Sleep is often a neglected part of the beauty routine. But just because you’re at rest while sleeping, it doesn’t mean that your body stops working. If anything, the body works even harder on repairing damage caused by the day’s stress, UV rays, and other harmful exposure. Lack of sleep at night can make you cranky the next day. However, this isn't the only negative effect it gives you. Over time, missing out on sleep hours may do irreparable damage to your body.
The following are some of the benefits that sleep does for the body.
Sleep for your Skin
When it comes to your beauty routine, you may get all the best products on the market out there and still wonder why your skin quality isn't the best as it can be. Our skin takes a beating from exposure to the elements. Studies have shown that your skin doesn't recover well when you're low on sleep. Sleep deprivation hastens skin aging and loss of collagen which is normally recovered when you sleep. It also delays repairing the damage caused by UV exposure. This may lead to wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and a dry and dull complexion.
Collagen, the protein responsible for helping your skin stay elastic and supple, is produced when skin cells regenerate at night. This means that the better quality of sleep you get, the more your skin can work on delaying the aging process.
Of course, we mustn't neglect how we treat our skin while we sleep. Your skin loses water when you sleep. Putting on some lotion before you sleep can help you wake up with more hydrated, softer, and better-looking skin in the morning. Beauty and lifestyle guru, Kryz Uy recommends using lotions formulated with strong skin hydrators to combat intense skin dryness overnight.
Sleep for Brighter, and Less Puffy Eyes
Your eyes are the window to the soul, but what if you notice dark and puffy eyes? Getting less than 6 hours of sleep may be the culprit. Fatigue and inadequate sleep can cause retention of fluids in the eye area. Because the skin around the eyes is some of the thinnest skin on the body, sweeping and discoloration can become more pronounced when you're low on sleep. Sleep deprivation can also make you appear gaunt and dull as it causes a decrease in blood flow to the face.
Although drinking more water, applying a cold compress to your eyes, and putting eye creams may help reduce the swelling and pesky dark bags, they can only do so much when you don't address the root cause of the problem.
The fluid build-up is common if you sleep on your sides or stomach. Getting enough sleep, adjusting your sleeping position by being on your back, and elevating your head with an extra pillow can do wonders by improving blood flow, preventing blood from pooling, and reducing your eye bags and dark circles.
Sleep for Weight Loss
Believe it or not, sleep plays a role in maintaining a healthy weight. If you've been on a diet for a while but you're still not reaching your target weight goal, try to check on your sleep habits. Lack of sleep leads to an imbalance of leptin and ghrelin, hormones that regulate your appetite.
Sleep deprivation can lower your impulse control of unhealthy food. Stress triggers a cortisol spike in the body. The hormone tells the body to conserve energy to fuel your waking hours. This means that you're not burning off that many calories.
When you're feeling tired, you're also less likely to move and be active. Together, they make for a bad combo that leads to a couple of added pounds.
Sleep for a Stronger Immune System
Your body needs sufficient sleep to repair itself. This includes the production of cells that can combat bacteria and viruses. Long-term sleep deprivation may weaken your immune system and leave you more susceptible to illnesses and factor in your recovery rate.
It can also worsen some skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, and eczema. You may have the best beauty treatments and products but sometimes, the best beauty hacks are free. There's a reason why it's called "beauty sleep" after all. Getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep is the best beauty hack out there.
Sleep for a Mood Boost
Another thing that your brain does while you sleep is processing your emotions. During this time, your brain is taking in everything that happened during the day and preparing you for the next. Your mind needs this time to recharge. When you cut it short, its efficiency decreases as well.
You tend to have more negative emotional reactions and fewer positive ones. Maybe you'll find yourself grumpier than usual. It may affect your personal, as well as professional life.
You're also more likely to develop problems like anxiety or panic disorders and depression. With chronic sleep deprivation, your body goes into a state of stress. The body's functions are on high alert. Your blood pressure increases which may put you at risk for a heart attack and stroke. There is an overproduction of stress hormones which may make it harder for you to sleep.
A good night's rest helps you better equipped to meet the next day's challenges and helps you avoid that tired worn-out feeling. In a perfect world, we'd all be catching some quality sleep but this isn't the reality. Long-term sleep deprivation can cause serious damage not just to your looks but also to your general health.
If you're having difficulty sleeping during the night, consider the following activities:
- Create a comfortable sleep environment. Make sure that your room is cold, dark, and quiet. Invest in blackout curtains and a good bed if you can. Sleeping in a lighted room can disturb sleep and sleep rhythms.
- Make sure to go to bed at the same time every night. This helps the brain and body adjust easier to bedtime when you have an established routine in place.
- Change what you do during the day. Place your physically taxing activities earlier during the day instead of at night.
- Try meditation. It can help relax your body and brain and reduce cortisol levels in your body which cause stress.
- Watch what you eat and avoid drinking caffeine before you sleep.
While you might not be able to control the factors that disrupt your sleep, you can develop habits that promote a night of more restful sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene and you'll reap the benefits of your "hard" work. Chances are, you'll look great and feel energized while you're at it.
If you still find yourself having missing out on sleep even after practicing good sleep habits, you may want to talk to your doctor about your sleep problems and to schedule a consultation with a sleep specialist. At the Alaska Sleep Clinic we treat hundreds of patients throughout Alaska for various sleep disorders including: sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and more. Click the link below to receive more information regarding scheduling a sleep study.