Quality sleep is vital to the human body, but let’s be honest, sometimes it can be hard to get a full 8 hours every night!
According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are between 50 and 70 million individuals in the nation that have wakefulness or sleep disorder. Next time you lay counting sheep, feel comforted in the knowledge that you aren’t the only one!
Going to bed earlier, however, and getting sleep between 11pm and 4am (the “beauty golden hours”) may be your best bet, because this is the prime time for your skin to repair and regenerate.
How does sleep affect our bodies?
While you sleep, the body goes through a recuperative process where it restores your energy levels and heals the body.
Ever noticed how you feel the day after a restless night? This is because without sufficient sleep our mood changes and our level of alertness and attentiveness become limited, causing us to feel awful overall.
Poor sleep sessions can change our ability to make sound decisions, good judgments, and it even influences our memory, that’s why sleep is so important before that big exam!
So we know how poor sleep makes us feel and affects our ability to function properly, but did you know that poor sleep patterns can have a negative impact on your skin too? Without the time the body needs to repair itself, your skin will begin to show it.
How does poor sleep affect the appearance of the skin?
Without adequate sleep, the repair time for skin is cut short and this leads to the appearance of tired, dull, and pale skin. You might have dark under-eye circles and your eyes may be puffy. It’s no secret that good sleep makes us feel more confident as our skin is brighter and more radiant in appearance.
According to Dr. Ellen Marmur, one of the nation’s leading dermatologic surgeons and dermatologists, the body operates under the control of the nervous system and its two states. During waking hours, your sympathetic nervous system controls the body, and keeps blood flowing closer to the core of the human body. Alternatively, during sleep, the body allows blood flow to become closer to the skin. As the blood flows to the skin, it allows the cells to be nourished and helps in keeping the skin cells vital.
Blood flow brings nutrients and oxygen to skin cells and work to carry away free radicals and waste products from cells as well. When you are sleeping, the body is relaxed and it is not being damaged by the elements or attacked by ultraviolet light from the sun. The allowance of greater circulation to the skin when the body’s nervous system has entered into a parasympathetic state is known as peripheral vasodilation.
In the absence of quality sleep patterns, the excess fluids that remain near the skin are not transported out of the body properly and this can later result in swollen or puffy skin, particularly around the eyes. When there are disrupted sleeps patterns it does not give the kidneys the time they need to get rid of extra fluid in the body. The end result is fluid retention, an emphasis of dark under-eye circles, and it can eventually impact the immune system in such a way that you develop or worsen existing skin conditions such as eczema, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis.
Experts have found that skin cell regeneration is a process that is more expeditious during our sleeping hours than when we are awake. Cell division is an ongoing process and occurs 24 hours a day, but the process peaks at 2 am. While this process still occurs even with a disrupted sleep pattern, certain growth hormones necessary for skin repair, such as collagen, may not surge as they would if you were sleeping properly.