The Truth About Beauty Sleep

The Sleep Doctor

What can looking at the skin tell you about your sleep? 

Quite a bit. In a 2017 Study on the negative effects of restricted sleep on facial appearance and social appeal, researchers found that acute sleep deprivation and looking tired are related to decreased attractiveness and health, as perceived by others. This suggests that one might also avoid contact with sleep-deprived or sleepy-looking individuals as a strategy to reduce health risk and poor interactions. 

Also, in a study conducted in 2013 on the Cues of Fatigue: Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Facial Appearance, evidence showed that when evaluating pictures of sleepy people, they were extremely easy to identify.  

What are the effects of sleep deprivation on the skin? 

Dull, dry skin is one of the most frustrating signs of visible aging for a lot of my patients. Deep sleep’s cellular repair and the sleep-related surge of HGH promote the body’s repair of damaged skin cells and the growth of new ones, creating more of the dewy, youthful look that everyone wants.  

And sleep’s hydration powers are critical to combat dry, dull skin. When we’re dehydrated, our skin looks tired and dull. A lack of sleep can contribute to dehydration by interrupting the release of the hormone vasopressin, which plays a key role in keeping the body hydrated. 

During sleep, the body sweats as a way to maintain its core temperature. Sweating brings moisture to the cells of the skin’s uppermost layers, filling them with water and leaving skin looking full and firm.  

Stress makes skin appear dull. The stress hormone cortisol can affect blood circulation to cells throughout the body, including to the skin. A routine of sleeping well helps keep stress in check. That can translate into more vitality and radiance in the appearance of your skin.  

Sleep deprivation also lowers circulation, making skin look pale, dull, and washed out. A healthy night’s sleep promotes healthy circulation and more vibrant-looking skin.  

“A healthy night’s sleep promotes healthy circulation and more vibrant-looking skin.”

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What are the beauty benefits of a good night’s sleep? 

Our skin is a network of collagen and elastin fibers, and as collagen declines and elastin fibers become more stretched out, wrinkles and fine lines appear. This is due to arterial aging—the age-related damage and decline in the functioning of the heart and blood vessels—speeds up the breakdown of elastin fibers. When you get the plentiful, high-quality sleep you need regularly, arterial aging slows down, reducing the presence of wrinkles.  

The cellular repair work that takes place during sleep increases skin cells’ protection against sun damage and other environmental damage, all significant causes of wrinkles. HGH boosts the production rate of new skin cells and stimulates collagen production, helping skin retain greater elasticity. And the hydrating effects of deep, restful sleep allow skin cells to retain more fluid, making skin more naturally moisturized and diminishing the appearance of wrinkles.  

How can people make the most of their beauty sleep? 

  • They need to get good consistent sleep, every night.  
  • They need to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including the weekends. 
  • They need to give themselves time to “relax” before bed, slowing down on nightly activities 
  • They should lower the lights and sound, and temperature to create the right environment.  

What remedies and techniques can spa professionals and estheticians use in their treatments to help clients sleep better? 

This will depend upon the problem they are facing. In most cases, any relaxing spa treatment before bed, massage, meditation, YOGA, etc. ( as long as it has been created for sleep purposes) is often helpful. I am often asked to consult with the biggest Spas in the world about creating specific sleep programs for them. Some of these you can see are at Six Senses Hotels, and I am currently working with Amangari.