Considering sleep has been proven to lower stress levels, reduce inflammation, and help us maintain a healthy mind and body, you’d think we’d all be tucked up and ready to REM by 9pm.
Nobody needs to tell us twice to have a lie in, but the truth of the matter is that many of us aren’t getting the recommended eight hours of sleep every night.
But if the thought of your own wellbeing doesn’t tempt you to turn off Netflix a little earlier, perhaps learning about how sleep can give you better glow, will.
In honour of World Sleep Day, Doctor Sam Khani of London Premier Laser Clinics, explains what happens to the skin during a solid eight-hour sleep sesh…
Your skin cells regenerate
After a long day of fighting off UV rays, pollution, sweat and grime, your skin is desperate for some downtime.
“While we’re sleeping, our skin switches into recovery mode and it’s an important time of repair and regeneration”, says Sam. “In fact, the regeneration process at night can be up to three times faster than during the day.”
Your skin is more receptive to products
There’s a reason most anti-ageing products are recommended to be applied at night (aside from avoiding sun exposure).
“The nightly renewal process is when you will get the most benefits from your anti-ageing ingredients, and using the right products is imperative for ensuring the renewal process is aided”, says Sam.
“Before bedtime, you should be applying the ‘heavy-duty’ ingredients such as retinols and glycolic acid, as these ingredients will absorb into the skin and do all the work for you overnight.”
Your body will produce more collagen
Collagen is key for keeping the skin plump and smooth. And while some creams claim to boost its production, you can’t bottle what sleep does for you.
“Once you fall asleep, your body starts producing growth hormones. These growth hormones ensure that your skin is producing enough collagen, which helps your skin to remain tight
and bouncy and also allows your skin to repair acne and scarring across your body.”
“Not only does collagen benefit your skin, but it also helps to improve and strengthen the hair and nails.”
Your skin is able to de-stress
Sleep isn’t just a stress-reliever for your mind and body, but your skin too.
“A lack of sleep increases your cortisol levels (the stress hormone), putting your skin in a pro-inflammatory state. This can mean sullen looking skin and puffiness around the eyes.”
“By ensuring you get eight hours of sleep per night, you’ll limit your cortisol levels and prevent these symptoms from appearing.”
You’re giving your skin an environmental break
Sun exposure, pollution and blue light are just some of the everyday elements our skin is exposed to. But at night, all of these are eliminated.
“In the comfort of your bedroom there is no UV damage, no smoking, no smog or temperature changes, and you aren’t wearing makeup or sweating”, says Sam. “In this clean environment, your skin is able to breathe and have some downtime against daily environmental factors.”
So put down the phone (and fags) and give your skin a good eight-hour break.