In a hilarious appearance on the Late Show a few years ago, Betty White opened her “Top 10” list for living a long and happy life with the advice, “Get at least eight hours of beauty sleep…9 if you’re ugly!” While the comment was certainly tongue-in-cheek, it’s actually based in truth. Lack of sleep will not only make you feel drowsy, cranky, and sluggish all day, but it can also significantly affect your appearance.
EXISTING SKIN CONDITIONS CAN’T HEAL
When you sleep, your body works to restore and heal itself. Interrupting or cutting short deep, restful sleep interrupts this restorative process. If you are prone to acne breakouts, eczema and/or psoriasis, you’ve certainly noticed that these conditions worsen when you’re under a lot of stress. Well, they can also worsen when you don’t get proper sleep. If you want to save your skin from breakouts and rashes, get your beauty rest!
SKIN LOOKS OLDER AND DULLER
When you are in deep sleep, your body produces more growth hormones, which work to repair damaged skin and produce new, younger skin cells, too. Skimping on sleep means you spend less time in the deeper sleep cycles, which leaves your skin looking sallow, listless, and dull. Without the restorative nature of deep sleep, you may also see fine lines and wrinkles appear at a much faster rate.
UNDER-EYE BAGS AND DARK CIRCLES
It’s well known that getting too little sleep can result in bags and/or dark circles under the eyes. In your twenties, they are minimal and only last from a few hours to a day at the longest. However, as you age, your skin doesn’t bounce back as quickly. Poor sleep habits could, in fact, result in permanent bags under your eyes.
PROBLEMS WITH HYDRATION
Sleep helps your body balance and distribute moisture. Without enough sleep, your body doesn’t have time to redistribute water evenly throughout your skin. This results in puffiness around the eyes and dry skin everywhere else. Getting enough sleep could really decrease the amount of moisturizer you need to use on your face in the morning.
HOW TO GET BETTER BEAUTY SLEEP
Fortunately, all you have to do to slow, stop, or even reverse the damage of sleep deprivation is get good, consistent restful sleep, which is sometimes easier said than done. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try these tips.
Cut out your last cup of morning or afternoon coffee. It could be a big part of what’s keeping you up at night.
Go to sleep at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. A regular sleep schedule will help your body fall into a deep sleep more quickly.
Get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, five times a week. This will help expend energy and regulate your sleep cycle.
Eat a larger breakfast or lunch and a smaller dinner. Eating a lot of food late in the day can cause sleep problems.
Keep these things in mind the next time you’re tempted to stay up past your bedtime. It could wreak havoc on your face by the morning.
By Dr. Robert Clum