We all know how good a solid 8 hours of sleep makes us feel, but in reality the majority of us are lucky if we’re even getting 6 hours a night.
It’s estimated that between 50 and 70 million people in the states alone suffer from some kind of sleep disorder, so next time you find yourself counting sheep, just know you're not alone!
What you may not know is that the amount of sleep you get, the quality of your sleep as well as the hours you choose to slumber all play a role in the health of your skin.
Keep reading to learn more.
How sleep affects the skin
Dark circles and puffy eyes are the first signs of a poor night’s rest and this is because when sleep time is cut short, the excess fluids that remain near the surface of the skin are not transported out of the body properly and this can then result in swollen or puffy skin, especially around the eyes.
According to Dr. Ellen Marmur, one of the nation’s leading dermatologists and dermatologic surgeons, the body operates under the nervous system and its two states. During the day, when you are awake, your sympathetic nervous system controls the body and ensures blood flow is closer to the core of the human body. Alternatively, during sleep, the body brings blood flow closer to the surface of the skin. As the blood flows closer to the skin, it nourishes skin cells and helps to keep them healthy.
This increased blood flow means nutrients and oxygen are easily transported to skin cells and free radicals and waste are carried away from the skin cells. The flow of increased circulation to the skin when the body’s nervous system has entered into a parasympathetic state is known as peripheral vasodilation.
The ‘golden hours’ for sleep are between 11pm and 3am with skin cell regeneration reaching a peak around 2am. While this process still occurs even with a disrupted sleep pattern, certain growth hormones necessary for skin repair, such as collagen, may not surge as they would if you were sleeping properly.
5 Tips For Getting A Good Night’s Rest
Now that you know the importance of good rest for beautiful skin, you’re probably eager to get your beauty sleep, but we know this can be easier said than done. Here’s a few tips to help you relax before bed so you can get the sleep you deserve!
Dim the lights
When the lights are low, your body starts increasing your sleep hormone, melatonin, so your body can start to prep for rest. Turn off the bright overhead light and turn on a lamp or two instead.
Sip on some herbal tea
There’s nothing like a soothing cup of tea to relax your mind and get you sleepy. Try the tried and tested sleepytime teas including chamomile, passionflower and valerian root.
Put your phone away
The blue light from your phone or laptop will keep you wide awake, trust us. Put your phone down at least an hour before you plan on hitting the sheets.
Read a book
Reading can help to calm your mind and ensure it doesn’t run over the next day’s to-do list. If you’re not a reader, even a magazine will do!
Try some sleep inducing snacks
Certain snacks can help to relax the body and naturally increase melatonin levels. Our favorites are a little peanut butter and banana, a bowl of cherries, a boiled egg or some almonds.
Don’t let poor sleep affect your skin! Try these tips and not only will your skin look gorgeous, you’ll feel heaps better too!