Having spent the day feeling mildly out of sorts because of the clocks going forward– I know it’s only an hour, so it shouldn’t feel more disruptive than one late night, but somehow it does — I’ve got sleep on the brain so I thought I’d write about a peculiar new pillow I have been trying out in the hope of improving my beauty sleep.
Beauty sleep – it’s no myth
One thing that has become clear from scientific research over recent years is that our grandmothers were right – if our skin is going to looks its best, we need our beauty sleep. Skin goes into ‘repair’ mode overnight and if you don’t get enough sleep – preferably 7-8 hours – it soon shows. A study at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, USA in 2013 showed that poor sleepers who slept five hours or less had increased signs of skin ageing and slower recovery from general environmental stress like exposure to UV light. And the poor sleepers, poor things, felt they looked worse, too, which didn’t help.
That study was commissioned by Estee Lauder, whose Advanced Night Repair Serum helps counteract the signs of poor sleep, which is helpful, but not as helpful as getting more sleep in the first place.
The Save My Face pillow
I was given this pillow when staying at the Kurhotel Skodsborg in Copenhagen, where everything from the food to the ambiance to the spa treatments is geared towards greater wellbeing. It looks a normal pillow that has had a large bite taken out of each side and I didn’t rate my chances of getting much sleep on it, but reckoned that if I didn’t try it, I’d never know.
The idea is that you tuck it down onto your shoulders, so the centre of your head rests in its softest part, but your back and upper spine is nice and flat. When you turn onto your side, your cheekbone rests on the pillow, but the skin around your eyes is suspended over the gap, so it doesn’t get dried out and scrunched up as happens when you press your face into a normal pillow.
It sounds an unlikely proposition but I find it very comfortable and have become very fond of it. There’s not much of it, but what there is is enough, and it suits me because I’m always trying to sleep on my back (better for avoiding wrinkles, but also because it is easier on my neck and shoulders, which always stiffen up overnight, particularly if I curl up on my side).
How to use for better beauty sleep
I’ve now found the UK website — www.savemyface.co.uk – which explains how you can use the pillow properly. There’s a mini-version that you can use on top of your own pillow; I just use the larger version on its own. It’s not cheap at about £75, but then it’s not much more expensive than a big bottle of Advanced Night Repair.