As we age, a common item on people’s wish list is looking youthful which often starts with your face and skin. You have heard the expression to “sleep like a baby”. We wondered since babies sleep more than they are awake, could that be the key to their baby smooth skin? When did we begin to believe that only children need great sleep? Perhaps that “slept like a baby” style sleep can lead to healthy youthful looking skin.
Why Less Sleep = Lackluster Skin
When you are sleep-deprived, your body makes more of the stress hormone cortisol. Elevated levels of cortisol can lead to increased stress and inflammation in the body, which inevitably leads to poor sleep quality and contributes to your skin’s appearance, too. Think about super-stressed people you know and what they look like. Do they have gorgeous, radiant skin?
The relationship between healthy, youthful looking skin and a lack of quality sleep can be a vicious cycle. Not only does poor sleep lead to increases in stress hormones in the body, poor sleep also increases the severity of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or psoriasis. This also can be especially true with conditions like atopic dermatitis or eczema, which can lead to scratching through the night as outlined during recent research completed and published in the journal Clinics in Dermatology.
The pattern is present. You can see how poor sleep impacts your skin—after all, that’s why it is called “beauty sleep”. Here are a few other ways a lack of sleep affects your appearance:
- Lack of quality sleep detracts from your skin’s natural beauty.When your body’s cells are aggravated, it leads to an increase in the breakdown of collagen and hyaluronic acid production. These are the molecules that give your skin its “natural glow”, bounce, and translucency so the result literally shows on your face as well as the rest of the skin on your body.
- Lack of quality sleep makes immune-related skin problems worse.Increased inflammation in the body offsets your body’s ability to regulate its immune system. The immune system being out of balance leads not only to getting sick more often, but also to flares of immune-related skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema. Psoriasis is not just a skin disease; it’s also an indicator of body inflammation.
- Lack of quality sleep accelerates the aging process.When we are in a deep sleep, there is a rise in growth hormones which allows for our damaged cells to be repaired. Without those deeper phases of sleep, this healing won’t occur. Deep, restorative and quality sleep becomes is key to the anti-aging process; if our bodies are not given the opportunity to repair overnight during our sleep cycle, we’ll find more noticeable signs of aging.
Now that we’ve gotten clear about how lack of healthy sleep effects your body and your skin, let’s talk about some solutions. Here are a few healthy sleep solutions that will support your body and your skin.
- Stay Hydrated. Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day but, not too close to bedtime. Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Your body depends on water to survive. Women need about 11.5 cups or 2.7 liters of water per day. Men need to drink up because they will need 15.5 cups or 3.7 liters to be properly hydrated for a great night’s sleep.
- Keep your bedroom EMF-free. An easy way to improve the quality of your sleep is to keep electronics out of the bedroom. Electronic devices such as your cell phone, laptop or smart TV send energy (EMF) out into your bedroom and directly towards you (also why a metal-free mattress is better). Sleep expert Claus Pummer, suggests unplugging your modem, turning your phones or smart devices to airplane mode (or better yet turn them off), and sleeping “grounded” with a grounding mat or grounding pad. Here are just three examples documented and backed up by scientific research of the benefits of sleeping grounded:
- As soon as we ground our bodies in sleep, the quality of sleep improves and the level of rejuvenation is measurable.
- Our autonomic nervous system reacts within four seconds to our body being grounded which results in a measurable state of relaxation for deeper sleep.
- Body grounding increases the oxygenation of red blood cells reducing inflammation and pain.
- Breathe mindfully. If you find yourself feeling stress in your body or mind before bed just shifting your breathing patterns can make a huge impact. There are so many components we manage in life; it can become easy to get carried away by your mind. Deepak Chopra, for example, speaks about how a mindful breathing practice can help to re-program your circadian rhythm. A breathing practice even as simple as matching your breaths to a set of ascending or descending numbers will help to reprogram the internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness
- Choose your bed wisely. When looking into replacing your mattress there are many options available. However, some mattresses are better than others in supporting you with truly healthy sleep. With SAMINA, each layer of the eco-friendly and metal-free mattress, including the natural mattress, was specifically designed to support something the human body needs while sleeping—this is the SAMINA Healthy Sleep Concept. The system works with your body and each layer works synergistically to ensure you fall asleep easily and stay asleep. Even if you are not ready to replace your mattress, you can learn how and why what you sleep on matters at saminasleep.com.
So, tap into those “sleep like a baby” moments to find your fountain of youth. Failure to sleep well will, after all, be evident in your skin.