The Science Behind Beauty Sleep
Sleep…we all need it to recover, regenerate, and rebuild our bodies and minds…but what do people really mean when they say they need their beauty sleep? If we delve into the science behind it, we find that sleep really does have an effect on how we look. Even though our bathroom counters might be covered in products that are touted to remove under eye circles, decrease wrinkles, and help us look younger, the biggest solution of all is what we’re (hopefully) waking up from…and that is a full night of rest.
Just how much can sleep affect how we look to others though? One study in particular asked a group of people to have two different pictures taken of themselves: one after getting a full night of quality sleep, and then another after a night of sleep deprivation. Once each of these photos were shown to random people who were unaware of the study being done, they had to rank the pictures based on how physically attractive and healthy each person looked. At the end of the observations, the photos of the participants that had quality sleep were ranked as being more attractive. This goes to show just how much sleep can physically make you look better!
So how does this whole beauty sleep process actually work? In essence, it starts before our heads even hit the pillow. The body knows that as it gets darker outside, it’s time to wind down and get some sleep – and then begins to decrease in temperature, enabling more blood flow and toxin removal.
After you’ve crawled into bed, there are several different stages of sleep that the body goes into; however, deep sleep is the most important stage of sleep for physical repair and regeneration. Growth hormones are released into the body during this stage, and these hormones are responsible for many things – including how well our bodies rebuild, repair, and rejuvenate the skin and corresponding cells. It would make sense then, if there is a sleep deficit, that these hormones wouldn’t be produced as much…and therefore, leading to us looking tired and older.
The body also produces melatonin as we sleep, and recent research has noted that the release of this body clock regulator also has benefits towards beauty; melatonin can help to reduce and eliminate damage caused to the skin by the sun, and can help to repair cells. Even more of a reason to get good rest!
Lastly, REM sleep. This sleep stage let’s our bodies actually relax, and cortisol (stress) levels are lowered. We even sweat a bit during this stage, and it’s the body’s way of keeping our skin hydrated and moisturized while we’re sleeping.
So how can you achieve the best beauty sleep that you can? Ideally, you want to aim for 7-9 hours each night, and maintain a consistent nightly routine. With an estimated $130 billion dollars in beauty product sales on the market for 2019, why not try another way to treat your skin in a natural way – and without dropping big bucks? Get the best shut eye that you can, and you’ll begin to notice an improvement in both your sleep quality, and your overall skincare!