A good night’s sleep is vital when it comes to our skin and beauty. Our skin regenerates at night while sleeping. People who get good quality and quantity of sleep have healthier skin as it can retain moisture well and produce enough collagen. It heals faster than someone who is sleep deprived. It decreases the incidence of skin disorders and acne. Lack of sleep has a devastating effect on the skin and is visible in the form of rough, dull, dry skin, dark circles, and droopy eyelids. According to a visual assessment study published in Sleep in the year 2013, sleep deprived individuals have more wrinkles, paler skin, fine lines, redder and swollen eyes.
Effect of sleep deprivation on skin
Sleep deprivation over activates the sympathetic nervous system. This then activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis which increases secretion of glucocorticoids. This adversely affects the integrity of lamellar bodies on the keratinocytes of skin, thereby impairing the barrier produced by them.
A study published in the Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications in 2017 reveals that acute sleep deprivation for 42 hours led to increase in activity of natural killer cells, decrease in recovery of skin barrier and production of inflammatory cytokines which include plasma interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α.
Other effects of sleep deprivation on the skin:
- It weakens our immune system, which impairs the integrity of the collagen fibres, thus reducing the strength and integrity of the skin.
- It causes skin scaling, which occurs due to dehydration. This results in decreased skin translucency indicating a reduced dermal organisation.
- Chronic poor sleep speeds up intrinsic aging.
- It also Increase in pore size.
- It changes in skin tone – Lightness of cheek skin decreases significantly.
Ways to improve sleep:
Improving your sleep can help you increase the quality of your skin.
Relaxing activities a few hours prior to sleep helps in maintaining the circadian rhythm. Staying away from electronic devices (to avoid exposure to blue light) and trying out reading, yoga etc. can serve to be a very fruitful modification.
Trying to sleep 15 minutes prior to the normal bedtime on a regular basis can help fix late sleeping habits.
Keeping the sleep duration around 7-9 hours gives enough time to the body and the skin to get rid of all the fatigue and regenerate.
Avoiding alcohol at night as it alters the production of melatonin and elevation of growth hormone, both of which have an important role in the maintenance of circadian rhythm.
Exposing oneself to morning sunlight and bright light during the day helps us to stay awake and avoid irregular daytime naps, thereby fixing our circadian rhythm.
Avoiding caffeine consumption in the evening.
Less sleep also affects us in other ways. It affects our mood, skin, eyes, nose etc, which are important for communication. In the long run, it can decrease our ability to function in society. Thus, it is essential to get regular, good night sleep. It improves our lifestyle and improves self-perception. It has a long-lasting positive impact not only on our beauty but also our mental and physical health and shall help deal with all sorts of age-related disorders in a better way.
To seek help or know more sleep and how it affects beauty, you can visit the Neurology and Sleep Centre, the 1st sleep centre in the country accredited by Indian Board of Sleep Medicine at L-23, Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi, Delhi-110016 (INDIA)
Or give a call on +91-11-46070321, +91-9643500270