Good sleep habits are essential for living a long, healthy, productive life. But sleep is equally important for beautiful, healthy skin. “Beauty” sleep is not just an old wives’ tale. Sleep allows the skin to restore its natural balance and increases the effectiveness of certain skin care ingredients, potentially providing more benefit to your skin. When you don’t get enough sleep, your skin will show it. Eyes look dark and puffy after even a single night of poor sleep, but chronic sleep deprivation is particularly damaging. It leads to a dull, dehydrated complexion and can wreak havoc on skin prone to acne.
How does sleep save skin?
Medical research has demonstrated sleep affects the skin in a variety of ways:
- Lack of sleep leads to increased levels of stress hormones in the body. Chronic high levels of stress hormones in the body cause increased inflammation within the skin that subsequently leads to an acceleration of aging (wrinkles!) and worsening of acne.
- Sleep deprivation reduces the skin’s ability to stay hydrated and supple leading to a dull, dehydrated appearance.
- People with poor sleep habits can have trouble with skin sensitivity and irritation due to a reduction in the skin’s ability to protect itself from chemicals and pollutants in the environment.
The bottom line is that sleep is vital for healthy (and beautiful) skin. To develop good sleeping habits, try these tips:
- Develop a regular bedtime schedule and stick to it
- Avoid caffeine 4 to 6 hours before bed
- Limit alcohol and heavy meals before sleep
- Get regular exercise (this is great for the skin too; increases circulation and delivers much needed oxygen and nutrients to the skin)
- Try to wake up at the same time every morning, even on weekends