As a child, I detested naps. I found that there were more interesting things to do than just lay there, close your eyes, surrender to dreamland then repeat the entire process a few hours later! Flash forward to adult hood and it’s another story, sleep has became a precious commodity. It’s clear that when you are well rested, your concentration levels are high, you can quickly make decisions and engage fully in social activities – in short you will not be grumpy.
As a beauty blogger, I always wondered exactly how sleep helps your skin. My research was finally prompted by Pixar’s ‘Inside Out.’ (shoutout!)
What are the Beauty Benefits of Sleep?
- Sleep restores, heals and renews your skin. A sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes and repeats itself through the night. While you sleep, skin cell regeneration almost doubles, restoring tissues. Endorphins (pleasure enhancing hormones) are released in high levels to heal inflammation, improve skin elasticity and smooth wrinkles.
- Sleep helps beneficial cosmetic ingredients penetrate the skin easily. As you sleep, body temperature increases helping beneficial ingredients in your skin care to be easily absorbed. This is why a more comprehensive night skin care routine is encouraged; you will truly reap the benefits of using antioxidant and treatment targeted packed serums and moisturizers.
- Sleep gets rid of bags under your eyes. Dark circles under your eyes are a constant reminder that you’re sleep deprived. When you’re sleep deprived, your body is tired so the stress hormone cortisol is dramatically increased to give you the energy to stay awake. Cortisol will increase the volume of the blood in your body, causing blood vessels to engorge to accommodate it. Given that the skin around your eyes is very thin(about 0.5mm), the dilated blood vessels and the blood they contain will be seen more clearly than anywhere else on your body. Of course, we have quick remedies for this (cucumber slices, green tea bags, ice cubes concealer) but the ultimate solution is to regularly sleep and get those cortisol levels down.
- Sleep reduces skin stress. Our skin battles external factors like pollution, UV damage and harsh products every day. We need to help it the best way possible – by managing internal factors like stress to keep it healthy. This means getting adequate rest. When you’re stressed, your skin will experience a host of issues. Increased cortisol production will slow down skin cells, causing them take longer to reach the surface and flake off. These dead skin cells build up, making your face look dull and lifeless and increasing the need for exfoliation which could result in overexfoliation,irritating the skin even more. Stressed skin is also susceptible to skin infections, dehydration, premature aging and acne. A great skin care routine and a good night’s rest will help you achieve and maintain healthy skin.
- Sleep helps you age well. As you sleep, HGH or the growth hormone is released, it affects just about every cell in the body, it is essential for burning fat, building muscle, maintaining bone density and ensuring healthy body composition. This means it keeps your skin and hair healthy. If you’re constantly sleep deprived you should know that prolonged cortisol production leads to the loss of collagen and elastin, resulting in sagging and loss of elasticity in your skin. A sure fire way to premature wrinkles and fine lines.
- Sleep helps you manage your weight. This is one of my favorites, sleep regulates levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which play a role in our feelings of hunger and fullness. This explains all those midnight fridge raids when you stay up late.When we are sleep deprived, we may feel the need to eat more and let’s be honest- it’s usually unhealthy food, leading to weight gain and suspect skin.
- Sleep helps your body get rid of toxins. As you sleep, your brain efficiently gets rid of toxins. Since cleaning takes a lot of energy, your brain does it while the rest of the body is at rest. Brain cells shrink in size during sleep, making cleaning of the spaces around them easier. The flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain increases dramatically while the body is at rest and circulates throughout the brain tissue, flushing all waste matter into the bloodstream, which then carries it to the liver for detoxification. One of the waste products removed from the brain during sleep is beta amyloid which forms sticky plaques associated with brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Have these benefits convinced you to sleep? I hope so. It’s healthy! What are some benefits you experience from a good night of rest? Let me know in the comments below.