What if the secret to healthy skin is as simple as taking a nap? After all, our body (especially our brain) never stops working, especially while sleeping. It has been widely studied that sleep is the phase in which epidermal and internal recovery occurs – the most important for the human being.
Sometimes the 24 hours in a day seem not to be enough to get quality sleeping time. With the hustle and bustle of modern life and daily responsibilities, it’s not always possible to sleep eight hours a night.
Nothing is more wrong.
Many do not know that while we sleep, the skin regenerates, and it is with sleep that we restore our skin health in general.
A good night of sleep has many benefits on skin health and psychophysical well-being. It is important to know how it works and what benefits it can bring to your skin – it will most likely motivate you to start getting better rest.
How Sleep Can Affect Skin Health
Whenever you sleep poorly or miss sleep, your skin will suffer the following day—looking tired and dull. Sleeping is a great way to rejuvenate the body and promote blood circulation.
The skin repairs itself during the night and produces collagen, essential for maintaining a radiant-looking face.
Without enough sleep, the skin may begin to sag, giving way to the first fine lines, which will become more and more evident due to the lack of elasticity.
What we now call fine lines, over time, will become deep wrinkles.
It is essential to understand that while sleeping, the body regenerates itself, which applies to skin health, muscles and even brain cells. During sleep, the skin’s blood flow increases. The body rebuilds collagen and repairs damage caused by UV exposure, reducing wrinkles and age spots.
Lack of sleep leads to poor circulation. Which increases water retention, so the face will appear slightly puffy.
The causes of sleep deprivation can be many. Stress, illness, insomnia, the list goes on and on. A 2017 study revealed that it takes only two days of erratic or lack of sleep to begin to feel the first adverse effects on overall health and skin health.
So what seems like a problem overnight could turn into something more permanent.
Give Your Skin The Health It Deserves
Consistency is key when it comes to sleep. Sleeping ten hours one night and five hours the next will still harm your skin health.
Finding a routine is sometimes all it takes to restore skin to its original glow.
Lack of sleep will have almost immediate effects on skin health. Research has shown that a single night of poor sleep can cause:
drooping corners of the mouth
The Benefits Of Sleep On Skin Health
Here are the main beauty benefits of a good night of sleep:
- Smoother skin
During the sleep cycle, there is a release of growth hormone, which stimulates collagen production. It usually happens during “deep sleep”, the so-called REM phase. More collagen production results in smoother skin and less likely to develop fine lines and wrinkles.
However, collagen levels drop rapidly after reaching 40, causing the skin to lose elasticity and firmness. Wrinkles start to form faster, becoming more profound and more visible.
A lack of quality sleep increases this.
Encouraging collagen growth by getting enough sleep will help reduce this process and lead to smoother, tighter skin.
- Brighter complexion
While you sleep, the body increases blood flow to the extremities and consequently to the skin. This delivers essential nutrients to the skin cells and results in a healthy, glowing complexion the following day.
- Fewer dark circles
Dark circles are the first sign of fatigue that your face will bring after a sleepless night. When you don’t sleep long enough, or in the worst case, you don’t sleep at all, your blood flows are affected, and fluid can build up under the eye area.
Improved blood flow (resulting from getting a good night of sleep) minimises this swelling and dark circles.
- Fuller, healthier hair
Lack of sleep can directly impact a man’s hair quality and fullness, leading to hair breakage and loss.
Hair growth begins in the hair follicles, and these need nutrients, vitamins and minerals from the bloodstream to function correctly. Increased blood flow during sleep means more nutrients, hence stronger hair and better growth.
Lack of sleep can increase stress levels and increase cortisol levels in the blood, which is the stress hormone.
Another cause of hair loss!
- A happy and healthier look
When you feel tired, your facial expressions change dramatically. People frown easily, and the corners of the mouth have been shown to drop slightly. Insomnia also increases the likelihood of suffering from depression. But when you are well-rested, you will look healthier, feel happier and more likely to smile.
How to Maximize Sleep Quality
Focusing on sleep quality might seem easier said than done. Still, we have listed some basic steps that, if implemented consistently, will bring significant benefits to sleep quality and consequently to skin health.
Get A Full Night Of Sleep
The best starting point for skin health – and health in general – is to rest the recommended amount each night.
