In our driven culture, we overlook the power and importance of sleep. Maybe you even feel guilty if you sleep “too much”. You might think you should be doing more important things.
Well, now is the time to make sleep your priority. Los Angeles, California, the land of luxurious beauty products and procedures, admits that sleep is the “best skincare treatment”.
How Much Beauty Sleep Do You Need?
Your bodily needs are different from everyone else, but try to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Less than 6 hours, and you’re probably not getting your beauty sleep, according to Michael Breus, Ph.D.
This is especially true as you get older. So, even if you could get away with late nights or even sleepless nights in your teens and twenties, you probably shouldn’t try that anymore. As you age, sleep becomes more and more precious to your skin health.
Your Skin Needs Sleep
Your skin is the biggest organ on your body, and it takes a lot of flak every day.
Think about it: your skin is exposed to the changing elements and temperatures, sunshine, pollution, perfumes, and so much more. Plus, what you put in and on your body affects your skin, too. That goes for everything from foods, to clothing, to beauty products.
So, to keep up with everything, your skin needs sleep just as much as you do!
Now, you might think that when you’re sleeping, you’re not doing anything, or you’re being lazy, but nothing could be further from the truth!
Within an eight-hour sleep cycle (give or take a few), the body is busy repairing and restoring your beautiful skin.
Sleep Increases the Human Growth Hormone
When you sleep, you’re giving your body an opportunity to catch up on some super important beauty treatments. For example, when you fall asleep, your body uses those first three hours to produce the human growth hormone. This is an important hormone for young-looking skin. That’s because it helps produce an important ingredient for healthy skin: collagen.
The human growth hormone is also important for fixing any DNA that’s been damaged. The DNA in the skin can be damaged by UV rays, as well as pollution. And sleep is when your body releases human growth hormone to counteract any of these daily damages.
We might call it “beauty sleep” but nightly sleep is a powerful source of restoration, healing, and regeneration. Beauty sleep helps you face a new day with a refreshed complexion and healthy skin.
Melatonin Production Supports Healthy Skin
When you’re deeply sleeping, your body produces another hormone, melatonin. Melatonin is like an antioxidant, and as we know, antioxidants defend our skin against all those bad, free radicals.
Adequate Sleep Keeps Cortisol Levels Down
In your last three hours of snoozing, the stress hormone, cortisol decreases, which is wonderful for your skin. When you don’t sleep enough and cortisol levels increase, you can suffer from inflammation.
In skin terms, this means that important proteins will break apart and it will mean less smooth-looking skin. Inflammation can also lead to skin outbreaks and make your skin look older.
Instead, when your cortisol levels are low, your skin and muscles relax and this helps your face look refreshed and ready to go.
Here’s another important reason why you should keep cortisol levels low with ample sleep. Too much cortisol – too much stress in the body – will mean your body won’t produce as much collagen in the skin. Collagen helps your skin feel smooth, plump, firm and healthy. Without collagen, your skin will end up with more wrinkles.
Dermatologist, Patricia Wexler, MD says that 5 hours of sleep can produce twice as many wrinkles as 7 hours of sleep.
As you can see, within an eight-hour sleep cycle, your body is hard at work to raise certain hormones and lower others. This restores and rejuvenates your skin. Without sound sleep, your skin suffers.
Not Enough Sleep = Dry Skin
Does your face ever feel dry and tight when you’ve been up for too long?
This makes perfect sense when you consider that you sweat a lot at night. All this perspiration helps your body hydrate your skin. Plus, when you get enough sleep, your skin has an easier time holding water, which allows for supple skin.
No One Wants Sleep-Deprived Eyes
Everyone knows that when you’re sleep deprived, the skin under your eyes gives it all away. That’s because when you don’t sleep enough, circulation in your face isn’t as good. That’s because the blood vessels under your eyes dilate.
Of course, you can hide it with concealer, but it’s always better to remove this problem with restorative sleep, instead of covering up puffy, tired eyes.
Duller Skin Without Enough Sleep
When you skimp on beauty sleep, there’s less blood circulation in your face. This can lead to dull, pale skin.
Weight Loss Is Easier with Beauty Sleep
We know that your body works to replenish and heal itself by producing or decreasing important hormones while you sleep.
Did you know that getting enough sleep will increase hormones that help you feel less hungry? This study from the University of Chicago shows that people who get enough sleep have an easier time losing weight.
Sleep Helps Your Body Detox
It might seem like you’re not doing anything when you snooze. But sleep is actually a very active time for your body. Your liver is busy removing toxins from the body. If you cut your sleep short, your liver won’t be able to detoxify your body as well.
But your body’s smart and knows that it can’t keep toxins inside it for long. So, what happens? Your body tries to push them out through your skin. And as you can imagine, this can damage your skin.
Beauty sleep is a bit misleading. It’s actually a very busy time for your body to restore, heal and replenish important hormones and detoxify. Help your body do this important work by getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. You’ll look and feel beautiful when you do.