What Is Beauty Sleep?

Reviewed on 5/24/2021

Sleep
Studies have shown that deep sleep has restorative benefits that can be good for both your overall health and your looks.

We all know the story. Sleeping Beauty slept for 100 years, and when she woke, she was still as youthful as she was when she had fallen asleep. The magic of sleep kept her aging woes at bay.

Today, scientists have discovered that there may be a grain of truth in that old fairy tale. 

Studies have shown that deep sleep has restorative benefits that can be good for both your overall health and your looks:

  • Brighter eyes: Sleepless nights can cause droopy, swollen eyes, which are a pain to hide. A healthy sleeping schedule can help you avoid dark circles and puffy eyes, making you look more alert and refreshed.
  • Youthful skin: When we sleep, our bodies release a growth hormone that boosts collagen production. Collagen keeps our skin supple and elastic, meaning fewer wrinkles and less sagging. Sleep also helps the body heal from minor skin trauma caused by the sun, and other wear and tear our bodies go through during the day. Lower cortisol production during sleep can help improve stress acne, as well as help slow down hair loss and other signs of aging

How does sleep benefit your body?

The mechanism of sleep is extraordinarily complex. Humans sleep in stages: 

Light sleep (long-wave sleep): Initial stage where thoughts become random and disjointed and you’re detached from your surroundings. 

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep: Stage where you are unconscious but your brain is very active.

Deep sleep (slow-wave sleep): Later stage where your heartbeat and breathing are at their slowest.

Studies suggest that an ideal ratio of long-wave sleep and REM sleep helps keep the biological clock (circadian rhythm) in good order. When your circadian rhythm is functioning optimally, your body releases more growth hormones and fewer stress hormones, which play a role in:

  • Unhealthy eating behaviors or binges
  • Fat storage in the body
  • Hair loss
  • Stress acne

So undisturbed nighttime sleep can have beauty benefits by lowering stress hormones and allowing your body to create new cells that help heal the damage done throughout the day. 

According to researchers at the American Psychological Association, poor quality sleep messes with blood insulin and blood cortisol levels and causes the body to produce chemicals that increase cell aging and inflammation

Adequate sleep is especially important in the healing process after major surgery, burns or a bout of general illness.

How can you improve your sleep?

In order to achieve the ideal sleep, you need to sleep for at least 8 hours. And deep sleep is especially important in managing the body’s biological cycle. So make sure to hit the bed early and stick to a consistent bedtime. Sleeping later at night or at different times, even if you stay asleep for a full 8 hours, can mess with your sleep rhythms.

Here are more tips for getting the most out of your beauty sleep:

  • Room temperature: Keep your thermostat at a comfortable temperature. Use room-darkening shades or curtains. Choose breathable, light-colored, clean bedsheets, a medium-firm mattress, and a good quality pillow. A comforter is also a good idea.
  • Room lighting: Try to switch off your devices at least an hour or two before bed. Keep the bulbs in your bedroom dim. Avoid using blue bulbs or blue lights. 
  • Sleep routine: Stick to a fixed sleep schedule. Take a warm bath, get a head massage and drink some warm milk before sleeping. Developing a routine before going to bed helps signal to your body that it’s ready for bed, helping you to fall asleep faster.
  • Eating habits: Have dinner at least 2-3 hours before bedtime and avoid heavy meals. Don’t drink anything caffeinated after 6 p.m. 

SLIDESHOW

Sleep Disorders: Foods That Help Sleep or Keep You Awake See Slideshow

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References
Harris K. What is Beauty Sleep and How Can I Get it? Sleep Advisor. https://www.sleepadvisor.org/beauty-sleep/

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