Beauty sleep isn’t a myth, or an old wives’ tale. It’s real. When you sleep better, you look better, and getting enough sleep can promote healthy skin. Learn how simply sleeping can help improve your skin overnight, and over time.
What Sleep Does to Skin
Good sleep supports a variety of healthy functions, and it’s especially apparent on your skin. After a night of short sleep, or not enough good quality sleep, you can read it all over your face. Your skin looks paler, you may look puffy, with droopy eyelids, maybe even red eyes. Overall, your skin looks tired, unhealthy, and less attractive when you’re not getting good quality sleep. Why is that?
When you sleep, your body releases an increased level of growth hormone. This hormone’s function is to repair and rebuild the tissues of your body -- including your skin. So skin damage, such as sun exposure or exposure to oxidants or free radicals that happens during the day is repaired at night while you sleep. That is, if you’re sleeping.
And, during deep sleep, your body steps up cell production, while slowing the breakdown of proteins. Increased growth hormone and cell production means your body is repairing damage from exposure and stress, while also stimulating natural collagen formation. Of course, you need to get good deep sleep for this to happen.
When you’re not sleeping enough, it’s stressful on your body. This can undermine the benefits of deep sleep cell production and increased growth hormone.
What You Can Do To Support Sleep and Skin Health
While healthy skin hygiene and treatment is key, it’s important to not skimp out on good sleep. You need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to get your beauty sleep, and those need to be good quality sleep hours with deep sleep that will offer the best support for skin -- cell production, collagen formation, and release of growth hormone.
But, sleep doesn’t always come easily, so healthy sleep hygiene is important. Use these tips to make the most of your sleep at night.
Leave time to wash up before bed, incorporate a nighttime skincare routine and make it a habit. This will help clear up dirt your skin may have picked up during the day. Do a double cleanse with Aloe Milk Cleanser + Face Foam to start your night with the perfect creamy, foaming goodness on your skin. From here, go onto a skincare routine that suites you and your skin.
Make sleep a priority. If you’re leading a busy life, you may feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day -- and you might be tempted to steal time from your sleep hours to get everything done. Don’t. Not only will you hurt your skin health, you’ll hurt your overall health and wellness. And it’s harder to function on short sleep. Give yourself at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night to feel and look your best.
Make your bedroom comfortable for sleep. Your bedroom should be a haven for rest, giving you space to relax in a comfortable environment. It should be dark, quiet, and cool, with appropriate bedding including a mattress that meets your needs, along with soft sheets and pillows.
Stay consistent with your sleep schedule and routine. A regular sleep schedule and bedtime routine can make it easy for you to get to bed each night. Your body will get used to going to sleep and waking up around the same time every night and day, and a familiar routine can help you settle down faster. It doesn’t need to be complicated, just consistent. Try to stay within the same hour or so each night for bedtime.
Stay away from sleep pitfalls. While there are things you can do to help you sleep better, just as important is avoiding things that make it tough to sleep well. Late night screen time can confuse your circadian rhythm, drinking coffee too late in the day can leave you feeling wired, even a too long of a nap, or one taken too late in the afternoon or evening could make you feel too well rested to want to sleep at your normal bedtime. And although alcohol might help you get to sleep easier, it can lower the quality of your sleep, so a nightcap is best avoided.
Sleep on your back. While you should sleep in the position that’s most comfortable for you, sleeping on your back is a good choice if you can. Not only is it easier on your body when you sleep on your back, it could help with your facial skin as well. Resting your face on a pillow at night could lead to wrinkles, but that doesn’t happen when you lay on your back.
Manage sleep disorders. Sometimes, sleeping well is complicated. If you’re suffering from a sleep disorder, talk to your doctor about how you can treat it. Untreated sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and more can lower the quality and quantity of your sleep, and make it difficult for you to get the rest you need to look and feel your best.
Want to improve your skin? There are many things you can do -- and getting enough sleep is one of the most important. Practice healthy sleep hygiene and make sleep a priority to get your beauty sleep and enjoy healthier skin each day.
In collaboration with Amy Highland, a sleep expert at SleepHelp.org. She loves taking naps during thunderstorms and cuddling up with a blanket, book, and cats.