There’s a very good reason why we refer to is as getting our “beauty sleep”.
When we get a great night’s rest, we look and feel fresh and fabulous come morning. We become a picture on a magazine cover, greeting the world with a smile.
On the flipside, those sleepless nights we rise to find a completely different person staring back in the bathroom mirror. Bags under the eyes, blotchy skin, pimples, a greasy T-zone are all symptoms of a poor night’s rest.
So yes, getting enough high-quality rest is vitally important. Not just for our physical health but also for our physical appearance. Especially our skin.
Read on below and we will take a deeper look at some of the sometimes surprising reasons sleep is so beneficial for skin health. For even more more health and sleep related help check out what the [Sleep Advisors] have to say.
Sleep improves hydration levels
Think of your skin as a delicate flower. The better watered it is, the better it will flourish. Fail to keep it properly hydrated and it will wither and dry.
When we lie in bed dreaming, our bodies are hard at work. There are countless processes that take place when we are at rest. Many of these involve regulating and balancing things that have been knocked out of kilter during the day’s activities. One of these things that requires attention is our body’s hydration levels.
During the night, we process and prepare extra water for removal. This allows our skin to reclaim some of this water to replenish the moisture that was beaten out of it during the day. If our sleep is broken or we simply don’t get enough, then our bodies aren’t able to properly complete this process of hydration. The result is we end up with puffy eyes, dry skin which eventually lead to crinkly wrinkles. Oh dear!
Sleep prevents premature ageing
Why is it some people look far younger than their years and other so much older? Well, there are multiple answers, but sleep certainly plays a huge role.
When we sleep deeply, we achieve ‘slow wave’ sleep . And this is when the body begins to release growth hormones. These handy neurotransmitters trigger the body’s cells to begin the process of repairing and rejuvenating.
If our sleep is interrupted and we don’t spend enough time in the middle-of-the-night deep sleep stages, then this repairing process won’t take place or simply won’t be as successful. Over time, the damage we do to our cells will go beyond the a reversible stage. Hence bags under the eyes become more permanent. Wrinkles become more defined. And things begin to droop where they didn’t droop before.
Sleep combats weight gain
What I am about to tell you might sound counter-intuitive. But bear with me while I explain. Lying in bed asleep is actually good for your weight. That’s right, setting your alarm clock for an extra hour in bed could likely do wonders for your beltline.
How so? Well, it appears when we sleep poorly, our cells suffer from something akin to a hangover. Our fat cells in particular suffer from what has been termed as ‘metabolic grogginess’ when we don’t get enough rest.
Metabolic grogginess in plain English refers to a phenomenon in which fat cells stop responding to the hormone insulin in an efficient fashion. The result is that we don’t burn fat correctly as energy and our bodies instead send it to be stored within our tissues. This in a nutshell is how we get fat.
Weight obviously has an impact on the health of our skin. Everything from water retention to varicose veins and stretch marks coming into play as the pounds pile on.
Sleep lowers stress hormone levels
Sleep and stress are strongly related. When we sleep our body attempts to regulate our hormone levels. One of the most essential processes that takes place is the flushing of the stress-hormone cortisol.
Cortisol is the pesky hormone that fills us with dread when we realize that work presentation is today and not next week! Cortisol was very useful in our caveman days when we had to worry about bears behind trees. Today it often leads to stress related conditions.
If we sleep badly, the body is unable to clear itself of unnecessary levels of cortisol. The result of this is a rise in inflammation and with that our skin suffers. Unfortunately, if we become stressed it’s harder to sleep. And if we don’t sleep, our stress grows. It’s a cruel cycle indeed.
There you have it beauty fans. Sleep and your skin are a lot more closely connected that you were likely aware. Well, now you know! So there is no excuse for not heading to bed an hour earlier tonight. Your skin will thank you!
(This post contains affiliate links)