Tuesday, April 2, 2019


By Natasha Nikolova

8 Reasons
Lack of Sleep Isn't Good for Your Skin

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

We’ve all experienced a sleepless night. But too many of those can wreak havoc on your health, especially on your skin. Dark circles and puffy eyes are just the most common symptoms, but lack of sleep can eventually make you look older than your years. 

Keep reading to find out eight reasons why you shouldn’t skip out on sleep.

Sleep Deprivation Effects on the Skin

What’s the amount of sleep needed to stave off negative effects? According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), the recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7 to 9 hours.

Not getting enough sleep, however, can result in the following:

1. Premature Aging

Age creeps up on everyone eventually. Permanent creases, fine lines and sagging skin are all signs of aging skin. But did you know that lack of sleep can speed up the process?

One study found that just one night of sleeplessness can make cells age quicker in older adults. You see, cortisol levels decrease naturally when we sleep.

However, when you lose sleep this stress hormone remains in your system. And at high levels, it can break down elastic tissue and collagen. That loss of elasticity creates more opportunities for those fine lines and wrinkles to make an appearance.

2. Dull Complexion

Blood flow gets a little boost in your slumber. But when you don’t get enough sleep? You may lose that healthy glow and end up with a dull, drab complexion.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

3. Dark Circles and Puffy Eyes

Next, dark circles and puffy eyes are usually the first outward signs that you’ve been missing out on sleep. But the appearance of these unsightly eye conditions is also tied to circulation. Poor lymphatic drainage while you sleep, or lack thereof, may also be a culprit.

While dark circles are sometimes tied to genes and age, sleepless nights may make them worse.

4. Dehydrated Skin

If you don’t get enough quality sleep, you can count on dry, flaky skin. One study suggests that dehydration happens when you’re sleep deprived because it disrupts the body’s internal hydration system.

Whether that’s the case or not is still being studied. But dry skin makes fine lines and wrinkles appear more pronounced. And that may be reason enough to get enough shut-eye.

5. Sleepy Facial Features

Has anyone ever told you that you “looked tired”? As experts found out, that may not just be a clever phrase. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may have hanging eyelids and droopy corners of the mouth.

What does that mean? People generally look sadder than they would have if they’d gotten a regular night’s sleep.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

6. Permanent Discoloration

Dark spots aren’t just for under the eyes. They can crop up on different parts of the face with aging. They can also be a result of toxins like radicals from the sun.

Generally, your body works to repair your skin while you sleep. That includes any potential damage done by toxins and free radicals. But if you aren't sleeping, your body isn’t repairing the skin the way it’s supposed to.

7. Worsen Inflammatory Conditions

Higher cortisol levels in the body may also trigger or worsen inflammatory conditions. Increased oxidative stress also plays a part in worsening these conditions.

8. More Breakouts

Lastly, you may have more acne breakouts if you don’t get enough sleep. Cortisol naturally decreases when you sleep. But the stress hormone stays high when you disrupt your sleep patterns.

That can mean more potential for acne breakouts while your skin is vulnerable. And if you’re missing sleep, the skin can’t repair and renew itself.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Get Your Beauty Sleep

Everyone goes through periods of sleepless nights. This may be more common when a person is under a lot of stress. Unfortunately, that’s precisely why you should try to get some sleep.

Help your body repair itself and lower that stress hormone. If you find that sleep eludes you regularly, you may need to speak with a medical professional.

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