Beauty Sleep - Fact or Fiction
Wednesday 6 September 2017

Fact. Beauty sleep is not a myth.

We know a good night’s sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. A lack of sleep can increase your risk of developing serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease as well as leading to problems in learning and memory.

In recent years, it has also been shown that inadequate sleep is correlated with reduced skin health and accelerates skin aging.

Results of a first-of-its-kind clinical trial commissioned by Estée Lauder and conducted by physician-scientists at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center were published in 2013. It confirmed that sleep quality impacts the skin’s function and aging.

Poor sleepers had increased signs of skin aging, and slower recovery from a variety of environmental stressors, such as disruption of the skin barrier and ultraviolet (UV) exposure. Poor sleepers also had worse assessment of their own skin and facial appearance¹.

How much sleep do you need for healthy skin?

Everyone’s sleep requirements are different. Some people need more sleep than others. A good night’s sleep consists of five or six sleep cycles that last around an hour and a half each. Each cycle includes the NREM stage 3, the deepest stage of sleep when healing and repair occurs.

As a general guide 18 to 65 year olds need seven to nine hours sleep².

What happens to the skin during sleep?

Sleep is a time for your body to heal, renew and eliminate toxins from your skin., As your body settles into NREM stage 3, growth hormones are released and they stimulate cell and tissue growth and repair, your muscles relax, and blood flow increases. Without enough of this deep sleep, the repair process of your skin will slow down and result in ageing.

A vicious circle for some skin sufferers

The lack of sleep can trigger or exacerbate skin problems.

With conditions like atopic dermatitis or eczema, you may scratch throughout the night, which can lead to a vicious cycle of poor sleep and poor skin that increasingly worsen together.

Poor sleep can lead to a rise in stress hormones in the body that increase the severity of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or psoriasis. It’s important to try to break this cycle by endeavouring to get better sleep together with skin treatments appropriate for the skin condition you are suffering from.

5 C’s of skin benefits from a good night’s sleep

Collagen - your body makes new collagen when you are asleep and this helps keep your skin looking fresh, firm and young. More collagen means your skin is plumper and less likely to wrinkle.

Cortisol - sleep reduces levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, and improves your skin’s integrity. An increase in cortisol can be linked to skin’s oil production and lead to acne flare ups.

Complexion - blood flow to your skin is boosted whilst you sleep, so you wake with a healthy glow and prevents a dull complexion.

Circles and puffiness – dark circles can appear if you haven’t had good sleep due to reduced blood flow.

Control of immune-related skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema. Good quality sleep can help keep these at bay.

Here to help improve your skin and sleep at Winfield Hospital

Unfortunately, many of us struggle to fall asleep or have poor quality sleep.  Here at Winfield Hospital our General Medicine consultant, Dr Andrew White, specialises in sleep disorders and may be able to help you sleep better.

We also have two highly qualified consultant dermatologists, Dr Thomas Millard and Dr William Porter who can offer you advice if you have a skin problem.

To book an appointment with a specialist at Winfield Hospital call us on 01452 331111.




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