Have you ever had a shocking night’s sleep and woken up not just feeling like cr*p but looking like it too? I can totally relate. So I decided to find out whether lack of sleep really does impact on the quality of your skin and if so…. How? Is there anything we can do to combat the effects of sleepless nights that seem to be an inevitable side effect of the modern life we live.
Research is a bit thin on the ground but here are a couple of studies you might find a bit horrific;
- A (tiny) Swedish study found that with 5 hours of sleep or less, women had more hanging eyelids, redder eyes, more swollen eyes, darker circles under the eyes, paler skin, more fine lines and wrinkles plus the corners of the mouth were perceived as droopier. Plus apparently they looked sadder.
- In a subsequent Swedish study, people were alternately kept awake most of the night or given a good night’s sleep. Their photos were shown to random people. After being sleep deprived, the study participants were rated as less attractive, less healthy and sleepier compared with their well-rested selves. And the randoms said they’d be less likely to socialize with people who looked like that!
- The best study that gets into the weeds to tease out the relationship between sleep deprivation and skin came from a skin care company based in Europe. It came down to 3 main areas; good sleepers had less TEWL (trans epidermal water loss – in other words, their skin was less dry), they had better skin barrier function- so it would look and feel smoother and plumper. Plus “At 24 h after exposure to ultraviolet light, good sleepers had significantly better recovery from erythema (redness)”. Poor sleepers felt uglier. That counts for something!
Ok, we all get it! Poor sleep makes you look older. So what do you do?
- See your GP and make sure you don’t have an easily fixed medical cause of poor sleep.
- Check your bedroom for sleep killers like a poor mattress or a room that’s too hot, cold, light or noisy.
- Have a low GI carbohydrate rich snack 45 minutes before bed. Something like Multigrain.Vitaweats with a slice of cheese. Your brain will sleep better if fed on carbs. Carb deniers sorry I have nothing for you!!
- Battle your stress
- Nix the vices like booze and cigarettes before bed.
You’ll wake feeling refreshed and looking even better. Meanwhile make sure you are using the VERY BEST skin care so your skin looks AS GOOD as it can given the circumstances!!