Why insufficient sleep harms your skin

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Why insufficient sleep harms your skin

A great start to beautiful skin is to cleanse, moisturize and layer on sunscreen.  However, there is one other important factor which also has a significant role in achieving a glowing complexion – sufficient sleep.

If you want your complexion to reflect to others a radiant, healthy, and well-rested appearance, your sleep habits need to be in check.  Sleep is a human necessity and when we lack it, not only does in result in excess tiredness, lack of concentration, and weight gain, but your skin will suffer too. When you sleep, that is when your skin undergoes its repair and regeneration process.  Too many late nights or nights of insomnia, and your skin will show it since regeneration time is limited.  Eventually, your skin will not look it best aging you beyond your years.

What exactly happens to your skin when lacking sleep?

·      Your skin becomes more dry

It is during sleep that your body’s hydration rebalances.  When you are lacking sleep, this affects the moisture levels in your skin resulting in an imbalance leading to less moisture and drier skin.

·      Your skin will look more dull

Every day we have dead skin cells that need to be sloughed off. It is while sleeping that your surface skin cells undergo repair.  But when your zzz’s have been cut short, your skin will take on a more fatigued and tired-look.  Having dull, lifeless skin will add years to your looks.

·      You will have more pronounced dark circles

It’s bad enough to feel tired after a lack of sleep but having dark circles under your eyes doubles the frustration.  There can be several reasons for dark under-eye circles but falling short on sleep can make them to appear or become more prominent.  This happens because lack of sleep tends to cause the blood vessels under the thin skin of the eyes to dilate, creating a dark tint.  Sometimes, tiredness can also make the area under the eyes to appear puffy as well. Fluids can leak out into the skin causing puffiness and swelling or “bags under the eyes.”

·      Your skin will show visible signs of aging

It’s important for your body to get a chance to refresh and renew and this is what happens after a good night’s sleep.  But when sleep is a stranger, skin takes the brunt by becoming more dull and dry with visible signs of skin aging like crow’s feet and fine lines. 

Tips on getting a good night’s sleep

Adequate sleep is necessary for good health including our skin health and appearance.  The average adult requires between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.  If you are lacking on that amount and need help to achieve, here are some tips on having a better night’s sleep:

·      Stick to a sleep schedule.  As much as you can, go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends.

·      Always make your bed every day.  Yes, this makes a difference.  There appears to be a correlation between a clean sleeping environment and how well we sleep throughout the night.  Clean your bed sheets often and tidy up the bed before going out for the day.

·      Resist afternoon naps.  As tempting as they are, taking a snooze mid-afternoon, can disrupt your ability to fall asleep at night. If you must rest during the day, make it no longer than 20 minutes.

·      Avoid heavy meals and caffeine before bedtime.  Eating a big meal right before falling asleep can cause discomfort with indigestion making it harder to fall asleep.  Eat at least 2 to 3 hours before crawling into bed for the night. 

·      Keep all electronics out of your bedroom.  This even includes the TV.  Having a habit of watching TV or browsing through social media can make it hard to fall asleep due to the particular type of light emanating from the screens. 

·      Each day, get in some exercise.  Vigorous activity is best but even light exercise can be helpful. 

·      Keep your bedroom set at a cool, comfortable temperature.  When drowsy, your body temperature goes down and then rises again once morning comes.  To avoid restlessness throughout the night, it is recommended to set your thermostat to 65 degrees in your bedroom. 

·      Sleep in light clothing.  Wear comfortable, lightweight clothing to bed. Bundling up too warm will only make it harder to fall asleep.