All those late night Netflix binges aren’t doing any favors for your skin. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 3 in 10 adults over 18 report sleeping fewer than 7 hours a night, the baseline recommendation for adults 18-60. For adults 61-64, the range is 7 to 9 hours and for adults 65 plus, 7 to 8 hours.
Shut eye is essential because that’s the body’s time to repair and recover, which is important for health and beauty. In fact, getting enough sleep is an important complement to get the most benefits from your skincare regimen.
Let’s look at some of the ways your skin can benefit from ensuring you get enough Zs.
Fewer Wrinkles: Your hours of sleep are when the skin manufactures new collagen, the protein that provides structure, elasticity, and strength of skin, as well as the ability to replace dead skin cells. Sleep impacts metabolism and glucose levels.
With less collagen, the skin is more likely to wrinkle and even getting by on just 5 hours a night leaves lines more visible.
Glowing Skin: During sleep, the nervous system switches to a parasympathetic state, which brings increased blood flow and oxygen to the skin. Without adequate sleep, skin won’t have a healthy glow.
Under-eye Bags: Most of us are concerned at one time or another about under-eye circles or puffiness, one of the most prevalent signs of missed sleep. To further reduce puffiness, stay hydrated by drinking enough water during the day, limit dehydrating caffeine and alcohol. Consider using a firm pillow to elevate the head.
With enough rest, you’ll also minimize dark circles. When you are not getting enough sleep, you experience inadequate blood flow so that blood pools under the eye, visible under thin under-eye skin.
Cortisol Control: You’ve likely heard about cortisol as a stress hormone that in excess, leads to unhealthy belly fat but did you know excess cortisol also impacts the skin? When we don’t have enough sleep, cortisol levels rise, breaking down tissue that leads to thinner skin. Cortisol also elevates blood glucose, which puts your body in an inflammatory state. When you are overtired, you are more likely to crave carbs, especially refined carbs and sugars. Cortisol raises blood glucose while inhibiting insulin production, causing further damage.
Power Up Your Skincare Regimen: Losing downtime needed for skin repair, hydration, and detox means your skin just doesn’t have the time to address damage from UV rays and oxidative stress. The blood flow during sleep hours promotes the actions of ingredients in your skincare products.
Sleep Tips for Healthier Skin
Now that you know that a good night’s sleep is key to healthy, glowing skin, what can you do to change your sleep habits for the better?
- Skip that afternoon latte. Avoid caffeine after lunchtime. The effects of caffeine are cumulative and linger for up to 12 hours. If you drink tea or coffee in the afternoon or evening, switch to decaf or an herbal variety.
- Rethink that drink. That bedtime glass of wine might make you feel drowsy but alcohol is a depressant of the central nervous system and disrupts the sleep rhythm. After an hour or two, when you would be in deeper sleep, the body begins to detox alcohol by pulling water from the cells to flush through the kidneys and bladder. (That’s why you may wake up to use the bathroom.)
- Midnight snack? A light snack of carbohydrate and milk may help you get to sleep, hopefully
before midnight. Milk contains l-tryptophan, an amino acid that the body converts to serotonin, which regulates mood and sleep.
- Wind down. It’s hard to go straight from working to a sleepy state. About an hour before you’re ready for bed, brush your teeth, wash your face, and do whatever else you need to get ready.
- Don’t forget to wash your face! When you’re tired, it’s tempting to skip your skincare steps. Washing away impurities and makeup make it easier for your skin to slough off dead skin cells to replace with new cells. Follow up your Simple Beauty Daily Purifying Cleanser with Fine Line Eye Serum, Skin-Brightening Spot Corrector, and Age-Defying Retinol Moisturizer. Remember, your skin rejuvenates and repairs during sleep so you’ll optimize the benefits of skin products.