We all know the power of a decent night’s sleep. It’s the best thing in the world for giving us the energy and confidence necessary to face the day’s tasks. And conversely there’s nothing worse than having to face a busy day after a restless night! Lack of sleep can have some fairly serious side effects from depression to diabetes, and it can even be bad for your skin…
So here are some of the ways that sleeping can determine the fate of our skin.
The good thing about our skin is that it repairs itself. But in order to do this we need to enter deep sleep. This allows our body’s growth hormones to allow damaged cells to be repaired. This is why sustained periods of sleep – eight hours ideally – are so important. Merely catnapping does not allow the body the time to reverse the aging effects of the day. So make sure that you’ve optimised your bedroom for perfect, unbroken sleep. I’d recommend thick curtains, earplugs and maybe splashing out on a deluxe new bed!
Combating inflammatory conditions
Sleep is also a powerful warrior against a range of inflammatory skin complaints. So if we sleep badly we generate stress hormones, which in turn lead to conditions such as acne and dermatitis. What’s worse is that such conditions can be the start of a vicious cycle where the irritation and itching caused by these skin complaints leads to less sleep and so on. So make sure you treat any skin conditions as soon as they flare up and be sure to make sure that you go to bed in a relaxed, stress-free state!
The importance of hydration
Whilst we sleep, our bodies are able to systematically govern their hydration levels. So moisture is retained for the renewal of skin cells and any excess water is processed for removal. Lack of sleep can affect this process leading to an imbalance in our hydration, often resulting in puffy eyes, dry skin and wrinkles. However, it’s important to remember not to drink too much liquid at least a couple of hours before bedtime otherwise you’ll be running to the toilet all night!
Sleeping and weight loss
And one incredible feature of sleep is that it can help govern our weight. Research has shown that a good night’s sleep often makes us less liable to snack, which in turn leads to better skin. Whereas those suffering from sleep deprivation will unfortunately find themselves increasing drawn to high-calorie content foods and snacks as a way of ‘keeping going’ due to the fact that the body has not had chance to rest.