There are days when you have the freedom to wake up whenever you want and take things slow. But on most days you wake up feeling groggy and tired, thanks to your binge-watching habits or the fact that you’re overworked. Lack of sleep is something we all deal with, especially with our high-stress jobs, long commutes and addiction to the ‘gram. While less sleep weakens your immunity and causes mood swings, it also affects the skin adversely. So if you’ve been dealing with zits, dark circles and other such skin concerns, you should probably know you’re not snoozing enough!
Research has shown that lack of sleep directly affects your mind, body and skin. You can, in fact, sleep your way to perfect skin! Don’t believe us? Here are the effects of less sleep on your skin …
What are the effects of less sleep on your skin?
Contrary to popular belief, lack of sleep affects your entire body and not just your mind. Sleeping is the body’s way of recharging, resetting and refreshing. While you sleep, your skin’s blood flow increases and it attempts to undo all the damage done during the day. That’s why after you’ve had a good night’s sleep, you always wake up feeling fresh and your skin looks its best (oh what we’d give to have good skin days all day, erryday!).
Lack of sleep means your body isn’t getting the time it needs to reset. This leads to unwanted build ups since the toxins aren’t getting flushed. You may have noticed this after a long night out. Not only are you tired but your skin also feels dry and patchy. Basically, Saturday morning skin!
Less sleep makes your skin dull and dehydrated. Since your skin doesn’t have the time to get rid of dead cells, it looks lacklustre and has little to fight back with when it faces environmental stressors like the sun and pollution. This means that a good eight hours of sleep is essential for healthy glowing skin.
Dark circles be damned
You know those raccoon eyes you cake up with concealer? Guess you wouldn’t need to spend on that if you were actually getting your beauty sleep. Dark circles are another side effect of less sleep. When you sleep for fewer hours, you start to notice dark shadows and pigmentation on your skin, especially under your eyes. This happens because lack of sleep increases the retention of fluids and blood in your body. Since the skin around your eyes is thin, this is the first area it shows. Ouch!
Lack of sleep for a long time can also cause dry eyes. Our eyes need moisture to stay healthy. This moisture is maintained through constant blinking and getting enough sleep at night. When you don’t get enough shut-eye, this fluid does not get renewed and leads to dry, itchy eyes.
Acne and ageing
Apart from dullness, puffiness and dark circles, lack of sleep can lead to acne too (now you know why all those pimples pop up). This is because our body does a lot of its repair work during the night, while we sleep. Melatonin, a natural antioxidant for the skin, is released when you sleep. This hormone repairs damaged skin cells. Lack of sleep also causes a buildup of cortisol; a steroid which increases secretion of oil in your glands. Increased oil secretion can clog your pores and we all know that means the one skin concern we dread the most—ACNE!
In addition to acne, premature ageing is yet another unwanted gift that lack of sleep has to offer. When your skin doesn’t get its rest time to repair and rejuvenate, it begins to show early signs of ageing. It can lead to fine lines, wrinkles and dullness. Lack of sleep also slows down the skin’s ability to repair itself. Our bodily processes are closely linked to time. The body performs most of its repair functions in the evenings. In cases when sleep deprivation is prolonged, it can also cause health problems like obesity, stroke and heart disease.
So what is the best time to sleep for healthy skin? Research shows that our daily sleep requirements vary according to age. For those of us in our 20s and 30s, 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day is a must.
So take inspiration from Sleeping Beauty and sleep your way to healthy, glowing skin.