The impact of stress on health and sleep

Dr Rebecca Robbins explains why stress has such a great impact on the quality of our sleep, and shares her tips on keeping it in check during the day, so that we’re less likely to feel its effects when it’s time to drift off.


Image of clouds, mountains and trees in a distance, covered in light blue mist

Recent studies increasingly suggest that many of our sleep and health-related problems are caused or accelerated by stress. As one of the biggest contributors of insomnia and anxiety, it’s important we learn to not only handle its effects, but also become proactive about preventing it from affecting our well-being. Sleep Expert to Savoir, Dr Rebecca Robbins shares with us the science behind stress, and her tips on keeping it at bay throughout the day, and night.


“When allowed to go unchecked over the course of the day, stress can rear its ugly head at night-time, causing trouble with falling asleep, maintaining sleep, or simply waking up too early. As a result, we become sleep deprived. And when we’re sleep deprived, we’re less able to do something called ‘perspective taking’. It’s simply taking in the events that happen to us during our daily lives and putting them into perspective. Without our ability to do that, we can become consumed by negative things that happen in our days. But by keeping stressful events in check over the course of our day, we’re better set up to be able to fall asleep into the deep restorative rest that allows us to wake up feel refreshed.


But by keeping stressful events in check over the course of our day, we’re better set up to be able to fall asleep into the deep restorative rest that allows us to wake up feel refreshed.


Dr Rebecca Robbins
Image of trees and greenery in a forest, surrounded by clouds and mist
Spending time outdoors and in nature can help decrease the effects of stress.
Image of Savoir Holly design, featuring calming grey linen upholstery, dressed in crisp, white bed linen.
Calming hues and tranquil tones help our brains relax and enjoy a restorative night's rest. Image credit: Beth Evans for Savoir

There are many science-backed elements you can introduce into your day, that’ll assist in managing stress and keeping it at bay when it’s time to drift off. Exercise is the most important, and effective method to manage our stress levels. Making time for exercise over the course of the day boosts endorphins, which are natural mood elevators. The second-best way to keep stress at bay is to practise mindfulness or breathing exercises. These exercises can slow our heart rate and deal with stressful events. Breathing exercises, such as the 4-7-8 technique, where you breathe in for 4 seconds, you hold for 7 seconds, and then you exhale for 8 seconds, can be wonderful tools to help us deal with stress.


Managing stress is essential, because without this, we’re much more likely to experience insomnia-like symptoms, or over time develop a clinical diagnosis of insomnia. Insomnia symptoms refer to chronic experience of either difficulty falling asleep, maintaining sleep, or waking up too early. And if those symptoms sound like they affect you, it’s time to speak to a health care provider. Our quality of sleep is a direct result of our daily lives. Keeping stress in check will set us up for success and increase our chances at a deep restorative sleep that allows us to wake up and perform at our best.”


Dr Rebecca Robbins


Breathing exercises, such as the 4-7-8 technique, where you breathe in for 4 seconds, you hold for 7 seconds, and then you exhale for 8 seconds, can be wonderful tools to help us deal with stress.


Dr Rebecca Robbins

Beauty, sleep, and circadian rhythm with ByNACHT founder Jessica Hoyer

It was only a matter of time – and perhaps the right person, to bring beauty into the world of sleep. Inspired by her own experience with poor-quality sleep, ByNACHT founder, Jessica Hoyer, explores the connection between beauty, sleep, and circadian rhythm.


ByNacht sleeping balm

As experts in handcrafting the world’s finest beds, we are committed to discovering the ingredients that make up a restorative night’s rest. Throughout this journey, we have met some of the most esteemed individuals within the wellness space. Bringing together their knowledge, science and curiosity, these experts challenge the common perception of sleep and aim to provide modern-day solutions that deliver a lifetime of quality sleep.


Driven by her own experience with lack of sleep, Jessica Hoyer embarked on understanding the connection between beauty, sleep, and circadian rhythm. Combining cutting-edge technology with insight from world-leading sleep experts, she created a brand that makes our sleeping routines all that more luxurious.


With a curated range of creams, serums, and balms, ByNACHT (German for ‘By night’), provides key ingredients to a wholesome sleeping routine. Today, we sit down with Jessica Hoyer, who talks us through what inspired her journey and how her findings influence her approach to beauty sleep.


Image of Jessica Hoyer in black and white, showcasing her creating inspired beauty moodboards for her brand BYNACHT
Jessica Hoyer, the founder of BYNACHT. Image Credit: BYNACHT
Image of BYNACHT's sleeping balm in an open container on a white table.
The iconic sleeping balm. Image credit: BYNACHT

I wanted a concept and products that were wholesome, yet cutting-edge in ingredients and something that didn’t fall short in all aspects of the lines I used to buy.


Jessica Hoyer, founder of BYNACHT

Savoir: Is ByNACHT inspired by your own experience with lack of sleep? 


Jessica Hoyer: Yes, ByNACHT was literally born out of my own sleepless nights. Before I started the brand, I had my own advertising agency and was working for big international clients and frequently flying around the world for work. I was constantly jet-lagged, exhausted, and looked – and felt dull. My mother (a certified aromatherapist) mixed me the ‘sleeping balm’, which is still a bestseller and the original recipe as of today, and I finally had a good night’s sleep.  


Now, I was looking to find a skincare that helped with me looking dull. I wanted a concept and products that were wholesome, yet cutting-edge in ingredients and something that didn’t fall short in all aspects of the lines I used to buy. And there wasn’t a cure for it in the current skincare market. I didn’t find anything that was closing the gap between the scientific findings around sleep being a catalyst for great skin. When I started looking into studies I was immediately fascinated and knew I had found something very special. 


