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Last Updated May 18, 2023
Every day we spend hours in front of the mirror doing skincare, applying multiple beauty products just to get that perfect glowing skin. But what if we told you that your sleeping is the secret to the glowing skin you always wanted?
As cliche as it might sound, beauty sleep is a real thing. If you have ever noticed dark circles or patchy/pale skin after inadequate sleep, you know that sleep affects how your skin looks. Just like poor, disturbed sleep makes your skin dull, a good night's sleep makes your skin glow.
In this blog, we will see the science behind the concept of beauty sleep and how you can improve your sleep quality to wake up with healthier skin.
We all know how important sleep is to restore energy and function effectively in our daily life. However, that's not it, sleep also helps in many other things, and waking up prettier is one of them.
When we sleep, our body produces Growth Hormones and Melatonin (sleep hormone), which makes it go into repair mode. Thus, we feel refreshed and rejuvenated after a good sleep. Hence, the phenomenon of beauty sleep is not just a fluke; it's, in fact, science.
Our skin is subject to a lot of things during the day; all the dust in the environment and other pollutants damage the skin and make it rough. However, certain physiological activities during sleep help undo the damage done during the day.
When you sleep, the body releases growth hormone(GH). This growth hormone stimulates the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is a protein found in the skin, and new collagen makes your skin look youthful. Therefore GH helps develop, maintain, and repair the skin.
The cortisol or the stress hormone's production declines during the onset of sleep. So sleep help keeps homeostasis in the levels of cortisol present in the body. If you don't get enough sleep, an increased level of cortisol may cause acne, breakout, dryness, wrinkles, premature aging, etc.
Melatonin is the sleep hormone responsible for regulating your circadian rhythm. However, it also acts as an antioxidant which helps protect the skin. The production of melatonin increases when we sleep during the night; therefore, melatonin also plays a significant role in sleep affecting your skin.
Sleep affects various physiological processes in your body. These physiological processes, in turn, affect other things in the body. The following section talks about how sleep can have a significant impact on your skin.
A healthy amount of sleep is good for your mental as well as physical health. We all know how good it feels to have a long, sound sleep on the weekend. However, that's not it; a good amount of sleep also does wonders for your skin.
Blood flow in the skin increases during sleep, giving it a more glowing and flushed look on waking up. On the other hand, if one doesn't get enough sleep, it may cause an accumulation of blood in certain areas, like under the eyes, etc., causing dark circles and under-eye bags
We know that there is a production of growth hormones in the body during sleep. This growth hormone is involved in collagen synthesis, and collagen is a constituent of skin. Collagen prevents your skin from sagging, keeps it firm, and prevents sleep wrinkles.
Studies have shown that your sleep quality significantly affects your mood. Getting good sleep will affect your mood positively, and you will wake up feeling content and peaceful. Your mood and facial expression directly relate to each other, so it will show on your face if you're happy. And studies have shown that happy people are perceived to be more attractive.
The increased blood flow during sleep helps our skin to be able to better utilize the skin-replenishing ingredients present in your beauty products. Moreover, since our skin doesn't have to fight UV rays or atmospheric dust during sleep, it can focus on healing itself and make use of the nourishment provided by your beauty products.
If one doesn't get enough sleep, the blood flow in the skin may not be proper, leading to patchy, uneven skin tone. Therefore, adequate sleep is required for healthy blood flow in the skin to get a healthy complexion.
Since a good amount of sleep keeps you healthy, poor, disturbed sleep would do the exact opposite of it. You know its effects if you have pulled an all-nighter or slept for less than 4 hours for 2-3 nights. Dark circles, grumpy moods, burning eyes, etc., are all consequences of poor sleep quality.
When you are sleep deprived, there is an increase in blood near the eyes. This skin near the eyes is very thin, which means that the blood vessels are closer to the surface. Therefore, when there is an increased volume of blood in the vessels, the dark color of the vessels reflects in the skin near the eye, which causes dark circles to appear.
The fluids from the vessels leak into the skin, and this leakage causes puffy eyes or under-eye bags, which is the swollen appearance of the under-eye area.
