Alaska Sleep Education Center

Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Poor Skin Health? What You Need to Know

Posted by Jennifer Hines

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on Dec 27, 2020 3:59:00 AM

Pretty girl strugging with sleep.

Getting a good night’s rest is an essential part of maintaining your well-being. A lack of sleep can negatively impact your body and brain in a number of ways. Aside from the obvious consequential effects— tiredness, decrease in motivation, increasingly irate, etc— it can also take a toll on your skin’s health.

To unravel the integral relationship between sleep deprivation and the state of your skin, it’s important to beware of all the ways your sleep can influence the state of your skin.


3 Consequential Skincare Effects Caused By Sleep Deprivation:

As of now, we know that lack of sleep can negatively influence our complexion, but how exactly does it affect the state of our skin? Let’s take a closer look at the type of skin concerns that can arise when you don’t get enough rest, and what you can do to manage them:

1.   Premature Aging

Sleeping is arguably one of the most prominent periods when your skin functions at its best in an attempt to protect and preserve its natural glow. Specifically, this is the time when your skin works to improve elasticity and stimulates new collagen— two factors that are responsible for preventing the development of fine lines and wrinkles. That being said, as an adult, when you get less than 7-9 hours of sleep , you’re doubling your chances of developing signs of premature aging earlier on in your life.

The formation of wrinkles isn’t the only symptom your skin may endure from sleep deprivation. Other signs of premature aging include dry, dull, dehydrated, or saggy skin and even sometimes dark spots. This goes to show that your beauty sleep isn’t something to be taken lightly.

How to Manage Premature Aging: If you aren’t getting enough sleep and have begun to notice any of the developmental signs of premature aging listed above, consider introducing an anti-aging product in your daily skincare routine. Anti-aging treatments help to slow down the inevitable aging process by speeding up cell regeneration and boosting the thickness and elasticity of your skin. Thus, allowing you to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and restore plumpness and radiance of the skin.


2.   Acne Breakouts

According to On Health, sleep deprivation is considered to be one of the leading causes of acne flare-ups, along with sweating and stress. The reasoning for this partly relates to the fact that your immune system becomes weakened when you deprive yourself of sleep. When this happens, your body becomes more vulnerable to the acne-causing bacteria it’s exposed to throughout the day, meaning your skin is more susceptible to breakouts.

The other reason for the flare-ups has to do with the chemical imbalances that occur as a result of sleeplessness as a lack of rest naturally causes your body to experience more stress— which again, is one of the main triggers for breakouts. As your body becomes more stressed, your cortisol hormone levels increase, causing your body to produce more sebum (oil) than it regularly would. Therefore, making it easy for your pores to clog and acne to appear.

The other explanation for acne-flare ups occurring on account of sleep deprivation relates to

How to Manage Acne Breakouts: Have you been dealing with acne breakouts caused by lack of sleep? If so, it may be a good idea to invest in your very own acne treatment cream to help you combat those pesky bumps and blemishes. Some product formulas contain stronger, more harsh ingredients than others, however, so be sure to assess your skin type first before topical application. Usually, acne patches are a great alternative to a specialized cream for those of you with dry or sensitive skin, whereas treatments containing active ingredients like retinol or benzoyl peroxide may work better for those with acne-prone or oily skin as these tend to target blemishes more aggressively.


3.   Dark Circles & Under Eye Bags

It’s no coincidence that dark circles and under eye bags appear the morning after a bad night’s sleep. A lack of sleep can cause your under eye area to appear more prominent because the skin is thinner under your eyes, meaning the blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin are more prominent in this particular region of the skin. So, when you deprive yourself of sleep, the tissue and blood vessels under the eyes respond by dilating, which then leads to an increased blood flow. As explained by Mattress World Northwest, “Since the skin under your eyes is thinner, the dark tint caused by the increased volume of blood is more noticeable here.”

This bodily reaction helps to explain why dark circles and under eye bags tend to form from sleepless nights. Put simply, the buildup of fluid under your eyes occurs because your body is unable to redistribute fluids the way it normally would when you rest. In turn, this can lead to dark circles, puffiness and deep under eye bags, making your tiredness look all the more evident.

How to Manage Dark Circles & Under Eye Bags: Don’t let your tiredness ruin your look. Instead, try using a restorative eye cream or de-puffing eye gel to mask and treat your dark circles and under eye bags. Remember to keep in mind that your eye skin is one of the most sensitive areas of the skin, so be sure that whatever eye treatment you choose is gentle enough on these delicate areas.


Helpful Tips to Overcome Sleep Deprivation

Dealing with sleep deprivation can be frustrating, but rest assured there are ways to tackle this problem and attain the quality night’s rest you deserve. If you are struggling to get the recommended amount of hours of sleep per night, this one’s for you! To help you overcome sleep deprivation, try following the helpful tips below to promote a deeper sleep:

  • Nap Responsibly: Although it can be tempting to catch up on your Zzz’s with a cat nap during the day, especially after a sleepless night, it’s important to do so responsibly. You don’t want to get into the habit of sleeping throughout the day as this will only worsen your sleeping problems come nighttime. So, if you are going to close your eyes for a bit, try and aim for a quick 20-minute nap as this will allow you to refresh your mind and body, without jeopardizing your future slumber.
  • Create a Bedtime Routine: Following a nighttime routine to get yourself ready for rest is a practical way to unwind after a long day and prepare your body for sleep. The rituals you follow should be unique to each individual, but a few ideas may involve performing your nightly skincare routine, stretching, deep-breathing exercises, and/or journaling. Find what works for you and stick to it.
  • Refrain from Electronic Usage: Many people prefer to absently scroll through their electronic devices to help them unwind after a long day. And while that may be a good way to pass the time, it’s not a practical solution for overcoming sleep deprivation. In fact, research shows that the light that comes from your screens can actually jeopardize your quality of sleep and make it all the more challenging to physically fall asleep at night. With regard to this, try to limit your screen time and refrain from using your electronic devices at least one or two hours before bed.

Getting your beauty sleep is crucial for a happy life and healthy skin, so be sure to prioritize your rest time when you can. For further assistance on how to improve your sleep and fight against sleep deprivation and other chronic sleeping conditions, call Alaska Sleep Clinic today @ 907-420-0540.

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