How to look more awake (EVEN after almost no sleep)
During December, you may find yourself wondering how to look more awake.
While the holidays are a time of joy & celebration, this jam-packed time is also ridden with (what feels like) endless responsibilities. From shopping for presents to company cocktail parties, from traveling to see family to wrapping gifts after hours so no one can see the presents, the list goes on and on.
It’s easy to fall short on getting enough rest, so please take a moment to feel peace knowing this is a crazy time. That’s why we’re sharing the easy ways how to look less tired - even with the madness around you.
In a moment, we’ll dive into the natural ways to:
- Make your skin look refreshed (even after holiday travel!)
- Have eyes look perky and without any under eye circles
- Get a more glowing look, so you look fantastic for that holiday party
- Create “you time” with face masks that work wonders AND create more calm
First, let’s touch on some of the elements contributing to looking tired, you may not even be as aware of. After addressing what’s giving any more-ragged-than-desired appearance, we’ll then share exactly how to naturally amend to look far more rested.
Before we share how to look less tired, here are potential causes
In a blur of mistletoe and garlands, it can be easy to forget WHY we feel so anxious and aren’t looking so rested. Here are the #1 culprits.
The holidays add a lot of stress to most folks, especially when there can be a lot of events - even if good, positive, exciting things to do like caroling.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, one of the biggest contributors to insomnia is stress. Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which a person finds it very challenging to get shut eye. Not only does this affect nighttime snoozing, insomnia typically leads to a deep level of exhaustion and drowsiness during the day.
Let’s dive into a few ways to help reduce mental chaos is to let the brain wind down before bed in order to have proper sleep. These methods may not be rocket science yet are highly effective and too-often forgotten. For example:
- Read a book, with a more yellow, dim light that gets brain ready for darkness
- Turn off cell phone and bright light at least an hour before bed
- Workout earlier in day - When your body gets moving in the morning, it sleeps better at night (And if work out too close to bed, this can raise adrenaline levels and get your brain too hyper for sleep). [Source]
According to the Iowa Sleep Center, alcohol, caffeine, turkey and sugary foods can more easily disrupt sleep. And with the hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps and merlots at the holiday parties that can sneak up, these can contribute to poorer sleep quality. [source]
If you have trouble falling asleep after eating a certain kind of meal or sipping alcohol, it will feel hard to do so but avoiding or at least reducing the portion should help. In addition, be careful with caffeine too late in the afternoon. Stopping caffeine by 3 pm (or earlier, depending on your body’s tolerance and bedtime is highly effective).
Seasonal depression and anxiety
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), there can be greater levels of heartbreaking anxiety and depression during this winter season. [source]
This can happen for a number of reasons, such as:
- Suffering grief & loss during the holiday season makes this time of year particularly emotional
- Social anxiety about attending events, especially with family if there’s drama there
- Traveling that can trigger nervous-ness
It’s important to manage your anxiety by choosing what to participate in (get-togethers, parties etc)- to enable your sleep patterns to remain stable. This is a powerful way in how to look less tired - and, most importantly, feel more energized and at peace.
Spending is certainly up during the holidays. The more that a bank account goes towards gifts, trips and holiday activities, the depletion of funds can deplete mental joy, too. To help manage this stress, a fantastic approach (even if challenging to start) is doing a budget upfront or as soon as possible, by knowing exactly what limits are - picking activities and gifts is easier accordingly.
How to get more sleep (then natural beauty fixers to look more awake, in case!)
When seeing how to look less tired, here are some prime proactive ways.
Keep a consistent sleep routine
As hard as it may be with the busy season, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Staying consistent will reinforce your sleep-wake cycle, and also enable you to have a more relaxing slumber, says sleep expert Dr. Foldvary-Schaefer. If there’s a holiday party to attend and you stay out later than usual, strive to wake up at the same time, anyway.
