Tuesday May 24, 2022
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How Does Lack of Sleep Affect Skin Health?

 How Does Lack of Sleep Affect Skin Health?

You’ve probably spoken or heard the statement, “I need my beauty sleep” at least once. Well, the verdict is in: beauty sleep is real. So, make sure you’re getting enough beauty rest every day, around 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Not having enough sleep or having poor quality sleep can significantly affect your skin’s health. This article talks about the connection between sleep and healthy skin as well as the impact of poor sleep habits on the skin.

The link between sleep and healthy skin

Sleep is essential to the body’s rest and recovery, and the skin isn’t an exception. After all, the skin is the body’s largest organ. It is during our slumber that our body heals and eliminates toxins from our skin. Compromising your sleep quality means compromising your skin’s ability to restore itself. On the other hand, improving your sleeping habits can significantly improve your skin’s health.


During the first three hours of sleep, our body releases the human growth hormone, responsible for keeping our skin youthful and radiant as we age. Without this hormone, the skin will not have the ability to restore itself. The next two hours of sleep is when melatonin is released. Known for regulating our waking and sleeping patterns, melatonin also acts as an antioxidant that protects the skin from harmful free radicals. In the final three hours of sleep, cortisol (i.e., stress hormone) levels drop, and the muscles relax and stop moving. The final stage of sleep is also the period when our skin does most of its recovery.


Clearly, if you only get three hours of shuteye, your skin cannot achieve the restoration and healing it needs and is able to do with around eight hours of rest. As a result, you are likely to experience most if not all of the skin issues discussed below.

Dark circles

Dark circles are a telltale sign of no sleep. Having dark circles around your eyes after a night without sleep is caused by an increased amount of cortisol. That’s because when the body is tired, it produces higher levels of cortisol. The dilation of blood vessels and the lack of iron also contribute to these dark circles. Iron deficiency is usually a sign of a lack of oxygen, which affects sleep deprivation. Getting enough sleep ensures that blood flows well throughout the body and rejuvenates skin cells.

Puffiness and redness

Without enough sleep, our body won’t have enough time and resources to renew itself. So, toxins and fluids are not drained properly, resulting in puffiness, especially around the eyes. In a study aiming to paint the “face” of sleep deprivation, it was found that red, puffy eyes with dark circles are facial cues that point to fatigue.

Dry and dull skin

Besides dark circles, high cortisol levels also trigger inflammation. Inflammation breaks down the skin’s proteins, which keep the skin radiant and smooth. Additionally, it makes your skin prone to allergic reactions and acne. Tiredness also affects your blood flow, as we discussed earlier. Another effect of the lack of oxygen is having ashy, pigmented, or blotchy skin. In short, this is how sleep deprivation causes dull skin.


Dry skin, on the other hand, is caused by lower pH and perspiration levels. We perspire more when we sleep because that’s the way the body rebalances hydration levels. Think of it as a natural moisturizer that helps smooth out wrinkles. Having lower pH levels, another skin-drying factor is also caused by lack of sleep.

More visible signs of aging

Not getting enough sleep causes hormonal imbalance and chronic stress that damages the skin. Stress harms the integrity of collagen in your skin. Collagen is vital to keeping the elasticity and structure of the skin. When it is broken down, signs of aging become more noticeable. In other words, with less collagen, the skin becomes thinner, less firm, and less smooth. Wrinkles and lines also become more prominent. Besides food, skincare products, and hydration, getting enough rest can also help restore collagen to reverse signs of aging

Final words: Better skin health and sleep

Getting enough sleep does not only do wonders for your skin, it also boosts your immune system and clears your mind so you can get ready to face a new day. The lack of sleep leads to dark circles, puffy and red eyes, dry and dull skin, as well as thinner and wrinkled skin. So, getting better sleep is key to getting better skin. To achieve this, establish a bedtime routine that allows you to get the recommended hours of sleep per night, 8 hours on average. On top of this, you can look for products with skincare ingredients that are best for improving your skin. Don’t forget to watch your diet and physical activity. The bottom line is that keeping your body healthy is keeping your skin healthy, too.


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