When we sleep, our body perspires and balances the hydration levels on the skin. Sleep deprivation, therefore, leads to dehydrated skin. It also leads to lower skin pH levels, making it look dull. Moreover, the rise in cortisol levels due to lack of sleep breaks down the protein that makes your skin smooth, giving it a dull look.
Sleep deprivation leads to increased cortisol levels, which triggers inflammation. The increased cortisol levels make the skin more prone to acne and other skin conditions like rashes, eczema, etc. Not just that, once these skin conditions are triggered, they even take more time to heal if the poor sleep pattern continues.
Poor sleep takes a toll on one's mental health. The increased cortisol levels lead to stress, your mood gets grumpy and irritable, and the corners of your mouth droop. We already know that smiling makes you look attractive, so a droopy face would do the exact opposite, making you look unattractive.
We have mentioned 'good amount of sleep' and 'optimum amount of sleep' quite a few times now, but what exactly is the amount of sleep required to stay healthy and have glowing skin?
According to studies, adults require seven or more hours of sleep per night. But it's not just the quantity of sleep that matters; the quality of sleep also matters. If you get eight hours of sleep but the whole time you keep tossing and turning in bed, waking up in the middle, or don't go into a deep sleep, your body won't get the rest that it requires, which is why we need quality sleep of seven hours per night to wake up feeling beautiful.
In today's time, the majority of people have messed up their sleep cycle, from staying up late to watching screens in bed. Therefore, it's challenging to have a sleep schedule and adhere to it. However, since we know the importance of quality of sleep, not just to look more beautiful but also to stay mentally and physically healthy, we can try to have better sleeping habits.
Having a consistent sleep schedule, where you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, has many benefits. The circadian rhythm regulates the sleep-wake cycle, and sticking to a sleep schedule will make it easier for you to fall asleep on time because your body adjusts to sleeping at that particular time.
It might be difficult to sleep early if you're used to staying up late at night. However, to tackle this problem, you can start by sleeping 15-20 minutes earlier and continue until you reach a more preferred sleeping time.
Bedtime routines help your body in relaxing and prepare itself for sleep. Your bedtime routine could be as simple as you want. It could be anything like reading a book, meditating, taking a warm bath, or maybe just brushing your teeth and washing your face. Sleep journaling can be great to get things off your mind and get a peaceful sleep.
We recommend having a simple nightly routine so that you don't laze off. Do something that you enjoy, and that helps you relax. This relaxing night routine helps in falling asleep easily.
Blue lights emitting from your smartphone and laptop's screens interfere with your body's melatonin production, the hormone that signals that it's time to sleep. So if you use your devices later on in the night, it might trick your brain into thinking that it's still the daytime.
Some things you can do to avoid blue light are wearing glasses that block it or downloading apps that block blue light on your smartphone. Although a bit hard, the best way is to not use your devices at least one hour before your bedtime.
The mattress that you sleep on also affects the quality of your sleep. For example, if your mattress is worn out, it might cause backache due to bad sleeping posture. In that case, you should either buy a new organic mattress or a latex mattress topper to give your body the comfort it needs for a good night's rest.
The bed room environment is also a determining factor in the quality of your sleep. The bed room should be as dark as possible; if you can't fall asleep with lights out, you can use fairy lights in the room; they will give little light and a warm cozy feeling. Keeping plushies on the bed or anything that gives you cozy feeling should make a pleasant bed room environment. You can also play some sounds that help you get better quality sleep.
For the best experience, minimize the lights, external sounds, and blue lights from the bed room. Also, keeping it clean and hygienic will help enhance the quality of your beauty sleep.
Who knew that the biggest secret to beautiful skin could be as easy as getting a beauty sleep? Well, now that we know how easy it is, let's start getting ZZZs and get prettier while doing nothing.
Beauty sleep is nothing but the fact that deep, well-rested sleep helps you wake up feeling beautiful because of cell rejuvenation and other physiological processes.
Beauty sleep is nothing but getting a good night's sleep. Sleeping 7 hours or more is enough for adults to wake up well-rested. However, don't forget that the quality of sleep is as important as the hours of sleep you get.
During sleep, various physiological processes like the release of growth hormone, reduction of cortisol (the stress hormone), etc., take place, which contributes to the healing of the skin, making you feel more beautiful.
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Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.