Do you fancy bags under your eyes, pasty skin, pimples, crows feet and a droopy jawline? Nope, no one does.
Well that’s where you’re heading if you keep disrespecting your sleep. If you’re consistently getting anything less than seven hours a night then you, my good friend, may be sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation is bad for your physical and mental health, and terrible for your appearance. (There’s a reason it’s called getting your beauty sleep — because there truly are real beauty benefits associated with getting enough sleep.)
The Researchers Say…
A team of researchers from Sweden (no surprises there) conducted a study on the connection between beauty and sleep. They showed participants images of sleep-deprived individuals and photos of well-rested people. You can see where this is heading of course. The sleep-deprived faces were judged to be less attractive and much less healthy. Uh-oh!
Below are three beauty benefits of sleep. Read on and get inspired to make sleep an essential part of your beauty regimen.
Three Beauty Benefits of Sleep
Sleep keeps your skin young
Why is it that some people look amazing well into their golden years, while the rest of us start to look like Tommy Lee Jones by the time we turn 40? There are many possible answers to that question. But sleep plays a huge role.
When we sleep our body releases growth hormones. These powerful neurotransmitters tell the cells within our tissue when, where and how to repair and rejuvenate our body. Thus keeping us looking fresh for longer.
Here’s the rub though. These signals are only transmitted after we enter something called ‘deep wave’ sleep. This is the truly good, super-replenishing stuff that only comes later in our sleep cycle, at least a couple of hours after we’ve nodded off.
If our slumber is broken, or we don’t sleep for long enough, then we spend much less time in this stage of deep sleep. And, you guessed it, the process of replenishment and rejuvenation won’t be as successful.
A night of missed sleep here or there won’t matter too much — but routinely sleeping badly will mean the damage done to our cells will go beyond the stage where it can be reversed. That’s when bags become permanent and wrinkles more defined. Yikes! Time for bed me thinks!
Sleep keeps your skin hydrated
While you snore away, your body is hard at work regulating a whole host of things that may have been unbalanced during the course of your day. One of these is your hydration level.
As you slumber your body processes any excess water left in your system for removal. Hence why a trip to the loo is usually your first order of business come morning time. Your skin is able to reclaim some of this excess water and use it to replenish its moisture levels — keeping you looking young and vivacious. Bonus!
If your sleep is interrupted, this hydration regulation process suffers and remains incomplete. Your skin loses out on this replenishment and you wake with a dry, pasty T-zone and puffy eyes. Oops!
Think of your skin as a rose garden. Keep it well watered and it with flourish. Neglect it and it with wither and dry.
Considering how seriously you are going to be taking your rest after reading this, it could be time to replace that sorry excuse for a mattress that you’re currently failing to sleep on.
Sleep is our natural prozac
You may have heard of a little hormone called cortisol, known colloquially to medical science as the stress hormone.
In terms of pure evolutionary survival, cortisol was a very useful substance. It’s the chemical that tells us whether to fight or flee when we see the telltale shape of a saber-tooth tiger hiding behind a tree. Obviously for our hunter-gatherer ancestors. it was super useful. But not so much in today’s world that’s mostly free of saber-tooth cats.
Even so, cortisol still plays a huge role in our everyday life. It’s the thing that gives you that sick feeling when you realize you forgot to mail your tax return, or when you’re running late for an interview.
An excess of cortisol in our system can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and stress, mood swings, fatigue, weight fluctuation and even infertility. Fortunately one of the many amazing things sleep does is flush cortisol from our system. If we sleep badly, this process is impaired and our cortisol levels remain elevated. Not only is that bad for our health, it’s also bad for our appearance.
Cortisol leads to a rise in inflammation and our skin suffers as a result. Stress has been linked to oily skin, breakouts of adult acne and other skin conditions.
Well, there you have it my lovelies, the health of your skin and the quality of your sleep are probably more closely related than you ever realized. If you’ve been skipping out on sleep, stop it now and your skin will thank you.
Plus, now you have the perfect excuse to hit snooze tomorrow morning!