Beauty sleep is more than an old wives’ tale. There’s real science behind the claim that sleeping more can improve your looks. When you sleep, your body rests, repairs, and regenerates. The more sleep you get at night, the more time you give your skin to bounce back and regenerate from the stresses of the day.
What Sleep Does for Your Skin
During deep sleep, the human growth hormone is produced. This hormone is well known for repairing and restoring skin. So well known, in fact, that it’s often used in injections by plastic surgeons. But your body makes this hormone for free every night when you get a good night’s sleep.
Growth hormone is effective at stimulating collagen formation. Collagen formation and retention is one of the major factors of a youthful appearance, so supporting collagen growth is key to glowing skin.
Each night around 2 a.m., peak cell division (renewal and regeneration) occurs. This happens even when you’re awake, but it’s better when you’re asleep, because the growth hormone surge won’t happen if you’re awake.
“Beauty sleep is more than
an old wives’ tale.
There’s real science behind the
claim that sleeping more can
improve your looks.”
Sleep can lessen the severity of wrinkles. Part of this is simply lying down and letting gravity help, but moisture also plays a significant part. Your whole body, including your face, perspires more when you’re sleeping. This moisture can smooth out wrinkles, as sleep is a natural moisturizer. Additionally, many anti aging cosmetic products work best at night, as they can be susceptible to sunlight.
A lack of sleep can be particularly detrimental to your skin. Sleep deprivation causes stress, and chronic stress can harm the integrity of the collagen in skin. It can even lead to alopecia areata, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis. Studies have shown that objective observers view sleep deprived people as less healthy, less attractive, and more tired.
How You Can Get Your Beauty Sleep
When you sleep, your body rests, repairs, and regenerates. Click To Tweet
Maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Keep a regular sleep schedule, allowing yourself at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Ideally, you should plan to be asleep at 2 a.m. so you can make sure you get a growth hormone surge at the same time cell division and renewal peaks.
Practice good sleep hygiene. Keeping a regular sleep schedule is key to good sleep hygiene, but it’s also important to avoid pitfalls that can interfere with good sleep. Consuming caffeine, alcohol, or heavy meals too late at night can make it difficult for you to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. And while exercise can be beneficial for sleep, intense exercise in the hours just before bed can leave you too energized for good sleep. It’s best to avoid late night exercise and get a good workout in earlier in the day.
Create a healthy nighttime routine. Each night, go through the same few actions before you go to sleep. Keeping a regular nighttime routine will make it easier to settle down and get to sleep each night. With a consistent routine, your brain and body get used to winding down in the same way, so going through your routine will send signals that it’s just about time to fall asleep. Your routine can be as simple as brushing your teeth, washing your face, and applying night action beauty products before crawling into bed.
Want to Learn More About Beauty Sleep?
The infographic below created by BestMattressReviews explores one of the most important parts of skin care: getting enough sleep. It illustrates what really happens to our skin when we sleep.
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