The Super model Linda Evangelista famously said that she won’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day. I think many of us feel like that in the morning, especially after a night of tossing and turning.
Having been an internationally successful high fashion and runway model I know that the reality for 99% of working fashion models (and 99% of people in general) is very different.
A typical week often began with a redeye flight to another continent, going straight to an all day photo shoot, rising again at 5AM to go to a fashion show and then continuing with fittings and castings till late in the night, sometimes until 4AM. And then again the next day. And the next day. All that for a lot less than $10,000.
One time, after having worked in 3 time zones in 4 days I was so disoriented that I walked into the glass door of the photo studio. Ouch! Painful and embarrassing…
On top of that you rarely ever slept in your own bed and the quality of beds varied from “absolutely terrible” to “just ok” to “wow, I got lucky this time!” What a great feeling it was when you could stretch out on a comfortable bed for a few hours — even if it wasn’t at home!
Alas, sleep became this unattainable and elusive ideal. Yet, as I soon noticed, it is absolutely vital when you are trying to stay healthy across different time zones and look good while doing it.
Fashion seasons, which are synonymous with the big designers’ runway shows happen twice a year and resemble a travelling circus that goes from New York to London to Milan, and finally to Paris. It is incredibly exhilarating, but absolutely exhausting – – and you never ever get enough sleep or rest. Not once did I make it through a season without getting sick on the last leg of the tour in Paris. That meant I had to cancel a lot of shows which meant I did not get the exposure, and I lost opportunities and money.
Now, not getting adequate rest is not only a problem for fashion models. Everybody needs sufficient good quality sleep to be happy and healthy and function efficiently in their lives.
What is one to do if they can’t switch off after a busy and over stimulated day?
I tried melatonin, sleeping pills and homeopathic remedies (and red wine), all of which worked sporadically but always left me somewhat groggy and less than ravishing in the morning.
Fortunately, I discovered some simple tricks that can help you go to sleep easefully and wake up beautifully:
1) Take a warm bath before going to bed. You can use some relaxing bath oils if you like. The warm bath will help relax your body and mind and make you ready for bed.
2) Dim the lights, stay off all screens as they emit blue light that keeps us awake. Get black out curtains if you don’t want to wake up with first light and make sure there are no lights in your bedroom at night, even the light from digital clocks can disturb your deep sleep.
3) When travelling I always have an eye mask and earplugs with me to make sure I can rest undisturbed.
4) Invest in a good pillow and mattress. It can make a world of difference of how you feel in the morning! For me a special neck pillow helped me to get the tension out of my neck and shoulders.
5) Silk pillowcases help prevent hair breakage and lessen the pressure on your skin so you don’t wake up with pillow lines all over your face. And the silk feels wonderful on your skin! I can’t believe I didn’t find out about this earlier!
6) If I feel really awake at night but know that I have to get my beauty sleep I put a couple of drops of lavender oil on my pillow and inhale deeply for a couple of breaths. If you don’t like lavender scent you can use other calming essential oils.
7) If your skin feels dry in the morning, especially during the winter months or if you live in a dry climate, put a humidifier in your bedroom. You’ll wake up with plump, moisturized skin.
8) You wake up in the morning and have these fully packed saddlebags under your eyes? What now? No problem. Put a spoon in the freezer for at least 10 minutes or even better just leave a spoon in the freezer for when you need it. Then let the cold spoon rest on your eyes for 10 minutes or gently move it over the swollen parts from the nose to the temples, thereby helping the fluid drain. Voila!
9) Make the night work for you! Use an overnight face treatment masque, massage foot cream on your feet and put on socks and slather hand cream and cuticle oil on your hands and use fabric gloves to let it sink in overnight. You’ll wake up perfectly smooth!
I hope some of these tips work for you too! Let me know how it goes.
Nina Heimlich is a fashion model, artist, yogini and meditator.