When it comes to beauty hacks, sleep is one of the top things you can do to maintain your youth. It may be THE top thing to do. While you sleep, your body repairs itself and recovers from the previous day's stresses. This ends up in a long list of benefits to your natural beauty. The major key is to get enough Zzz's at night. The amount of sleep each person needs varies, but the average recommended amount is 7 to 9 (quality) hours each night.
If you’re getting fewer than 6 hours, it’s likely affecting your appearance, says Michael Breus, PhD, a board-certified sleep specialist. Begin fitting in at least 1 to 3 more hours of slumber, and you can actually see improvement in just a day. Keep this up, and “within 2 to 3 weeks, people will notice that you’re sleeping better by the way you look,” Breus says.
Read these six beauty benefits of sleep:
1. Less Wrinkles
Sleeping allows your skin the time to produce new collagen which prevents sagging.
Patricia Wexler, MD, a dermatologist in New York notes that more collagen means skin is more plump and less likely to wrinkle.
Getting less than 6 hours of sleep can lead to twice as many fine lines compared to sleeping more than 7 hours. Less sleep also leaves skin drier. And dry skin makes these fine lines more visible.
Young skin is rested skin.
2. A Beautiful Glowing Complexion
Your blood flow to the skin is boosted while asleep. This means you get to wake up to a healthy, natural glow. If your sleep gets pushed to the back burner, you may wake up to drab, dull, and lifeless skin. :(
3. Bright, Less Puffy Eyes
Have you ever woken up to dark circles or bags under your eyes? I know I have. And chances are, you have too. This happens after a long night of not enough sleep.
“Puffy eyes are one of the first things we see when we don’t sleep,” says Doris Day, MD, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU. Get enough rest and you'll have less puffiness under your eyes.
Another tip to follow is to stay well-hydrated. Drink plenty of water. You may also elevate your head with an extra pillow at night, too. These practices along with proper sleep can greatly reduce that annoying eye swelling.
Maximum rest also minimizes dark circles. When your blood isn’t flowing well (which happens on less sleep) it can collect under eyes and become visible. The skin under your eyes is naturally thin, so the collected blood is more noticeable. Hence, the dark circles.
Discoloration under eyes can also be caused by genes and age. Increased melanin is also a factor. So my beautiful brown sisters, be sure to get enough sleep as sleep deprivation can make your under-eye issue worse.
4. Healthier, Shinier, Fuller Hair
The crown of hair on your precious head is reliant on sleep to grow and be healthy.
Growth begins at your hair follicles. These follicles also gain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from blood flow. Since blood flow decreases when you are short on sleep, "hair gets less food, it weakens, and it has difficulty growing," Breus says.
Stress is also a factor in this mix. Less sleep leads to more stress (as anyone could guess). Do you often have great days after a night of no sleep? It's likely, you don't. Dr. Wexler says that "stress causes an increase in the hormone cortisol, which can cause you to lose hair."
Ummmmmm losing hair??... let's go to sleep on time tonight ladies.
5. Happy and Healthy Appearance
Being tired gives you a subtle sad expression. Being short on sleep literally causes the corners of your mouth to droop, making you look sadder than you would after a good night's sleep.
Professor Day explains this as "when you're tired, your facial expressions change in subtle and consistent ways. We tend to furrow and frown more. When people say. 'you look tired,' it can be because of these expressions."
Red, swollen eyes, dark circles, sagging eyelids, and paler skin (from less sleep) all signal to others that you’re exhausted.
Sleep deprived people are also seen as less healthy versus when they’re well rested.
Healthy sleep is a healthy you.
6. Products Work Better
Your skin has time to focus on repairing itself while you sleep, since it isn’t busy defending itself from free radicals in the air. Blood flow during sleep is also more consistent. This helps your skin benefit from the repairing ingredients in your beauty products, Wexler says.
Skin loses more water when you sleep than it does during the day. So to combat this, apply a creamy moisturizer before bed and drink plenty of water during the day to help your complexion stay hydrated overnight, Day says.
Without sleep, many of your other skin hacks may render useless as your skin does not have the energy or capacity to absorb the other practices.
Sleep x Water + Moisturizers = Happy Skin
Doris Day, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology, New York University Langone Medical Center; author, Forget the Facelift, Avery, 2006.
Michael Breus, PhD, board-certified sleep specialist; author of Beauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep, Plume, 2007.
Patricia Wexler, MD, dermatologist, New York City.
Mayo Clinic: “Wrinkles."