Motivational speakers will say “Only the lazy minds sleep, if you want to succeed in life you should only sleep for 2-3 hours at night. And cheers to us the skincare aficionados(with a glass of wine while addressing the public), ” you need 7-9 hours of sleep, what is money without health?” Just because it is called”beauty sleep” doesn’t mean it’s for those interested in looking good its also for your overall health, because in general, improper sleep affects skin. When we sleep, alot of things happen. Your body eliminates toxins, growth hormones are released, and the body repairs itself. That means you will be missing out if you don’t get adequate sleep.
What happens to your body when you sleep.
Like I said earlier, you need 7-9 hours of sleep, and I’m going to do the maths of what happens during these hours.
During the first 3 hours of sleep your body produces the growth hormone from the pituitary gland. If you don’t get enough sleep there would be a reduction in the production of this hormone. This can thin out the skin, collagen, and elastin tissues will be broken down, the skin becomes loose and the next disaster is wrinkle formation = premature aging.
For the next 2 hours, melatonin is released. Melatonin is a hormone that is released by the pineal gland, it regulates the sleep-wake cycle. It is produced with response to darkness. When you are exposed to light at night, melatonin production is blocked. That is why we are advised to switch off the lights so as to get good sleep. Melatonin also acts as an antioxidant, and you know what antioxidants do? They fight free radicals from damaging the skin.
During the last 3 hours, the stress hormones i.e cortisol production is reduced together with the skin’s temperature so that the muscles relax and the skin gets to recover completely at night.
How lack of sleep affects your physical appearance.
There’s a noticeable change in your skin when you wake up from sleep like soft, smooth, and plumpy. Let’s say oily but a healthy kind of oiliness. When you sleep, your body’s hydration rebalances and recovers extra moisture. We can say that sleep is a natural moisturizer, it helps smooth out those wrinkles. When you don’t get enough sleep your moisture levels are affected and your pH levels are lowered. Whenever there’s a change in your skin’s pH, an imbalance is created in the skin which effects the proper production of moisture needed by the skin thus, leading to dry skin.
Lack of sleep makes the blood vessels enlarge(dilate) leading to the formation of dark circles.
Stress hormones i.e cortisol is increased when you don’t get enough sleep and this can lead to hair loss.
Inflammation is triggered by high cortisol levels. It breaks down the proteins in the skin that helps keep the skin glowing and smooth. When you are stressed, especially as a result of improper sleep blood doesn’t flow as it is supposed to due to lack of oxygen in the blood, and this makes the skin appear dull and unattractive.
Good sleeping practices.
- Don’t drink too much water so that you don’t get to interrupt your sleep by running a marathon to the bathroom.
- Don’t drink alcohol or cigarettes before bed.
- Try and make it to bed early, 10 pm is okay.
- If you get disturbed by lights, use an eye mask to help you sleep.
- Always eat light food or eat two hours before bed so that you don’t get a stomach upset.
If you find yourself not been able to sleep, always see a doctor. Don’t take sleeping pills without a doctor’s prescription. Improper sleep affects skin.