5 Reasons to get a good nights’ sleep

Our bodies depend on a good night’s sleep for rest and recovery from the stressors of the day. The skin is the largest organ of the human body (covering an average 2m2) and sleep is vital for healthy skin.

If you spend every night lying awake at night, desperate to get your 8 hours of nightly recharge, you are not alone. The Sleep Foundation states that up to 70 million American adults struggle with a sleep disorder.

You can cope with an all-nighter occasionally, but chronic sleep deprivation can put your body in a constant state of stress. The level of your stress hormone, Cortisol, goes up leading to impaired mental function and increased risk for heart disease and impairs the body’s ability to repair itself. Not getting enough sleep is known to pave the way for weight gain and other negative metabolic effects.

The skin is where you see the first signs of sleep deprivation and here are some of the effects on your appearance.

1. Lack of sleep can make you look older.

Lack of sleep inhibits cellular repair and regeneration leading to an acceleration of the aging process. Studies have shown that women deprived of sleep have deeper lines and wrinkles, diffused redness and enlarged pores.

And when you do get some sleep, sleeping on your side all night can lead to deeper wrinkles on that side. Take a look at your face and see if you can see it for yourself. If you are a side-sleeper, invest in a silk pillow case that won’t cause fine lines that rougher materials, like cotton, are believed to contribute to, and they can actually help make your skin-care products more effective.

Chronic stress damages collagen in your skin. Collagen is a vital protein made of amino acids. It gives structure and elasticity to the skin. As collagen breaks down, your skin is no longer as firm and smooth.

Take a look at the IMAGE Skincare overnight masks to help hydrate and revitalize tired skin.

2. It can cause breakouts.

Poor sleep has been associated with immune dysregulation which affects your skins defence against infections and germs or microbes.

Keratin, dead skin cells and oils clump together forming a plug. Bacteria can set in causing swelling and breakouts. Getting enough sleep boosts the immune system making it more capable for fighting off infections.

The IMAGE Skincare clarifying lotion helps repair and fade the visible redness of current and past lesions due to acne

3. It can make your existing skin conditions worse.

If you battle with psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, acne and other inflammatory disorders, lack of sleep increases your levels of anxiety which can make these skin disorders worse. Sleep deprivation increases inflammation in the body. Activation of the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis causes arousal and sleeplessness. Activation of the HPA axis could be due to different reasons, including stress or administration of glucocorticoids.

4. It can affect hair growth.

Melatonin is a hormone that helps your body regulate your sleep cycle, and it also has been shown to increase hair growth.

If your body decreases in its melatonin levels, it’s possible that this results in hair loss.

Sleep deprivation can eventually lead to stress, and stress has been known to result in telogen effluvium hair loss.

5. It can make your nails weak.

Lack of sleep can affect your nail root matrix, and make your nails brittle. Your nails chip and tear easily and your weekly manicure doesn’t last well and even gel nails battle to hold the gel.

What Can You Do About It?

  • Create a regular bedtime routine and stick to it. Go to bed at the same time every night so your body gets used to the idea.
  • Strive for 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
  • Go easy on alcohol and tobacco before bedtime.
  • Keep a glass of fresh water on your bedside table to stay hydrated.
  • Don’t bring your electronics, such as a smartphone, into the bedroom. There’s less temptation to pick up the phone and start scrolling if you should awaken in the middle of the night.
  • Most people find that quality, high thread-count sheets are more comfortable, which is what you want to be while sleeping.
  • Elevate your head with an extra pillow or bed wedge. This reduces snoring, acid reflux and nasal drip – all of which can limit the quality of your sleep, which affects the appearance of your skin.