 


What’s driven you to explore the connection between circadian rhythm, sleep, and beauty? 


I have never intended to be a part of the beauty industry but created my brand out of my own passion after reading all the studies and mostly my need to find something that is science-based and holistic in the approach to combine sleep and skin. Because these scientific studies and findings all state that sleep quality impacts skin function and ageing. 


In terms of science, my biggest learning was that every single study and scientific research facts and findings say that skin renewal, wound healing, growth hormones, collagen production, fibroblast renewal and overall turn-cell over and really, basically everything else that is needed for amazing skin are ONLY happening at night.  


As for wound healing, it was mind-blowing to see what the right ingredients (at this time it was our ultra-repair serum) and a good night’s sleep can do for your skin. And those scientific facts were, and still are my biggest guidance when creating a new product.


A close-up image of the Rocco design, upholstered in decadent deep blue velvet, with brass gold details and marble finishes
Image credit: Rocco Design by Savoir, photographed by Alexander James

 


 


How did your findings inform your approach to sleep and beauty? 


Skin never sleeps and that is probably the most interesting research finding ever. During the day, your skin is in a protective state, warding off elements such as sun damage or oxidation. While at night, your skin goes into renewal mode, regenerating new skin cells and cycling oxygen and nutrients. 


Our skin has its own circadian clock. Different skin processes occur at different times according to this internal schedule. Night time is prime time for repairing damage and rebuilding cells and tissues, and cell renewal is up to 8 times higher. Collagen production and Growth hormone (HGH) production are at a peak which in turn accelerates skin regeneration and the production of antioxidant enzymes.  


The bottom line is – support your skin at night with the right products and you will see a dramatic difference in your complexion by day.


Jessica Hoyer

What is your current bedtime routine and how do you maintain it when travelling? 


The time before going to bed is my ‘me-time’ and whether I have 10 or 30 minutes, I never skip cleansing my face and applying my skincare. I combine this with my relaxing playlist and write down every single to-do and thought in a little notebook, so my head is clear when I go to sleep.  


That is a game-changer really, so I feel well-prepared for the next day, and nothing gets lost when I have my morning coffee. This routine is something I really stick to, even when I am travelling because I found it to make such a difference the next morning in terms of how I look and feel. I also always bring our mini travel sizes with me when I’m away.


 


What’s the one luxury you can’t live without? 


I think a lot of people would expect me to say that my biggest luxury is sleep now, but for me, sleep is a necessity and vital for my well-being and overall health. I have learned so much about the importance of a good night’s sleep that I treat it as a priority. So, I will go with time with my son, as this is really the thing that means the most to me and no amount of money, work or opportunity could make me compromise or minimize that time.  


Image of our Rocco design, featuring marble elements and decadent deep blue velvet upholstery
Image credit: Rocco Design by Savoir, photographed by Alexander James

For those unfamiliar with ByNACHT, is there one product you recommend starting with? 


Ohh, that’s a hard question as I love all of our products but I personally would say our Hypercharged Glass Skin Serum (a worldwide and award-winning bestseller we can’t keep in stock for long until sold out) that features an outstanding combination of eight different Hyaluronic acids and an unmatched combination of 13 different active botanical extracts.  


I would go as far as to say that if you have ever tried it, you will never go back to an ‘ordinary’ Hyaluronic Serum ever again. It is that good.  And then there is of course our original – the Sleeping Balm. It always works and thousands of raving customers can’t lie. You will sleep.


 


Do we need a different approach to skincare at night, than we do during the day? 


Yes, absolutely and in so many aspects – from the quality and components of ingredients to the sheer quantity we use. We need a lot more active ingredients at night in order to wake up with the best skin because of the skin being so active at night and some other factors like trans epidermal water loss. At night, the skin’s cells regenerate fastest due to the increased blood flow to the skin. If you use effective products, your skin can maximize its rejuvenation with serums and creams that help the skin renew itself. 


And for that, we need to have a night-time skincare line that is addressing skin issues before the regenerative process of sleep begins. So, ByNACHT products are designed very differently, you will see a difference within one night already. I strongly believe that high quality and efficacy will always come through.  


At night, the skin’s cells regenerate fastest due to the increased blood flow to the skin. If you use effective products, your skin can maximize its rejuvenation with serums and creams that help the skin renew itself. 


Jessica Hoyer

 


 


And lastly, what is your advice for achieving a restorative night’s rest? 


My advice would be to invest in making your bedroom a sanctuary and a place where you really just rest. I never work or use my laptop in bed but make sure I keep a book and a pen nearby to write done any wandering thoughts before sleep.  


Investing in a high quality bed is also vital. We spend a lot of time in our beds and for me, that is the most important piece of furniture in my house.  


I also stick to the common rules, such as no phone before sleep, having a colder room temperature and if I am very exhausted, I take a warm bath before bed and do some breathwork and apply our sleeping balm- and I am off to the land of dreams.  


Image of BYNACHT's iconic sleeping balm, showing the open balm jar
ByNACHT's bestselling sleep balm. Image credit: BYNACHT

Savoir champions innovative ideas and solutions that inspire a restorative night’s rest. Alongside honouring handcraft and only the finest, natural materials, we’re committed to discovering the ingredients – and benefits of sleep, that deliver a lifetime of unhurried luxury and health.


Learn more about ByNACHT here.