Who among us hasn’t been jolted awake by the alarm clock only to despair that it couldn’t possibly be morning already? Whether that scenario is commonplace in your life or a rare occurrence has been shown to be a determining factor in whether the negative consequences of sleep deprivation will be short term or long-lasting.
Most of us accept that we will “pay” the next day for a short night of sleep. We expect we’ll be able to function but feel a bit dull or fuzzy around the edges. Our eyes may be puffy and we may need some extra concealer over the dark circles; but we assume we’ll “catch up” after a good night sleep and bounce back to normal. Don’t count on it.
New clinical research shows that while we may be able to get away with an occasional night of abbreviated sleep, chronic sleep deprivation is directly linked to lasting changes to our skin. Inadequate sleep has been conclusively correlated with reduced skin health and accelerated skin aging. Some experts claim lack of sleep doubles the chance these issues will occur. Changes such as:
- Dull, dehydrated, lackluster complexion
- Uneven pigmentation of the skin
- Acceleration of fine lines and wrinkles
- Worsening acne
- Increased sensitivity to environmental pollutants and
- Decreased ability to recover from damage caused by sun exposure
Chronic sleep deprivation has long been known to impact cognitive performance, critical thinking and serious health issues like diabetes, obesity and immune deficiency. The new findings show its effects on skin health and aging are also long-term and much more significant than circles and short–lived puffiness. Just how does sleep loss cause long lasting damage to skin?
- Lack of sleep reduces skin’s ability to stay hydrated and supple. When skin is dehydrated, it appears dull and dry and has less elasticity.
- Chronic sleep deprivation causes the body to secrete more of the stress hormone cortisol. Excess levels of cortisol destroy collagen, the skin’s protein responsible for keeping skin smooth and elastic.
- Habitually high levels of stress hormones in the blood lead to inflammation within the skin. The result of the inflammation is aging and wrinkles.
- Routinely missing out on deep sleep means you are not getting enough “deep-wave” sleep. Consequently, your brain doesn’t get the rest it needs to release enough human growth hormone, which is essential to normal tissue repair.
So what’s to do? Stop looking at sleep as a luxury; treat it as an essential component to your overall well-being. Use these proven tips for better sleep and find out what works for you.
- Have a consistent sleep schedule with the same bedtime and waking time 7 days a week.
- Avoid alcohol, heavy meals and caffeine four to six hours before bedtime.
- Exercise daily. Not only does it induce quality night time sleep, it helps to increase circulation and deliver oxygen and nutrients to the skin.
- Establish a relaxing nightly ritual that prepares your mind and body for sleep.
- Ensure that your room is conducive to quality sleep. Check on lighting, temperature, noise and bedding and adjust anything that is not beneficial to sleep.
How about the damage that has already been done? Take comfort in your renewed commitment to adequately meeting your body’s sleep needs. In addition, Lifeline Skin Care customers can be assured that while they are savoring their beauty sleep, their Night Recovery Moisture Complex will never sleep a wink.