A late night on Netflix with a tub of popcorn might seem like the perfect weekend getaway, isn’t it? Well, haven’t we all been there? Continuing to the next episode, attending that late night party or seamlessly browsing the internet has now to stop! It is time to click on the cancel button and tuck yourself into that cosy blanket to achieve that radiant, natural glow you have been yearning for. But how important is it for us to get adequate sleep and how does it really affect the health of our skin? If you are keen to know the difference beauty sleep is going to make in your skincare routine, stay tuned and read on!
How many hours of beauty sleep must you get?
Each morning we desire to wake up like Sleeping Beauties, but fail to follow her secret mantra to flawless skin. An average person sleeps for 1/3 of their lifetime, spending in approximately 26 years in bed! And while we may ignore its importance in our daily life, sleep is the closest thing to lead you to the fountain of youth. Beauty sleep is not a whimsical fantasy jumping out of a fairy tale, but a tried and tested scientific method to help your skin heal itself from the free radicals it is exposed to during the day.
Doctors recommend anywhere between 7 to 9 hours of sleep on a daily basis. But does that mean you can sleep during the day and keep awake at night? That is definitely not the case. Specific emphasis is placed on the hours between 10 pm and 2 am when the body is in deep repair mode to help you wake up with fresh and glowing skin.
What happens to your skin when you sleep? And what does lack of sleep do to your body?
Sleep is a cost effective and efficient skincare technique you could easily treat yourself with. During the day, our skin raises its defence mechanism to protect us against dirt, harmful UV rays and other environmental pollutants. Our body clock follows a Circadian Rhythm that works parallel to the 24 hour cycle of Earth’s rotation, switching to repair mode when the sun goes down. When that happens, our body responds in the following ways:
1. Protects the skin
It releases a chemical called Melatonin that sets our natural sleep cycle. This helps improve the quality of sleep which is just as important as the quantity you get and acts as a skin protectant against free radicals that scavenge the DNA repair system.
2. Acts as an antioxidant
Melatonin is also known for its antioxidant properties to repair the damages caused by harmful UV rays, improve skin tone and combat signs of ageing.
3. Reduces stress
There is a decrease in the level of stress hormones called Cortisol which helps to repair the damage caused during the day.
Blood flow increases; high levels collagen and elastin are produced and other repairs take place that prolong the ageing process.
5. Regenerates skin cells
We shed about 450 grams of dead skin cells every night that give way to newer cells to surface. This leaves your skin looking youthful and bright the next morning.
Well, those are the positives but what happens when you do not receive the right amount of sleep? How does this affect your body and skin on the whole?
1. Dark circles and puffy eyes
The most obvious answer is dark circles! While dark circles are not directly caused by the lack of sleep, it is a major contributing factor. Our blood vessels inflate, gushing blood to flow towards the area under the eyes. Since the skin under is so thin and delicate it allows the dark tissues and blood vessels beneath to show.
2. Dull and dry skin
The epidermis or the outermost layer of our skin acts as a barrier against environmental hazards and prevents moisture loss. When we are sleep deprived the barriers weaken rapidly losing that can lead to excessive dryness and make the skin look dull and worn out.
3. Premature ageing
Our skin can lose its elasticity making it saggy and wrinkled. Sleep and Collagen are correlated, when Collagen is broken down, the skin starts to show noticeable signs of aging by becoming thinner and less firm.
Lack of sleep increases stress related hormones such as Cortisol can raise the production of natural oils making our skin more prone to acne, breakouts and other inflammatory irritations.
Tips to help your skin get maximum benefit while sleeping
So, how do you make the most of your beauty sleep? While jumping into bed may seem like the most logical answer there are certain tips you must follow to ensure your skin feels well rested too:
1. Do not forget to remove your makeup
Going to bed with makeup is a major mistake we often make. Cleansing in the night can unclog our pores from the dirt and pollutants inside the skin that can cause DNA mutations, Collagen degradation and aging. The Ilana Organics Lights out Clean Rinse Makeup Cleansing Balm is a soap-free cleansing balm that is made with gentle sugar based cleansers that easily remove impurities and makeup, leaving the skin hydrated, clean and glowing.
2. Follow a night skincare routine
Our bodies switch to repair mode during the night that allows the products applied to penetrate deeper into the skin. An effective and consistent routine can reduce inflammation, treat acne, sunspots, target ageing and other concerns.
3. Use the correct ingredients
Simply slathering on products unsuitable for the night can create harsh reactions or simply be ineffective. Look for products containing the following ingredients:
4. Change your pillowcasesEnsure that your environment is sterile and regularly laundry your pillowcases, bedsheets and all other materials your skin comes directly in contact with. Silk and Satin are the best pillowcase materials giving your skin a smooth surface and protects it from the damage caused by friction.
Take out 10 minutes before bed to reflect on your day and self. This will help you relax and reduce stress by enhancing your inner peace. You will face those busy thoughts troubling you at the back of your mind and reduce tossing and turning uncomfortably in bed. Specially recommended for those facing insomnia.
- Howrah Lookmanji