According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 30% of workers in America are sleep deprived, getting less than six hours of good rest a night.
Getting an inadequate amount of sleep has more ramifications, however, than simply making you feel drowsy throughout the day; a proper amount of rest actually helps keep your skin and thus you looking and feeling your best.
Sleep’s Effect on Your Skin
You have seen what can happen when you get a bad night’s sleep on your face: puffy eyes, a pale tone to your skin, etc. Did you know, however, that a lack of sleep can actually lead to other ugly consequences, such as fine lines, sagging, and wrinkles?
According to Dr. Phil Gehrmann, PhD, CBSM, from the University of Pennsylvania, it is due to your body’s hormone levels. When you do not get enough sleep, your levels of the stress hormone cortisol and human growth hormone can get wildly out of sync.
When you sleep less, your cortisol levels increase, which causes a breakdown of your skin’s collagen. Collagen is a protein that maintains your skin’s smoothness and elasticity, so when you have less of it, your skin begins to sag, wrinkle, and crease.
Additionally, as your cortisol levels go up, the extra stress causes your oil production to increase, and you guessed it–a spike in your skin’s oil production results in a higher likeliness of acne breakouts.
A lack of rest also causes problems for your levels of human growth hormone, since “it’s during deep sleep–what we call slow-wave sleep–that growth hormone is released,” Dr. Gehrmann has said. Human growth hormone is vital to the health and appearance of your skin because it has the ability to increase your collagen production and further restore and regulate the smoothness and firmness of your face.
Ways to Get Your Proper Beauty Sleep
One of the best ways to maintain a regular sleep schedule is to get regular exercise. Getting at least half an hour of physical activity a day will help you feel ready for bed at an appropriate hour, and it will actually help improve the appearance of your skin as it increases your blood circulation and provides oxygen and essential nutrients to your skin cells.
Another way to ensure a good night’s sleep is to give yourself a bedtime. Experts say that when you go to bed and wake up at the same times every day, you will dramatically improve your quality–and quantity–of sleep. Your body will get accustomed to retiring and rising at those times, eliminating restless nights where you can’t fall asleep and dreaded mornings where you sleep through your alarm.
You can also improve your quality of sleep by keeping your nighttime routine calm and quiet. If you are listening to music, choose soft, calming songs. Keeping the temperature of your room relatively cool is also conducive to a good night’s sleep, since according to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, most people sleep better when their bedrooms are kept between 75 and 54 degrees.
Rest Your Way to Healthy, Beautiful Skin
If you follow these tips and make sure to get at least seven hours of good sleep, you will see a serious difference in the quality of your skin as your complexion looks brighter, smoother, and healthier.