Your Beauty Sleep Questions-Answered

Do you dream of sleeping like a baby? Fifty-one percent of YouBeauty readers report having trouble falling asleep—and those lost hours of beauty sleep really take its toll. Luckily, we held a twitter chat so you could ask our Sleep Expert, Shelby Freedman Harris, Psy.D. your most pressing sleep questions.

Here, we share with you some of her answers. Say goodbye to tired eyes—and read on for your best slumber yet!

Q: What foods should we avoid before sleep to maximize beauty sleep? –@HerCampus

A: You should avoid large meals at least three hours before bed. You can have light snacks (carbs and protein) an hour before bed. Avoid spicy, heavy or greasy foods. -Dr. Harris

Q: Is it better to wake up at the same time every day or sleep in if you go to bed late the night before? –@LearnVest

A: It’s best to keep same bed/wake times daily. If it’s a real late night, occasionally sleep in an extra hour, but don’t do it regularly. -Dr. Harris

Q: We’re curious—does cuddling negatively affect your sleep patterns? –@YourTango

A: If you wake up feeling good, then probably not. If your partner moves a lot during the night, it might impact your sleep. -Dr. Harris

Q: Any advice for new moms who wake up often for baby? How can we get the most out of few hours of sleep? –@TheBump

A: For newborns it’s normal; you’re hardwired to wake up often. Sleep when the baby sleeps. If your room is next to an older baby, keep your door open but lower the baby monitor volume. You’ll hear if he or she needs you. -Dr. Harris

Q: Is it possible to make up sleep on the weekends or must good sleep happen nightly? –@MotherNatureNet

A: You can make up a little, but not as much as you lose during the week! -Dr. Harris

Q: How does noise (positively or negatively) affect your sleep? –@Teddgeiger

A: We tend to have an ability to adapt to constant noise. For example, someone who lives near the highway tends to get used to the noise after a while. Abrupt noises, however, can disrupt sleep and cause you to have lighter, unrefreshing sleep overall.

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We recommend use of a white noise machine (a quiet consistent noise that sounds like a fan) or even a fan in the room to help drown out outside noises. Earplugs are also helpful—silicone earplugs (for swimmers) are best. –Dr. Harris

Q: I sometimes am awakened by pretty bad nightmares. What can I do to stop them? –@Little_Debs

A: Imagery rehearsal therapy is very helpful. For more information visit: via @WSJ -Dr. Harris

Q: What is the best time to work out to ensure a good night’s sleep? –@mgpopolo

A: The best time to work out is about five hours before bedtime. -Dr. Harris

Q: How bad is to sleep with the TV on? –@DanaBarbine

A: Not ideal. If you have trouble sleeping, TV noise can awaken you. Light from the TV can also cause lighter sleep. –Dr. Harris

Q: What are the harmful effects of a lack of sleep? –@laurabdallas

A: Lack of sleep leads to issues with concentration, memory, weight gain and motor issues. Long term, there’s a possible increased risk of cardiovascular disease. -Dr. Harris