Is the term “beauty sleep” really true? Does sleep deprivation lead to dark circles under the eyes, breakouts and fine lines?

Yes! Your sleep habits can have a profound impact on the quality of your skin and premature ageing. On top of cleansers, exfoliants and anti-ageing moisturizers, getting a good night’s sleep really should be a key component of your skincare routine. Here’s why:

A lack of sleep could have damaging effects on your skin

Is sleep deprivation the cause of your dull complexion and ageing skin?

While there are many reasons for compromised skin health including diet, dehydration and sun exposure, the importance of getting adequate hours of sleep every night is often underestimated.

If you’ve shaken off the comment “oh, you look tired” once or twice, you may be covering up the dreaded under-eye bags with a layer of foundation or hoping your puffiness subsides after you drink some water.

Just one or two night’s of sleep deprivation can have an effect on your facial appearance. But what happens when you continually experience a lack of sleep?

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body makes more of the stress hormone cortisol. This can increase inflammation in the body leading to unpleasant breakouts and irritate skin conditions like acne, eczema or psoriasis. The rise in cortisol levels can also increase the breakdown of collagen which is essential for youthful skin quality, glow and elasticity.

A lack of sleep also reduces the production of your growth hormones that are integral to the repair of damaged cells. Over time this accelerates skin ageing and weakens its ability to restore the skin to maintain a youthful appearance. Those who don’t get enough ZZZ’s may find themselves with uneven skin tone, an increased presence of fine lines and reduced skin elasticity. Your skin’s ability to recover from skin stressors such as sunburn is also reduced.

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Whether you get a good night’s sleep or experience poor sleep, your body loses a little bit of water through exhalation and sweat. You may have noticed this when stepping on the scales in the morning.

However, you can actually have greater levels of dehydration when you experience even minor sleep deprivation. This can lead to dry skin and imbalances in its pH levels. This stimulates the inflammatory response heightening redness, causing the blood vessels to dilate and increasing the puffiness and breakouts.

How to incorporate a good night’s sleep into your skincare routine

Getting consistently adequate shuteye can help to improve your skin’s appearance and recover from the damage occurred during the day. This is mainly due to the release of the sleep hormone melatonin which allows for the repair of cells and DNA damage while you are in a deep sleep. Keeping your cortisol in check and maintaining healthy growth hormone production will also benefit your skin.

To set your self up for better sleep and therefore better skin, try these tips:

  • Keep the room temperature cool
  • Make it as dark as possible
  • Keep hydrated throughout the day
  • Remove any devices out of the room
  • Avoid eating a big meal before bedtime
  • Refrain from using electronics 1 hour before bed