There is a reason there is the saying that we need our beauty sleep. Sleep is an essential part of your skin care regimen and yet most Americans don’t get enough of it. Sleep deprivation, even in small amounts, can lead to a number of issues for your overall skin health.
Probably the biggest reason to get sleep is a nasty little stress hormone called cortisol. When you are sleep-deprived, your body makes and releases this hormone, which can lead to increased inflammation in the face, body and skin.
And cortisol is the gift that keeps on giving. Increased inflammatory cells in the body accelerate the breakdown of collagen and hyaluronic acid which give the skin its glow, bounce, and translucency.
This is especially true for those with inflammatory skin disorders, such as persistent acne and eczema. Increased itching and skin sensitivity can disrupt sleep patterns, making skin conditions and sleep quality increasingly interwoven. Moreover, increased inflammation in the body can cause the body’s ability to regulate the immune system out of whack. Not only will that make you sick more often, but it can also spur flare-ups of immune related skin diseases such as psoriasis. Getting a good night’s sleep can help clear up skin, which allows sleep to improve, in turn, improving skin health.
Conversely, while we sleep, our bodies work hard to repair celled that were damaged throughout the day. During the deepest phases of sleep, the body releases growth hormones that assist in this cellular repair. When you miss out on sleep, you miss out on these repairing phases. So instead of our skin repairing each night, it will start to accumulate these breakdowns and result in worsening signs of aging.
The human body goes through a hydration rebalancing while we are sleeping. Skin is able to recover much needed moisture and excess water is processed for removal, carrying out waste products that aren’t good for our skin. This water balance is thrown off kilter when we don’t get enough sleep each night. This can lead to under-eye puffiness and dark circles, as well as dryness and more visible wrinkles.
Have a hard time getting enough sleep? Follow these tips:
Stay hydrated throughout the day, but don’t drink too late at night so you won’t have to wake to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Don’t eat a large, late dinner. Stomach upset, bloating and more will make it harder for your body to fall asleep.
Don’t use your electronics within 30-60 minutes of going to sleep. The artificial blue light emitted from your devices stimulate your brain, which makes it harder to settle down for the night.
Sleep in a cool, quiet room under a warm blanket. Use an eye mask or blinds to keep the room dark.
Use fragrance free laundry detergents and regularly wash your bed sheets.
Need more techniques to help you fall asleep fast? Check out this great article by Healthline Magazine for tips on falling asleep in under 2 minutes.