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People often talk about getting their “beauty sleep” – is this a real thing?

Yes, getting enough sleep is very important for good health overall, and does affect your skin both internally and externally! 

overnight repair

While you sleep, your body is resting and undergoing important recovery processes. It removes toxins and repairs its cells from the damage sustained during the day, like UV and environmental exposure. 

As you sleep, blood flow to the skin increases. Your body undergoes skin cell renewal by replacing aging cells and creating new ones. Skin cells regenerate faster during sleep. 

It’s also rebuilding collagen, an essential protein that keeps skin firm, plump, and supple.

When you sleep, your facial muscles can relax after a day of squinting, smiling, and frowning. And you’re protected from exposure to those environmental stressors like UV radiation, pollution, and germs. 

lack of sleep

Lack of sleep increases the amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, in your body. Cortisol can be useful in a crisis; it kicks your body into high alert to take on threats. When the threat goes away, your body recovers. But if you’re constantly experiencing stress, cortisol levels stay elevated and your body can’t get the rest it needs. 

What’s the impact? In short, it interferes with all of the repair and recovery processes described above that normally happen as you sleep.

sleep deprivation & your skin

Anyone who’s ever been sleep-deprived knows that it has a negative impact on your mood, your body, and your brain. And, it visibly affects your skin. Oftentimes, you can tell that someone is not getting enough sleep – when a friend says to you, “You look tired,” they don’t mean that you look healthy and glowing!

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Increased cortisol due to lack of sleep changes the body’s salt balance, leading to fluid retention (i.e. puffy eyes). Dark circles under the eyes or wrinkles may appear. Skin might look dull, dry, or sag a little bit. It also interferes with wound healing and promotes early aging.

It’s important to get a good night’s sleep to maximize time for your body to recover from the day and repair itself. Skin hydration decreases at night as well, so take advantage of this time to use a good moisturizer or night treatment – it can work its magic as you sleep and you’ll wake up looking refreshed!

Sources:  Healthline, Everyday Health


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