Beauty Sleep is a Real Thing

Yes, turns out “beauty sleep” is legit.

The quality and length of sleep you receive every night can have a profound impact on your skin’s overall health.  When we sleep our bodies recharge.  Not only do our bodies recharge, our skin does as well.   During sleep, we heal, restore and eliminate toxins from the skin.  If sleep is compromised so is the body’s ability to carry out these essential skin functions.  

So, just how does a good night sleep affect our skin’s health?

Human growth hormones from the pituitary gland are produced during the first three hours of sleep.  As we age, this hormone is necessary for the maintenance of youthful and radiant skin. Without this hormone release skin is not repaired from daily damage and in turn, induces the aging process.

Melatonin is another hormone that is responsible for regulating your sleep/wake patterns, this occurs during the middle of our sleep cycle. It also acts as an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from harmful free radicals.

During active REM sleep stage (last few hours of sleep) our stress hormone (also known as cortisol) decreases.  The skin’s temperature also drops to its lowest point allowing muscles to relax and become immobile, giving skin its deepest recovery of the night.   

5 ways lack of sleep is ruining your skin and wreaking havoc on your appearance.

  1. Hair: Lack of sleep is a form of stress and such strain leads to hair loss, consequences include temporary hair loss conditions (like the stress-triggered telogen effluvium) and worsening of hereditary hair loss in people with a family history of male or female pattern hair loss.
  2. Dull Skin: When you miss sleep your cortisol levels are increased leading to inflammation. inflammation.  This leads to the breakdown of proteins in the skin which keep skin radiant and smooth. When you are tired the blood in your body is not flowing efficiently which normally results in a lack of oxygen in the blood. This lack of oxygen causes your skin to appear ashy, pigmented, or blotchy.
  1. Dry Skin: Did you know that during sleep you perspire more?  It’s true.  While you are asleep your body’s hydration rebalances and recovers extra moisture.  This makes sleep a natural moisturizer that can help to smooth out wrinkles on the skin.  Research has found that poor sleep, is associated with “transepidermal water loss”— a decrease in skin hydration which can lower your complexion’s PH level.  A skin imbalance is created when your PH levels drop.  This imbalance causes your skin to not produce the moisture it needs, leading to drier skin.
  1. Eyes: Dark circles are widely known as a common symptom for a lack of sleep.  Lack of sleep makes your blood vessel dilate leading to dark circles.  You will also find that not sleeping enough can result in poor water balance that creates dark circles and puffy eyes.  When you sleep on your side or stomach liquid can drain and catch in the trough of your under eye and cause inflammation and puffiness.
  1. Collagen: A lack of sleep puts stress on the body.  Chronic stress is harmful to the proper development of collagen in the skin.  Collagen is important to the elasticity and structure of the skin.  When collagen is broken down, the skin shows more noticeable signs of aging by becoming thinner and less firm leading to further wrinkles and sagging.

Tips for better sleep –  for better skin

  • Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule — even on the weekends.
  • Avoid caffeine 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
  • Limit alcohol and big meals right before sleep — although it seems that a glass of wine will help you fall asleep, you won’t enter deep sleep with alcohol in your system.
  • Get regular exercise and keep a healthy diet.
  • Use a sleep tracking device that tracks your sleep quality with charts that show when you enter deep sleep.

In the end, beauty sleep is a thing but does sleep guarantee perfect skin? Not exactly. However, since the skin is highly receptive to products applied right before bed, your nightly skincare regimen can be the extra boost to a flawless complexion. To find out more about what at home skin care products will help your nighttime skincare routine give me a call for a complimentary consultation.

Kimberly Gray | Medical Aesthetician

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