It’s common knowledge that most of us don’t get enough sleep. What most people don’t realise, is that the hours we spend asleep, are actually among our most constructive: certain areas of your brain work their hardest during sleep, and skin is best able to repair and regenerate itself at night.
In short, quality sleep is crucial to both skin health and your overall health. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of it.
the hours we spend asleep are actually among our most constructive
Active sleep and circadian rhythms
Circadian rhythms are periods of biological activity that occur when you’re awake and asleep, controlled by the way the body’s biological clock responds to light and dark.
During the day skin cells are in defense mode, working to protect themselves from UV exposure and free radical damage. When the sun goes down, your mind and body switch into an active regeneration mode – repairing daytime damage and boosting the production of substances that protect and renew. Here’s what happens:
- The brain clears out waste products like amyloid beta (a substance associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease)
- Production of protective brain cells called oligodendrocytes ramps up
- Memories are consolidated to enhance problem-solving and creativity
- Melatonin, known for its antioxidant (a.k.a. anti-aging) properties, is produced at night
- Levels of the stress hormone cortisol fall during sleep, which helps skin repair daytime damage
- The body makes more collagen, which minimizes fine lines
- More human growth hormone is released, increasing muscle mass and strengthening skin
Top tips for helping your skin while you sleep
1) Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise
For a fresh, dewy look in the morning, make sure to use an anti-aging night cream that contains hyaluronic acid. It attracts water into the skin, which helps smooth wrinkles (also apply a lip balm to moisturise those lips). These products work better during your repair cycle of skin, which is at night time.
Keeping hydrated topically is crucial (and internally - drink lots of water!), if your skin is lacking hydration, it can go into overdrive producing excess oil to compensate for this (look for an oil free moisturiser if you are worried about oily skin).
SO, don't be temped to skip moisturising because you have oily skin!
2) Change your pillow case often
Wash your pillow case regularly, so that your clean face isnt resting against old bacteria for eight hours a night! Remeber your skin flushes out toxins during the night (which will transfer onto your pillow) - this is why it's also so important to cleanse in the morning as well as the evening!
3) Avoid alcohol and salty foods around bedtime
Both will dehydrate your body, it compensates by collecting natural fluids - especially around the eyes. And we all know what that means - the dreaded puffy eyes in the morning! A way to assist with this is tip #4
4) Consider your sleeping position
Sleeping on your back is the ultimate position to help your skin - constant pressure of your prefered sleeping side can lead to more wrinkles. However, not everyone has control of what position they are in while they're sleeping, so if back sleeping isnt for you - try adding another pillow, this will help alleviate fluid build up around your eyes to avoid those morning puffy eyes.
5) Keep your hair under control
The natural oils in your hair, casue all sorts of dramas with your complexion. So, managing the birds nest is a good idea if you wake up cacooned in hair on a regular basis. A loose pony tail is best.
6) Never skip your nightly regime
Whether you have a super simple or 10 stage skin care routine - don't be temped to go to bed without cleaning your face if youre having a late night or a few too many drinks. Even if you just do the basics, your skin will thank you for it in the morning. Sleeping with make up on will mean that all the pore-clogging irritants of the day, will sink in and potentially cause; large pores, dry skin, irritation and inflamation.
Making sure you get enough, and enough good quality sleep is essential for your skins health (as well as your overall health obviously), so try and make sure you prioristise your night time routine to get all the benefits of your body working hard while you snooze away!
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The Beauty Room Team xo