Monday 28 April 2014

Understanding...Beauty Sleep

The term beauty sleep may sound like it jumped straight out of a Disney movie, however you might be surprised to hear that it actually holds a lot of truth. A good night's sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy, beautiful appearance.

So how can sleeping affect our appearance? Well, without scaring you too much, lack of sleep can cause the following:

- Dark circles
- Wrinkles
- Inflammation
- Dry skin
- Acne
- Bloodshot eyes
- Sagging skin
- Unhealthy skin

To get scientific, our growth-hormone levels are at their peak during the delta sleep cycle, helping to repair damaged cells and tissues - including skin. Some of the damage that leads to premature ageing is repaired during this stage of sleep. So, when you lose sleep, your body misses out on this period of repair, resulting in untreated skin damage. In addition, you miss out on the antioxidant repair of the skin that occurs during this sleep cycle.

Also, when you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more cortisol (stress hormone). Too much cortisol can break down skin collagen (the protein that keeps skin elastic, firm and smooth).

If that wasn't bad enough, lack of sleep can also cause weight gain. Sleep deprivation stimulates appetite because it decreases the level of leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full) while increasing the level of ghrelin (the hormone that makes you feel hungry). Another reason sleep deprivation increases weight gain is simply due to the fact that it makes you tired and less active, so you burn fewer calories.

Aside from effecting your looks, lack of sleep can increase your risk of developing diabetes, effect your immunity and fertility, cause depression and anxiety, and kill your sex drive. So getting your beauty sleep really is necessary for all-round good health and beauty.

Experts advise getting between 7.5 - 9 hours of sleep per night, however the exact amount of sleep needed per night is dependant on the individual.

Now, if you struggle getting a good night's sleep, here are a few things that might help:
  1. Try and keep to the same sleeping schedule every night
  2. Avoid eating big meals late at night
  3. Avoid drinking alcohol late at night
  4. Get regular exercise
  5. Try and wind down before bed - take a warm bath, read a good book etc.

If you find that a good night's sleep is not providing enough beauty benefits, you may want to give your beauty sleep a boost. There are some great skincare products designed to work wonders whilst you snooze...

  1. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask (£22.00 Debenhams / $24.00 Macy's)
  2. Antipodes Joyous Protein-Rich Night-Replenishing Serum (£36.99 / $49.00
  3. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye 15ml (£24.50 Selfridges / $36.00 Kiehl's)
  4. Mario Badescu Protein Night Cream 30ml (£18.95 / $20.00 Nordstrom)
Beauty Sleep Boosters
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