Beyond the duvet: secrets of sleep

The notion of beauty starting from the inside out is nothing new. We all know that good quality rest is essential for the repair and regeneration of our skin, hair and nails after the day has taken its toll. But given that one in three British workers suffer from poor sleep, it seems most of us live in a perpetual state of exhaustion. And it’s written all over our faces.

This is why beauty products and treatments that help us make the most of those precious hours of slumber will prove key to driving sales in the future. Sleep is a basic human need and anything that helps us surrender to its blissful dreamlike state – and makes us look better come morning – is surely something few women could resist.

As is so often the case, the Far East is leading the way. The Koreans are big believers in overnight skin reparation. Amore Pacific’s Moisture Bound Vitalising Masque and Sulwhasoo’s Overnight Vitalising Treatment both help stimulate skin plumping and hyaluronic acid production while boosting antioxidant levels to protect against free radical damage.

Beauty products and treatments that help make the most of sleep will prove key to driving future sales

Nearer to home is Guerlain’s Midnight Secret “sleep elixir”, By Terry’s bedtime Masque Nutri-Rose and Sarah Chapman’s Overnight Facial oil, all of which promise to deliver more rested, radiant-looking skin by the time your alarm clock trills into action.

The hand-held Philips RéAura laser allows you to self-administer a Fraxel treatment in the comfort of your home, go to sleep and wake up to rejuvenated, radiant skin.  Such are the skin’s overnight curative and regenerative powers, that no downtime is required.

The spa world is also getting in on the sleep act with treatments that promote relaxation and a restful night’s kip. Bliss offers an evening version of their anti-ageing facial, “The Youth As We Know It Night”, that includes an extended massage, night cream application, and a glass of milk and brownies for a bedtime snack that will leave you smiling as you drift off to sleep.

In a small pool heated to 35C at Two Bunch Palms Resort and Spa in California, I discovered the joys of Watsu. As a form of aquatic stretching and shiatsu massage, the physical benefits include blissfully relaxed muscles, the emotional soporific effect so powerful even the most “wired” among us will succumb.

Manhattan-based YeloSpa’s YeloNap concept allows you to customise your aromatherapy blend, sound and lighting so you can power nap in their zero-gravity chair while having a massage or reflexology. And neuroacoustic expert Dr Jeffrey Thompson uses Delta sound frequency patterns embedded in therapeutic music to induce a specific brainwave state necessary for recuperative and restful sleep.

As to my own beauty sleep secret. A candlelit restorative yoga class at the close of the day helps me escape the stresses of the day, stretch out my weary limbs and leave with only one thing on my mind – bed.