“Beauty sleep“ is the deep sleep you need to feel healthy, function properly and look bright and attractive.
Young people do not get enough sleep. Although this is no surprise to any of us, it is a serious problem associated with risky behaviors. 70 % of high school students are not getting the recommended hours of sleep. Even worse, this age group is least likely to believe that lack of sleep can cause all kinds of physical and psychological problems.
Fatigue, alcohol abuse, hazardous driving, smoking, fighting, lack of physical activity and acting out sexually are all side effects. Add to that feelings of being sad or hopeless and even having suicidal thoughts.
Visible signs of sleeplessness such as dark circles and dull skin are obvious, but there is more damage below the surface. Sleep affects the way we look, our bodies release growth hormones that are released at the beginning and in deep stages of sleep. These hormones are the ones that produce beautifying effects on our skin. This growth hormone aids in the stimulation of skin cell production, collagen formation and decrease protein breakdown. In other words, it is the surge of growth hormones that stimulates skin repair during the night. These hormones are only released during deep sleep, when the body and brain are able to fully recover from the day’s activities.
Young people are always fighting acne and other skin blemish problems, however we may be missing the real cure for complexion woes: sleep. The idea of “beauty sleep” isn’t new, but it has become harder to achieve as current sleep disruptors such as laptops, the web, video games, emails, facebook and smartphones follow us to our bedrooms. The effects are real: A 2010 study published in the British Medical Journal found that people who had a full night of sleep (8 hours or more) compared with sleep deprived individuals, were rated by observers as healthier and less tired (obviously), but was also seen as more attractive.
Does sleep guarantee perfect skin? Not exactly. However, since the skin is highly reactant to products applied right before bed, your nightly skincare regimen can be the extra boost to a flawless complexion.
When we skimp on sleep, our bodies can’t release the growth hormone, but it does release more of the stress hormone (from adrenal gland) “Cortisol.” An abundance of stress hormones can increase inflammation and break down collagen leading to lines, wrinkles and increased acne formation. Sensitive skin may also be a symptom of lack of sleep. Depriving yourself of adequate sleep affects the skin’s natural barrier function which can lead to dryness, irritation and increased skin sensitivity. When this happens the epidermis (outer layer of skin) cannot protect itself from chemicals and pollutants in the environment.
Creativity, ingenuity, confidence, leadership, decision-making; all of these can be enhanced simply by getting more sleep.