What’s your relationship with sleep? I have an intense love for it and can unabashedly fall asleep almost anywhere, at any time. I also aim to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night, which I know is a luxury for most people and not always easy to come by. Nonetheless, sleep is not only vital for our basic survival but also our appearance. Science has shown that a lack of sleep goes beyond just looking tired and dark circles.
First, let’s take a look at what happens to our skin during the sleep cycle:
Skin has a healthy glow, skin temperature starts to decrease
Melatonin is released to make you sleepy and prepare skin for healing
Skin is most responsive to creams and treatment
Cycle between deep non-REM sleep and REM sleep
Deep non-REM sleep: when most skin regeneration and repair occurs
70% of growth hormone is produced which helps with skin repair; As we age, we produce less of it and this leads to wrinkles
Cortisol, a stress hormone, is suppressed; However, getting less than four hours of sleep increases cortisol production by 37%
REM sleep: most restorative time for brain, but not as important for skin
So what happens when we don't get enough sleep?
Our body goes into stress mode and starts to overproduce stress hormones like cortisol, which can result in:
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Dark undereye circles
Clearly, beauty sleep is a real and beneficial thing that we should all be striving to get enough of! Some tips to get the most out of your beauty sleep include:
Before bed- Moisturize! A good slather of cream or lotion will keep skin moist during the dehydrating portion of sleep
During sleep- Sleep on your back. This will help prevent "sleep wrinkles", while sleeping more will prevent "expression wrinkles"
After waking up- Your skin will be dehydrated so make sure to rehydrate ASAP! This will help get blood flowing and bring back some glow to your skin.
Rest well sleeping beauties!