Have You Been Sleeping Well? 4 Ways Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Skin
Contrary to people who believe that "sleep is for the weak," sleeping plays an integral role to keep our mental and physical well-being healthy.
Despite being free and available almost anywhere, getting an adequate amount of sleep nowadays has become underrated. And with 35.2 percent of adult Americans saying that they sleep less than seven hours per night, it's no wonder why sleep hygiene is one of the things that people give little importance to.
According to the American Sleep Association, sleep is a "fundamental necessity" that everyone should indulge in rather than deem as something inconsequential. They explained that the lack of regenerative rest can bring several health issues, including irritability, mood swings, a short attention span, and difficulties in concentrating.
"When lack of sleep becomes long-term, it can have much more serious health repercussions that can require medical attention," the ASA said, highlighting the need to prioritize getting quality rest.
For starters, our skin rests and repairs itself when we sleep, so if you're having a disrupted circadian rhythm, you unconsciously deprive your brain, body, and skin of nourishment. Our optimal skin health might also be at risk if we don't get that long-sought sleep.
And as many people stay up late working at home, binge-watching movies at night, or playing games with their gadgets nowadays, it's not difficult to see the reason why they don’t get the rest that they need. Here are the 4 big effects of sleep deprivation on the health and appearance of your skin.
During the day, our skin fights external stressors, bacterias, and other unwanted toxins from entering our body. When we sleep at night, the skin switches to a regeneration mode, giving our skin cells time to recover from any damage and inflammation.
So if you're not getting sufficient rest, there's a chance that your skin won't properly heal wounds. Oftentimes, sleep deprivation can raise cortisol levels, which produces excess sebum that can trigger inflammation, itching, redness, and chronic conditions such as dermatitis (eczema), and psoriasis.
For skin to function properly, it needs water to be hydrated. And when you lack enough sleep, your skin may not be able to function properly.
"Sleep deprivation decreases the barrier function of the skin, so there's more water loss when you don't sleep," Insider reported, stressing that water loss in the skin due to insufficient sleep can lead to dehydration and skin dryness.
And, as one skincare website echoed, dehydrated skin is not good news. "When your skin is dehydrated it becomes more susceptible to skin problems such as dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, discoloration, and even premature wrinkling," ESMI shared, noting that a body will have a hard time eliminating toxins when dehydrated.
Have you seen someone who looks rather "old" for their age? Well, there's a chance that they may not be getting enough sleep. According to Insider, "poor sleep quality can make you look older than you are."
"A routine lack of rest can increase signs of intrinsic aging, meaning your skin will be more lined and will have more laxity, or looseness," it reported. Evidence from 2015 also shows that not sleeping enough can cause the skin to become more loose and lined.
Aside from leaving your skin dry, dehydrated, and prone to breakouts, not getting enough quality rest will accelerate the aging process, making your skin look dull, wrinkled, and more pronounced fine lines.
Researchers of a Swedish study in 2017 reported that sleep-restricted individuals deal with changes to their appearance. They mentioned that healthy skin brings a "slightly reddish color due to vasodilation and skin vascularization."
"The blood supply to the skin is essential to bring nutrients to the skin and for immune defense. After sleep deprivation, the skin appears pale, as blood flow to the skin is reduced," the article stated. The said study also pointed out that those who participated in the survey without getting enough rest scored "less attractive, less healthy, and looking sleepier."
This finding seems to be true as chronic poor sleep has been associated with reduced skin barrier function, causing lower satisfaction with appearance. Thus, people who have not slept well experience significant social consequences, making them less willing to socialize.
With all the tell-tale signs and research-backed negative impacts, it's clear that sleep deprivation can make everything go downhill—from your immune system taking a hit to outbreaks of acne, eczema, psoriasis, and skin allergies.
To help combat the effects of sleep deprivation, we recommend using eye masks to attain that well-deserved sleep and maintain healthy, youthful-looking, and itch-free skin. These small pieces of wonder work effectively to improve your sleep since they block any surrounding light that may keep you awake at night.
Cottonique's Pick: Sleep Eye Mask
A hypoallergenic wonder engineered to be the safest sleep eye mask for individuals with sensitive skin. It helps your brain detect total darkness to increase the production of a hormone responsible for sleep called melatonin.
TAKEAWAY: Just like proper diet and exercise, sleep hygiene is an important part of achieving a healthy life. We have been programmed to live under a "sleep-wake" cycle, so sleep, without a doubt, is a biological necessity.