The results of poor sleep for our skin are numerous and significant, including :
- skin that ages faster
- that does not recover well from environmental stresses such as sun exposure
- dull skin
How to do it? Start by going to bed 10 minutes earlier each night for the first three days, increase by 5 minutes at a time so that you get to one hour at the weekend. Absolutely avoid any screen, be it a smartphone or a TV, instead dedicate time to a good read. It will help your mind get rid of everyday worries and relax, allowing you to fall asleep earlier.
Extra help for monitoring sleep quality and length could be a fitness tracker watch.
Wash Your Face Before Bed
Sleep is a safe way to help the skin repair itself. Blood flow increases, collagen is rebuilt, and facial muscles relax after a long day.
But going to sleep with a dirty face can damage the look of your skin.
Cleansing your face every night is probably more important than in the morning – you don’t need to use fancy products or scrub too hard. A mild detergent to remove dirt and extra oil will do just fine.
Not cleansing your face would mean giving irritants – that build up on your skin during the day – a chance to sink and do damages overnight. This can cause:
- enlarged pores
- dry skin
- pimples and blackhead
Stay Hydrated Inside and Out
Washing your face before bed is essential, but this can leave your facial skin dry. Sleeping can also dehydrate your skin, especially if you are dozing in a low-humidity environment. While staying hydrated by drinking water can help to some extent, what your skin really needs overnight is a moisturiser.
For the night, you need a face cream or a thicker natural oil that can hydrate and quench your skin while you sleep. Another option is to keep the skin hydrated during the day, by using a good eye contour cream and a face serum.
Lastly, it would help if you always drank plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration often leads to headaches and muscle cramps, making it difficult to sleep.
Try to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Water promotes a healthy lifestyle by eliminating toxins and keeping your body hydrated. Small changes can have a significant impact on sleep quality, which eventually leads to a brighter complexion.
Sleep On Your Back or Use A Special Pillow Case
It makes sense to say that the position you keep your face for a third of the day is very important!
Sleeping on a rough cotton surface can irritate the skin and compress the face for long hours, causing wrinkles to form. While the expressions cause most wrinkles we make while awake, some facial and chest wrinkles can result from sleeping on your stomach or hips.
A simple solution is to sleep on your back.
If you prefer to sleep on your side instead, use a skin-friendly pillow. A satin or silk pillow minimises skin irritation and compression.
Sleeping with your head slightly raised can help with snoring, acid reflux and nasal drip. All of which can disrupt sleep quality and, therefore, skin health. In addition, it can help reduce bags and dark circles by improving blood flow and preventing fluid stagnation.
Avoid Naps In The Sun
Napping in the sun can harm your skin health and appearance, not to mention that sleeping in a lighted room can disrupt sleep and its rhythms.
Even if your nap will be short, it’s best to do it in a chilled darkroom.
Any hint of light can disturb sleep, especially REM sleep. This includes the light from any alarm clock or a smartphone screen.
A dark, cool room is ideal for sleeping and can help you fall asleep faster. Another option would be to wear a sleep mask to block early morning sunlight or phone notifications.
Light is a stimulant that tells the brain: “Hey, it’s time to wake up”.
Sleep In A Chilly Room
As just mentioned, the temperature of the room in which you also sleep matters. A space that is too hot makes sleep less comfortable, which leads to restlessness and eventually awakening.
Lowering the temperature a few degrees or getting a fan to keep fresh air circulating will make it easier for you to fall asleep. Body temperature is one of the main components of what regulates the circadian rhythm.
As the temperature rises, you will start to feel more and more awake. If you have found yourself in the middle of the night having to take your blankets off, then you can understand how annoying that feeling of excessive heat can be for your sleep.
Get Regular Physical Activity
Another tactic for maximising sleep quality is to exercise. It works as a natural stress reliever by releasing endorphins. Endorphins are known to provide pain relief and feelings of well-being and positivity.
While it is not advisable to do high-intensity sports right before bed, a light evening workout, such as a yoga session or a walk, will help you fall asleep faster.
Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean spending hours in the gym. If you’re short on time, take a quick 15-minute walk twice a day to give your circulatory system the boost it needs. Getting into the daily habit of exercising is good for your heart, sleep and skin health.
You now know how important sleep is to get glowing, healthy skin. Starting today will bring its benefits – right on your face – tomorrow!
Don’t procrastinate on all those activities that would benefit your health.