Beauty Sleep: The Importance of Sleep for your Skin

May 4, 2015

At Natura Veda, we think the best gifts for your skin come from nature. Here’s a pretty cool gift direct from Mother Nature: sleep does amazing things for your skin. Yup, beauty sleep is a real thing and it’s important for the health and vibrancy of your skin.

Sleep is a time of repair and rebalance for the entire body. Just as you wake up refreshed and bright-eyed after a good night’s sleep, your skin will look and feel the same. When we don’t get enough sleep, our skin suffers greatly. The process of cellular regeneration – when old skin cells are replaced with newer, fresher cells – occurs while we are sleeping. Without this vital period of re-growth, restoration cannot happen and skin is left dull and tired-looking. Furthermore, it can cause skin sensitivities and irritation as well as extreme reactions to sun and prolonged recovery from sunburn.

Lack of sleep also dehydrates skin as skin cells are not able to hold onto moisture. The result is sagging, fine lines, wrinkles and discoloration. To make matters worse, without sleep, our blood vessels dilate or expand. When blood pools towards the surface of skin, it causes redness and dark spots. Sleeplessness is especially apparent in the pockets underneath the eyes where dark circles and under-eye bags tend to appear. Plus, when we are sleepy, we tend to rub our eyes and exacerbate this zombie-like look.

Additionally, hormones and the entire metabolic process rejuvenates during sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause hormone imbalances that we all know can wreak havoc on our skin including breakouts and extreme dryness. Our bodies tend to release stress hormones during periods of sleeplessness. Stress hormones such as cortisol lead to inflammation and accelerate the aging process. A major downfall of skin aging is that the production of collagen and elastin slows, which is what creates youthful skin elasticity and suppleness. Without it, wrinkles, sagging and uneven skin tone begin to appear.

Here’s another fabulous reason sleep helps your skin: your nighttime skincare products will work better if your body is at rest. Overnight skin care products, like our nighttime repair moisturizing cream and eye serum, are most effective when your body and these products work together to repair and re-nourish skin. This teamwork can only be achieved if your body is doing its part by sleeping.

Making quality sleep a priority in your life is important for your health on many levels, especially your skin. Experts recommend between seven and nine hours of sleep, depending on gender, age and lifestyle. This window provides the optimal benefits of sleep for skin – cell regeneration, hormone balance and hydration recovery. Over-achievers beware: sleeping too much can begin the process of cellular break-down, which defeats the entire purpose of beauty sleep.

Sleep doesn’t come easy for everyone. If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from poor sleep, research and employ better sleep techniques. This may include gradually pushing up your bedtime, spending some wind-down time as you prepare for sleep, creating a more sleep-friendly bedroom and optimizing your sleep position.

Skin needs time to repair, rebalance and restore and these crucial processes occur during sleep. Beauty sleep is the age-old, doesn’t cost a thing gift from Mother Nature. Sweet Dreams!

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