Sleep studies have revealed that sleep has a direct effect on how our skin looks and feels. Let’s examine how our body reacts to insomnia and how it shows up on our skin!
During sleep, our body recovers and repairs after a day of activity. Imagine the night shift crew on construction job hurrying to get things done before the alarm goes off in the morning. While our body is at rest, internal systems are working on all cylinders to fix what we didn’t know was broken and fill up what we didn’t know was empty.
Blood flows more easily to the skin while we sleep. While our body is not busy standing, sitting, eating, thinking and so much more during the day, it gets busy on doing other tasks. During the recovery and repair process going on silently while we sleep, the body boosts blood flow to the surface of the skin giving us that rosy complexion. Less than 7 hours of sleep can result in a dull, pale and tired-looking complexion.
Collagen works hard while we sleep. Collagen, the protein that keeps our skin from sagging is produced during sleep. The more collagen our body can produce, the plumper and more youthful-looking our skin will appear. Our body naturally produces less collagen as we age, and wrinkles are generally looked at as a sign of a life well-lived, but let’s not rush them because of a lack of sleep!
Water and hydration are important while we sleep. During the winter months, our skin tends to be drier and while drinking extra water will help with some of the hydration, sleeping in a very dry environment can cause our skin to become dry and irritated. Sleeping while running a humidifier will help boost the water molecules and keep our skin healthy. So, spending at least 8 hours in a richly humidified room will hold marvelous benefits.
Hormones need our body to be well-rested. Hormones which are produced in our 7 major glands are charged with a specific task to accomplish in our body like stimulating puberty, and bringing on menopause. When they are overactive or underperforming, we will know it and most often it will show up on our skin. Getting little sleep will have a strong impact on how balanced our hormones are and our skin can easily erupt, overnight just before that big date, or a final exam.
Our eyes never lie. Droopy eyelids, dark circles and bags under our eyes are tell-tale signs that we haven’t been sleeping much. The lack of adequate sleep will stifle the boosts of blood flow that happen during the night resulting in glazed-over and tired-looking eyes. If bags for example have become a chronic issue, elevating our head on a couple of pillows will help reduce puffiness.
Dark under-eye circles, blemishes in the worst of places, or more severe issues like eczema and other rashes can be the result from the lack of sleep. We may not have given it much thought before but, as one of the three pillars of good health along with proper nutrition and sufficient exercise, sleep is often dismissed as a beauty treatment. So, while we take another look in the mirror, what are we going to think about now?
Gerry, Your Sleep Expert