How to Get the Best Sleep of Your Life, According to Pros

How to Get the Best Sleep of Your Life, According to Pros featured image
This article first appeared in the Summer 2024 issue of New Beauty. Click here to subscribe

It’s no coincidence that Sleeping Beauty has great skin, but the impact of a good night’s sleep can have a much bigger effect than easing dark circles. Everything from mood to critical thinking are impacted by sleep schedules. And with a third of Americans experiencing fair or poor sleep according to a 2022 Gallup poll, we could all use a good night’s rest.

Featured Experts

  • Ava Shamban, MD is a board-certified dermatologist in Santa Monica
  • Kenneth Beer, MD is a board-certified dermatologist in West Palm Beach, FL
  • Brittany Nelson is the beauty and wellness producer for Alo

Don’t Sleep on Your Health

“Our circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle,” explains Santa Monica dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD. “While light and darkness are primary influences, factors like food intake, temperature and stress also play a role.” That not only has a huge impact on our bodies, but also our skin.

“Sleep is the repair cycle for our skin,” says West Palm Beach, FL dermatologist Kenneth Beer, MD. “Before bed is also a great time to apply any medications or supplements because they will have a greater chance to work and not be washed or rubbed away.” And just like our bodies have a circadian rhythm to follow, so does our skin.

“Skin’s rhythm is vital for functions like cell turnover, collagen synthesis and defense against environmental stressors,” says Dr. Shamban. “Paying attention to the circadian rhythm of the skin is every bit as important as something we consider crucial, like moisturizing. Circadian rhythms are paramount to both morning and evening routines.”

Bad rest shows up in our skin in more ways than just dark circles. “Inadequate rest disrupts the skin’s natural repair mechanisms, hindering collagen production and moisture retention,” explains Dr. Shamban.

While sleep is the time our skin uses to repair, we can also take steps to increase our skin’s performance while we sleep.

Circadian Skin

Skin care designed to work with the skin’s repair process

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Althaea Skin Night Serum ($180)

Developed by Dr. Shamban, this refillable serum uses proprietary Lunar Synq Technology to help restore the skin’s ability to best repair itself at nighttime.

althaea skin night serum
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BYNACHT Overnight Opulence Face Oil ($144)

The German skin-care brand combined soothing aromatherapy (think vetiver and bergamot) with clinically proven botanical antioxidants for serious skin rejuvenation.

bynacht face oil
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Noble Panacea The Exceptional Overnight Chronobiology Peel ($300)

A gradual release of alphahydroxy and betahydroxy acids allows for gentle exfoliation and a boost in cell turnover while you snooze.

noble panacea peel

Better Sleep Checklist

It’s not always easy to calm the mind or achieve a restful sleep with all of the stressors the day brings, so sleep aids can be a great way to help you make it to dreamland. From music and white noise therapy, to the perfect sleep set-up, to the supplements that are helping millions catch those necessary zz’s.

Of course, there are so many supplements on the market, the answer might feel like to take a pill any time you have trouble falling asleep.

“Drugs: hit them early and hit them hard. Just kidding!” Dr. Beer jokes. “Sleep supplements can be helpful, but I recommend starting with aids like sleep time stories or music from apps like Headspace (headspace.com, plans start at $6 a month).  My daughter showed these to me, and I use them every night.”

“Common causes of sleep issues include exercising at suboptimal times, as engaging in physical activity too close to bedtime can disrupt sleep patterns,” Dr. Shamban says. “Bedroom distractions, such as TVs and phones can also hinder restfulness by detracting from its purpose as a space for relaxation.”

According to Murray, creating a good sleep routine amounts to sleep hygiene. And if you have good sleep hygiene but still struggle falling or staying asleep, it may be time to look somewhere else.

“While sleep hygiene remains an essential aspect of promoting healthy sleep, it’s crucial to recognize when additional intervention is needed,” Murray explains. “Functional testing, such as Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA), Dutch Complete, GI Map, neurotransmitter testing, and comprehensive blood work panels can provide valuable insights into the root causes of your sleep struggles.”

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CoopSleep EdenCool Crescent & Cut Out Pillow ($150)

Whether you’re a back or side sleeper, the CoopSleep EdenCool Crescent & Cut Out Pillow has your perfect choice of shape and guaranteed cool-side-of-the-pillow feeling.

coopsleep edencool pillow
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Slip Silk Pillowcase ($89)

Keep your skin and hair extra happy overnight with the Slip Silk Pillowcase. See fewer “sleep lines” and better hair in as little as four nights.

sleep silk pillowcase
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Helight Sleep ($139)

If you’re struggling to catch some Zs, consider turning to the red light therapy trusted by sleep doctors and pro-athletes. Helight Sleep uses red wavelength light to soothe photosensitive cells into a sleepy state.

Helight Sleep
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Therabody SmartGoggles ($199)

We get the best sleep when we let our brains rest and recharge. The gentle heating and massage therapy powering the Therabody SmartGoggles help reduce stress, soothe headaches and enhance sleep.

therabody smartgoggles
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Yogasleep Rohm+ Travel Sound Machine with Wireless Speaker ($45)

Finally, ensure your environment is quiet no matter what your kids or neighbors are doing with the Yogasleep Rohm+ Travel Sound Machine with Wireless Speaker, a sleek and ultra-portable device with a 20-sound library to choose from.

Melatonin Alternatives

Our natural levels of melatonin are highest at night, which makes the hormone a key player for sleep in our circadian rhythm. While melatonin is generally considered safe for adults in good health, plenty of people have turned away from sleep aids that include it, claiming it causes headaches, morning grogginess and more.

For those hesitant about sleep supplements with melatonin, Dr. Shamban recommends chamomile tea as a natural alternative. “It is a soothing option believed to interact with brain receptors involved in the sleep-wake transition, thanks to its flavonoids,” she says.

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Alo Sweet Sleep Capsules ($42)

These days, the most widely used alternative to melatonin is magnesium, which promotes relaxation. “We chose to exclude melatonin from our Alo Sweet Sleep Capsules,says Brittany Nelson, Alo’s beauty and wellness producer. “We use a patented form of magnesium called Aquamin, which is clinically proven to support sleep quality and healthy neuroendocrine responses during sleep.”

alo sleep
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Juna Nightcap Sleep Gummies for Adults ($38)

Indulge in something sweet and sugar-free with the cherry-flavored Juna Nightcap Sleep Gummies for Adults, which contain magnesium and more to help send you to dreamland.

juna nightcap
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VICI Wellness Sweet Dreams Topical Patch ($31)

Magnesium is also behind the VICI Wellness Sweet Dreams Topical Patch, which utilizes time-release technology to help you stay asleep longer.

vici patches sweet dreams
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The Republic of Tea Get Relaxed ($15)

If you’re seeking an herbal wind down, valarian root is another sleep aid that’s been used to ease insomnia for centuries. It’s the primary component of The Republic of Tea Get Relaxed, a caffeine-free, lavender-scented sleep tea that is sure to have you counting sheep.

republic of tea get relaxed

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