When you think of beauty sleep, you might imagine 'sleeping beauty' in her timeless state. For some, it may sound like an old wives' tale, but there's some scientific backing.
Scientific studies have shown that a lack of sleep can damage skin integrity and overall appearance. A clinical and experimental dermatology study conducted in 20015 on individuals with disturbed sleep reported hanging eyelids, red, swollen eyes, dark circles under the eyes, and more wrinkles/fine lines. Another study comparing good sleepers (sleep duration of 7-9 hours) with poor sleepers (5 hours or less sleep) showed that good sleepers presented fewer signs of intrinsic skin ageing and a greater self-perception of appearance.
The time you spend in bed is one of many essential factors to consider during beauty sleep. The position of how you sleep is vital to keep those fine lines at bay! When you sleep on your side or stomach, the skin is subjected to mechanical stresses whilst pressing against sleep surfaces.
During sleep, the body goes into recovery and regeneration mode when the skin bolsters itself. The hormone melatonin is released at night and is known for its antioxidant properties and counteracting UV-radiation effects. Sleep also plays a vital role in restoring the immune system; any alterations can reduce collagen production. Remember, collagen is the main structural protein within the skin, so any reduction in collagen could increase the likelihood of fine lines. Whilst you're in dreamland, the stress hormone 'cortisol' naturally decreases.
If you are sleep-deprived, your cortisol levels will likely increase. Studies have shown that increased cortisol is linked to reduced immune function, which can negatively impact skin health and lead to breakouts (e.g. not fighting against acne-causing bacteria).
So what can you do to help maximise beauty sleep?
Here are our Co-Founder Dr Shelini's top tips for beauty sleep:
- The National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. It would be best to get adequate sleep for your skin to have enough time to repair.
- Sleep on your back instead of front or side to help prevent wrinkles
- During the night, your skin loses water, so using a hydrating serum like our Centella Asiatica Botanical Serum can help retain moisture. Remember, dehydrated skin will exacerbate premature ageing.
- Although drinking water before bed would be a great idea, it probably will wake you up at night, try and remember to drink plenty throughout the day or keep nourished with hydrating foods.
- Make sure you don't sleep in your make-up and wash your skin before bedtime to help prevent clogging of pores.
- Try and get yourself into a bedtime routine. Avoid screen time an hour before you want to sleep to get the best restful night's sleep.
- Trying a nighttime skincare routine will help support your skin's healing process.
- Remember to change your pillowcases regularly (At least once a week)! Dirty pillowcases are a breeding site for bacteria that could be related to blemishes.
- Elevating your head can help eye bags and circles by improving blood flow.
Now you know that sleep may be the closest thing to a fountain of youth. Here's to getting plenty of sleep and waking up with beautiful glowing skin!