HOW SLEEP PATTERNS CAN AFFECT YOUR SKIN
The quality of your beauty sleep is essential to overall skin health. Learn about the benefits and tips to improve your sleeping habits for improved skin.
When you think of your daily skincare routine, it likely involves washing your face, applying night cream and wearing sunscreen every day. Our skin is our body’s largest organ, with an important job of serving as a barrier and protecting our bodies from foreign toxins.
Whilst skincare products and sun precautions are necessary, creating healthy sleep patterns and getting adequate rest each night is also incredibly essential for our health—including our skin. Adding a few more hours of sleep to your daily routine can make all the difference for your complexion.
Below, we’ll cover the importance of sleep and how it affects the way our skin looks and feels.
Why is sleep important?
It’s recommended that adults receive at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Why is this? Sleep is great for our mind, body and skin—and that’s because our skin performs most of its regeneration at night, making it an ideal time to be applying our thicker lotions and serums before bed.
While we snooze, our bodies release growth hormones, which help with tissue and cell renewal to bring new life to our skin. This is when cell mitosis is at its peak, when cells need nutrients the most and when anti-ageing benefits have maximum impact. Sleep also ensures the production of cytokines, which are molecules that help our immune systems fight infections—including those that affect the skin.
If you don’t reap the benefits of good sleep, you’re at higher risk for various physical and mental health concerns. You may also notice changes to your skin and complexion over a period of time.
How lack of sleep impacts our skin
If you consistently receive fewer than seven hours of sleep, not only will your body feel tired, but your skin can become imbalanced and result in a lack of natural glow. Common damages include:
- Premature Ageing
- Decreased skin renewal
Chronic inflammation is associated with an increased risk of numerous health concerns, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Our body’s circadian rhythms can lead to increased skin inflammation, meaning those who sleep poorly are more at risk.
Stress is typically a factor in the development of breakouts. When we’re stressed, our bodies produce cortisol and inflammatory proteins. Sleep deprivation can also raise cortisol levels, negatively impacting our immune system and leading to increased skin problems. Breakouts themselves also lead to more stress, which can make sleeping even more difficult.
One of the greatest benefits of sleep for skin is that when we sleep, our body’s hydration rebalances—making sleep a natural moisturiser. Sleep deprivation affects our skin’s hydration and lowers its pH level. The pH imbalance causes our skin to no longer produce the moisture it needs, leading to dry skin.
When we receive less sleep, our skin doesn’t retain as much water. A loss of water indicates that the skin barrier is weak and has less time to repair itself. This leads to the development of wrinkles, fine lines and sagging.
Decreased Skin Renewal
The best time to sleep for skin is between 11pm and 4am, as this is the peak of our skin cell regeneration. Lack of sleep affects our skin during this process because it inhibits the cellular repair taking place at an optimal level.
Tips to create healthy sleep patterns
A good night’s sleep seems to be a sought after luxury these days. Now that you’ve learnt the importance of sleep, let’s discuss some steps to improve your overall sleep and skin health.
1. Change to a silk pillowcase
Silk can help regulate the temperature and moisture levels around us whilst we sleep. Because the threads are woven into a satin structure, silk feels smooth and cool to the touch. It’s also softer on our skin compared to other fabrics, mainly because the fibre is a natural protein. Skin can slide more easily over a silk pillowcase, thus preventing sleep creases and long-term signs of ageing.
2. Practise good sleep hygiene
The benefits of good sleep hygiene include making quality sleep feel more automatic and receiving a deep rest. But first…what is sleep hygiene? It’s all about putting ourselves in the best position to sleep well each and every night, being mindful of our nightly routines. Create a sleep schedule with fixed wakeup times, wind down 30 minutes before going to bed and cultivate healthy daytime exercise habits as a positive routine.
3. Switch off the electronics
Keep your sleep space free of bright technology and aggressive beeping. Turn the television off 30-60 minutes before bedtime, set your devices to flight mode and settle in for an undisrupted night’s sleep. This helps to increase melatonin levels, psychologically disengage from the day and speed up REM sleep.
4. Upgrade your sleep environment
What is beauty sleep? Well, it involves snoozing in a calm and comfortable space. Add cosy sleep cues and routines at night, such as burning a lavender-scented candle before bed so your body begins to associate it with sleep. Invest in comfy pillows or crisp sheets for the ultimate relaxation.
5. Apply hydrating skincare products
Serums and moisturisers work best at night, when your skin is unwinding and openly absorbing all the nutrients in them. This is the perfect time to experiment with a face oil or deeply hydrating moisturiser.
For a rich overnight face oil, we recommend the Midnight Recovery Concentrate. This indulgent, lavender-scented oil is made with olive-derived squalane and evening primrose oil. The formula replenishes the skin at night when it is most receptive to supporting itself from the impact of daily stressors. It helps to visibly reduce fine lines and refine skin’s texture, and continued use will leave skin looking smoother, firmer and more radiant.
Now that you understand the importance of sleep for healthy skin, it’s time to wake up with some Vitamin C! Read all about The Truth about Vitamin C Skincare.