Your skin and sleep

20 April 2017 by
First published: 13 January 2017

It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing, there’s an important link between the health of your skin and sleep

It’s true what they say: not getting enough sleep affects your mood and wellbeing, but did you know that it also affects your appearance? If you’re struggling with a dull complexion, dark bags under your eyes or even a sudden breakout, simply ask yourself if you’re getting enough sleep. If you’re suffering from one or two of these issues, then the answer is probably no. It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing, right?

Your skin is dehydrated 

Sleep is a precious time for your skin. This is because it is the only time your body has to restore, regenerate and repair itself after a day’s work. With that in mind, you can only imagine that the less time you spend sleeping than the less time your skin has to work it’s recovery magic. Therefore, your skin can become unbalanced, leaving your cells dehydrated, which is what can cause a dull complexion. ‘Your skin cells repair themselves while you sleep and the optimum time for repair is 1am,’ says Kirsti Shuba, cofounder of Katherine Daniels Cosmetics. ‘You will gain the most benefit if you have already been sleeping two to three hours before this time. So plan to be in bed by around 10.30pm.’

It has lost it’s youthful look

If your skin isn’t looking its usual soft, smooth and radiant self, then maybe it’s time to trade in those late nights (even if you’re just scrolling through Instagram for hours on end) for an early kip instead. Research conducted by the Skin Study Centre at University Hospitals in Ohio demonstrates that lack of sleep accelerates skin ageing, going to show just how important the power of sleep is for skin cells to restore their elasticity.

You’ve got dark circles under your eyes

Being told that you’ve got bags under your eyes isn’t one of the best compliments to receive. Those pesky periorbital dark circles can be a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep, and although piling on your favourite concealer may help to tone down the darkness, there’s a better solution to help reduce their appearance. Yes, you’ve guessed it: getting yourself a decent amount of sleep. ‘If you sleep badly, you are likely to become stressed, and this can cause the capillaries to tighten up, affecting the flow of nutrients to the skin and scalp and causing the skin and hair to look dull,’ says the experts at CherryActive.

Your skin is breaking out

Experts at The Sleep Council say as well as resolving to get fitter, slim down, try a new hobby or eat more healthily in the New Year, most of us need to take sleep more seriously. ‘Lack of sleep suppresses your immune system making you more vulnerable to infections and metabolic and hormone changes amongst other health issues,’ says The Sleep Council’s Lisa Artis. A strong immune system is the key to fighting off any stressors that your body is dealing with, so any faults made to the functioning of the immune system can easily set off reactions, including skin cells causing nasty breakouts and blemishes. That’s made us never want to underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep again.