Avoid meals 2 hours prior to bedtime
If you get the munchies a few hours before bed time, try having a glass of milk, or a small snack like fresh fruit or raw almonds, instead of a heavy bite full of sugar. Milk is known to contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which helps people go to sleep. (Also, more sweet snacks will pump your body with sugar and create restless energy.) [source]
Stop caffeine by this afternoon time
Avoid taking any drinks containing caffeine (like coffee & cola), at a minimum four hours before it’s time to go to bed. Caffeine is a stimulant, and will, therefore, keep you awake. For most people, 4 hours can still have the stimulant in the body too much, so shutting down by afternoon is even better.
Know alcohol lessens sleep quality
You know that feeling of sipping a glass of wine and suddenly feeling sleep. Alcohol, being a depressant, can make you feel ‘drowsy’, but once when it metabolizes during your sleep cycle, it actually makes for lower quality. [source] How to look less tired may be sipping simply one glass less.
While avoiding White Russians or dessert wine may not work entirely, try to have the drink less close to bed so your body has time to process as much as possible. *And make sure to consult with your medical professional about what alcohol levels are healthy for you.*
How to make eyes look less tired & face more awake
If life hits and you simply do look tired, that’s okay. Here are natural ways to look more away
Hydrate hydrate hydrate
It is important to keep your body hydrated during the festive season. A glass of water for each glass of alcohol- especially if you decide to have multiple rounds. If you’re a social drinker, you might attend a few Christmas parties with hearty servings of alcohol, hydrating will help avoid a hangover and skin looking oh-so refreshed.
Apply a banana face mask
Bananas are packed with ingredients for great skin: Vitamin A to fade dark spots and blemishes and smooth out rough skin, Vitamin B to reduce dryness, Vitamin E to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and potassium to moisturize and hydrate.
This powerful combination of ingredients makes this fruit a perfect all-natural, homemade face mask that leaves skin looking and feeling softer.
Directions: Mash up a medium-sized ripe banana into a smooth paste, then gently apply it to your face and neck. Let it set for 10 to 20 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water.
Another alternative? Mix 1/4 cup plain yogurt (coconut yogurt or almond-milk-made yogurt is great), 2 tablespoons honey (a natural acne remedy) and one medium banana.
Use the power of oatmeal
If you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up that will leave you feeling and looking better, give yourself an oatmeal facial.
- Combine 1/2 cup hot—not boiling—water and 1/3 cup oatmeal.
- After the water and oatmeal have settled for two or three minutes, mix in 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (coconut or almond milk yogurt) and 2 tablespoons honey.
- Apply a thin layer of the mask to your face, and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then rinse with warm water. (Be sure to place a metal or plastic strainer in your sink to avoid clogging the drain with the granules.)
Try making a coconut yogurt face mask
You don’t have to go to a spa to give your face a quick “oh my I feel refreshed!” assist. To cleanse your skin and tighten the pores, slather some plain coconut yogurt on your face and let it sit for about 20 minutes. For a revitalizing homemade face mask, mix 1 teaspoon plain coconut yogurt with the juice from 1/4 slice of orange, some of the orange pulp, and 1 teaspoon of aloe. Leave the mixture on your face for at least five minutes before rinsing it off. [source]
Work in this incredible Vitamin
In addition to face masks, it is paramount to replenish the moisture in your skin (and face), using an antioxidant moisturizer with Vitamin C.
Vitamin C has a myriad of benefits to our skin, especially for helping it appear younger.
As we age, skin tends to shift in pigmentation - with slight discolorations popping up around the face. Vitamin C is like a natural toner, smoothing out the colors and providing a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect.
In addition, Vitamin C provides renewal, like a fantastic weekend spa trip only without the time (as you’re busy enough at the holidays already). Especially when applied topically, Vitamin C helps the skin to replenish and plump up against lines and wrinkles.
You can read more about the importance of moisturizing your skin on our blog post here.
The eyes can look especially tired and dark when we are exhausted- the face masks should help, but if you want to give your eye area an extra boost, try an all-natural eye cream to hydrate the delicate skin underneath your eyelids.