Since our childhood, we have always heard aunties and celebrities emphasize on the importance of their beauty sleep and attribute their good looks on sleep. In fact, girls everywhere are told the same. But do we really follow that advice? Hardly a half of the women worldwide actually value sleep or respect a sleep schedule. Some are too busy studying for exams, some blame it on babies while some just never get into the habit of sleeping at night and end up reversing their diurnal clock and some spend the time that they should actually be sleeping, partying hard with friends.
Occasional late nights don’t really matter much, but once you make a habit of it, there is no turning back and no reversal of the effects it has on your skin. Mentioned here are the five effects chronic lack of sleep can have on skin and if you carefully manage your time juggling your babies, your studies, your parties, your chores and your time out, you can start following a healthier sleep routine, which will benefit not only your skin, but your weight and mental and body health too.
Our skin recovers moisture and maintains balance of our body’s hydration when we sleep relaxed and stress free at night. But if we are not sleeping, or are sleeping poorly, our skin can suffer the consequences and instantly start showing dryness and/or lines and can be the causes for a lack luster skin that looks hideous without makeup. I, for one, hate looking at myself in the mirror after a week of poor sleeping, imagine what would happen if you slept poorly, if at all, every night, for months!
Growth hormone is one of the chemicals released in one of the stages of sleep, which are responsible for the repairing of damaged skin cells overnight. However, when we start to chronically deprive ourselves of this much-needed sleep, this particular hormone production is decreased and the daily small damages within skin is accumulated and built up instead of repairing overnight as it should. This is where the process of aging takes a head start, and speeds up.
In deeper slumber, our bodies produce and release a certain hormone in large amounts, called melatonin. Melatonin, is basically a naturally occurring antioxidant, and as we are well aware, antioxidants fight radicals in our skin to maintain the glow and health of our skin, keeping it even toned and pigmentation-free. But when we fall prey to insomnia, or other such distractions and stay up late, or all night, we prevent our bodies from releasing melatonin and hence further accelerating the aging process and in fact, aggravating it.
In contrast to the drop in hormones that are good for our skin, lack of sleep causes the production of and an increase in stress hormones; which in turn, cause a marked rise of inflammatory cells. Surprise, surprise- these inflammatory cells wreak havoc and chaos! They cause pre existing inflammatory skin diseases to flare up, bringing about and worsening skin allergies, eczema, psoriasis and acne. Also, inflammatory cells are known to break down collagen and hyaluronic acid (both of which keep our skin young and pretty due to their input on the elasticity of our skin) thus creating wrinkles and eye bags and aiding the aging process further more.
Studies done by Estee Lauder also show that poor sleepers or insomniacs are unable to recover or are very slow in recovering from damages to skin due to sun exposure such as redness, sun burn, sun tan and pigmentation to name a few. Now, with an almost completely damaged ozone layer and enough of damaging and harmful sun’s radiation, do we really need to burden ourselves with more skin problems because of our own fault?
Beauties around the world, love yourselves, and love your skin, and do the needful. Give priority to your sleep and try and sleep at least seven hours at night, at a stretch, with no electronic beeps and rings through out the entire time you are asleep. If you haven’t already started showing signs of aging, you are among the lucky ones to be able to prevent it completely!
So, ladies, make a note to self: sleep early and sleep well!