Turns out all that all this talk about “beauty sleep” is real. Researchers at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center determined a link between sleep deprivation and skin function, including skin aging.
“Our study is the first to conclusively demonstrate that inadequate sleep is correlated with reduced skin health and accelerates skin aging. Sleep deprived women show signs of premature skin aging and a decrease in their skin’s ability to recover after sun exposure,” said Elma Baron, MD, Director of the Skin Center UH and lead investigator for the study.
Another study, which was published in September issue of the journal Sleep, found that individuals who were sleep deprived were viewed as having darker circles under their eyes, more hanging of the eyelids, extra droopy mouths at the corners, more fine line and wrinkles, redder eyes, and paler skin. In addition, individuals who were under the influence of sleep deprivation were perceived to look sadder and more fatigued.
What Sleep Does for Your Skin
During the day, your skin is exposed to many environmental factors, whether that is sunshine, cigarette smoke, allergens, pollution, or other chemicals or toxins in the air. Sleep, and all its wonderful benefits, helps your skin heal from the day’s damage. It helps your skin regenerate, renew, and repair itself at night to help it looks its best.
What are some other benefits of sleep for your skin?
Reduced breakouts. Because being sleep-deprived can increase a person’s stress level, it can lead to pimples and blackheads, including in adults. It’s believed that college students have more breakouts come exam time, which may be the result of the stress of the exams and all-night cram-in study sessions where sleep is sacrificed.
More even skin tone. Good quality sleep boosts healthy blood flow to your skin, which helps make your skin glow and less pale looking.
More refreshed eyes. While it is true that dark circles under eyes can have an element of genetics to them, they are also more common in the sleep deprived. If you’re not getting enough shut-eye, any dark circles you have can appear darker.
What You Can Do to Improve the Appearance of Your Skin
While getting your Zzzzz’s helps improve the look of your skin, there are a few other bedtime rituals tips for your skin you can do to help it look its best.
Combat eye puffiness. For example, if you notoriously wake up with puffy eyes (known as bags under the eyes) because fluid collects around them as you lie flat to sleep, try adding another pillow under your head so that your head is above your heart at night. When you wake up in the morning, apply a cold compress on your eyes for a couple of minutes to depuff them. In addition, stay away from salt late at night, which can cause fluid retention and make your eyes and face look puffy in the morning.
Skip the alcohol-based nightcap. While you might think a glass of Merlot before bed might relax you to make it easier to fall asleep, chances are you’ll wake up several hours later from the alcohol effects. In addition, alcohol dehydrates the body, so your skin may be more prone to looking dried out, older than it is, and be laden with large pores. So, skip the booze for a better snooze. And try drinking water early evening to see what difference it makes in your skin the next day.
Spend more time sleeping on a comfortable natural latex mattress, and wake up to the above skin benefits!
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