10ml
Muscle Comforter Bath & Body 10ml
Mood Enhancer Aroma Travel Candke 10g
Sleep Enhancer Aroma Travel Candle 10g
Aroma Therapeutics are available online from www.aroma.co.uk or phone + 44 (0)1458 831 216