Do you often wake up feeling exhausted? Do you struggle to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep at night? You will notice the effects of sleep deprivation on your work, mood and family life, but also on your skin. Due to the lack of sleep, your skin might develop all sorts of ailments and will make you look even more tired than you already are. And let’s not ever talk about premature signs of aging and those dark circles around the eyes. So how can sleep deprivation affect your skin and how can you fix this nightly problem?
It causes dark circles under the eyes
The first sign of a sleepless night can be noticed in the bloodshot eyes and those dark circles and bags under the eyes. The lack of sleep and rest causes your blood vessels to dilate, resulting in those recognizable dark circles around the eyes. Some cases of dark circles are caused by iron deficiency and not enough oxygen flowing in the tissue and blood, which is something that can often be caused by sleep deprivation. During sleep, we experience increased blood flow all over the body, supplying the skin with fresh oxygen and making it look fresh and plump.
To reduce pigmentation around the eyes, you can check your iron levels and start taking some iron and vitamin C-rich foods and supplements. You can also conceal these circles with over-the-counter creams or by asking your dermatologist for tips, but the first thing to do is fix your sleep schedule and get your doctor-prescribed 8 hours of sleep.
Sleep deprivation makes your skin look dull
Not getting enough sleep can boost your cortisol levels and trigger all sorts of inflammations in the body. These inflammations then destroy proteins that keep the skin looking healthy, youthful and glowing. Unfortunately, inflammatory processes also make you more prone to breakouts and more sensitive to rashes, eczema and other allergic reactions. What you can do to prevent inflammations and minimize protein breaks is fix your sleep routine. If you struggle with falling asleep and waking up during the night, try to control your room temperature and invest in a special cover. Check out weighted blankets online and read about their beneficial effect on sleep quality and length. These blankets minimize stress, boost relaxation and help many people get the best sleep of their lives, allowing you to wake up rested and fresh.
You will wake up swollen
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body starts stressing out and producing a lot more stress hormones like cortisol. These chemicals cause your blood vessels to spread out so they can accommodate more blood in the body. When you’re sleep deprived, your body tries to keep you awake by activating your fight-or-flight mechanism that keeps us awake. But this can also result in that undesirable puffy look, as well as elevated oil production and acne.
Additionally, while we sleep, our bodies produce collagen. So if you deprive your body of enough sleep over a longer period of time, your collagen reserves will begin to shrink and you will develop dark circles, fine lines and skin dullness. And that’s not all—while you sleep, your body produces important growth hormones which are responsible for cellular repair and better skin.
Lack of sleep dries out your skin
When we sleep, we naturally tend to transpire a bit more to counteract the lack of hydration. This extra perspiration helps the skin remain nice and moist all through the night. This natural moisturizer helps smooth out wrinkles and gives you a beautiful and glowing complexion. Also, people who sleep less than 7 hours a night often have lower pH levels, resulting in skin dryness.
Lack of sleep simply makes you look older
This is many of our biggest fear—looking older than we are. And according to research, those who regularly get less than 7 hours of sleep exhibit a higher intrinsic aging score than their counterparts who sleep the recommended 7 to 9 hours a night. It’s important to prioritize your rest and you’ll notice not just many skin improvements but also overall improvements for your health, mood and mental stability.
If you create a good bedtime routine, prioritize your rest and minimize distractions, you can get high-quality sleep every night and welcome every morning with a smile on your face, looking fresh and ready to tackle the day.
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in health and beauty related topics and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys long walks in the woods, hard exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.