We all know that sleep benefits our skin. Beauty sleep is not the same as a nap you take during the day but rather is part of your nightly routine. The first few hours of the nighttime sleep cycle is the time when you sleep the deepest. This period of deep sleep contributes to what we call beauty sleep because the body secretes growth hormone which provides beauty benefits to the skin.
Benefits of Beauty Sleep
- Beauty sleep makes the skin glowing. During sleep, body temperature cools down about half a degree, causing the circulatory system to increase blood flow to the skin. On the other hands, lack of sleep can make your skin look tired and dull. Dark circles under eyes and puffy eyes are also commonly caused by lack of sleep.
- The level of human growth hormone (HGH) increases. The increase in HGH level occurs during the first hours of nighttime sleep cycle and after exercise. The growth hormone levels are associated with aging skin. When the level of HGH falls below the normal range, the ability of body to produce collagen, revitalize hair, nails, and skin, repair cells, and heal damaged tissues decreases.
- The skin is renewed and rejuvenated effectively. The skin produces new cells twice as fast at night as during the day and repairs damages caused by pollution, ultraviolet rays, stress, etc.
- The level of a stress hormone called cortisol declines. Increased cortisol reduces skin regeneration.
- Skin care products work effectively. The skin metabolism increases during beauty sleep so all skin care products you have applied before going to bed absorb much better.
- Sleep is a natural moisturizer. During sleep, the body perspires more. Perspiration keeps the skin hydrated and smoothes out wrinkles.
Beauty Sleep Tips
- Apply antioxidant skin care products, retinoid, or retinol before bed. These products are susceptible to sunlight and active at night. Antioxidants help prevent more damages caused by free radicals while your body revitalize the skin during beauty sleep.
- Develop a regular sleeping pattern. You will get the full benefits of beauty sleep when your body gets on a regular sleeping pattern.
- Avoid a big meal and sugary snack before going to bed. Since the digestive system slows down when you sleep, you may be uncomfortable and unable to sleep.
- Drink milk or eat bananas, oats, or honey before bed. These foods and drink help you fall asleep easily because they contain tryptophan, which is a sleep-promoting substance
- Sleep in complete darkness or as little light as possible. Even little light can disrupt the production of a hormone called melatonin which helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Normally, melatonin levels begin to rise in the evening and then drop in the early morning hours. If you see light at night, you may not be able to get into deep sleep.
- Relax. Listening to calming music or reading a book will soothe you into sleeping. On the other hand, watching TV right before bed can stimulate the production of melatonin, causing you to stay awake.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime. Caffeine can keep you awake while alcohol will keep you from falling into the deep sleep. Alcohol can also cause you to wake up after a few hours of sleep.
- Sleeping on your back. The American Academy of Dermatologists suggests that “resting your face on the pillow in the same way every night for years leads to wrinkles.”
- Sleep with your heads elevated. Doing so prevents fluids from going to your head. When the fluids in your body go to the head and don’t circulate properly, they can cause puffy eyes.