If you’ve ever experienced a night of too little sleep, you are likely aware of the impact that sleep deprivation has on your mood, mental clarity, and appearance. Chances are you woke up to puffy eyes and a dull complexion. Hopefully, your lack of sleep was temporary. Sleep deprivation takes a toll on your skin. Most of the damage is caused by inflammation.
Sleep Deprivation Causes Inflammation
You need consistent sleep to start your day with renewed vitality. When you don’t get enough rest, your body makes more of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone is responsible for inflammation, which is known to increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and chronic pain.
Inflammation can also damage your skin. If you have a persistent skin condition typically caused by inflammation, like acne, psoriasis or eczema, you may have noticed that your skin gets worse after a night of too little sleep.
Inflammation Breaks Down Collagen
Collagen is a protein found in your bones, tendons, muscles and in your skin. Collagen creates the support structure that anchors your cells, giving your skin its elasticity. You may already know that your body will naturally produce less collagen as you age. The result is the dry, sagging wrinkled skin that we associate with the aging process.
It’s a double whammy in the collagen department. Your body creates collagen when your sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t get that new supply. Then, the cortisol creates inflammation that breaks down the collagen you do have. Now you know why not getting enough sleep can make your skin look older than your years. The effects are cumulative. Some other skin hazards of sleep deprivation include:
- Depleted Hyaluronic Acid – The natural hyaluronic acid in your skin is responsible for retaining skin’s moisture balance. Cortisol breaks down the hyaluronic acid in your skin. Your skin will become dull and dry and may lack firmness.
- A Dull Complexion – The blood flow to your skin is increased while you are sleeping. Stress hormones cause your blood vessels to tighten, restricting blood flow. That explains why your skin appears dull and pale when you stay up too late.
- Accelerated Skin Aging – While you’re dreaming your body produces human growth hormone (HGH), which allows your skin cells to repair from damage. Without a new supply of HGH, damaged cells accumulate, and collagen can stiffen prematurely, causing wrinkles.
Easy Ways to Improve the Quality and Quantity of Your Beauty Sleep
Sleep is beneficial to your skin, but also to your physical and emotional health. Still, 40 percent of us don’t get the recommended 7- 8 hours of rest we need each night. If you are one of the sleep deprived, you may want to try some of the following suggestions to improve your sleep:
- Exercise earlier in the day
- Get more natural sunlight during the afternoon
- Reduce your consumption of caffeine
- Develop a soothing pre-sleep ritual
- Slip into bed around the same time each night, and wake at the same time each day to reset your circadian rhythm
- Dim your lights in the evening to encourage melatonin production
- Avoid using your computer or tablet at night to reduce blue light exposure
Sleep experts say that getting an additional hour or two of sleep every night will show on your skin. While you may feel some of the benefits immediately, it will take two to three weeks before you will see the benefits of your improved sleep habits in your reflection. If you use moisturizers, glycolic acid or retinol, you may be pleased to know that your skin care products are typically more effective when you get enough sleep.
Sleep protects the health and beauty of your skin. For additional skin rejuvenating therapies, in Pasco, WA, contact Wright Surgical Arts. We offer a large selection of beneficial products and services that can transform the health and appearance of your skin at every age.