Q: As I am getting older, I am noticing that I do not need as much sleep. Can you let me know how less sleep will affect my skin rejuvenation?

A: Sleep is essential to all of us and helps our bodies recharge, allows for new cells to regenerate ,immune systems function better and allows our skin to repair any damage that has been done throughout the day. It has been shown that less than 35% of us have less than seven hours sleep per night and sleep is essential for our mental and physical wellbeing.

Here are some truths about how sleep deprivation can affect our skin and the ageing process.

1.Your skin gets stressed out, too. And that means more breakouts ahead.
Cortisol is a hormone that we produce when we are stressed and it is no surprise that this hormone can affect your skin health as well as physical health. Cortisol levels naturally decrease when we are asleep and by these levels reducing, it allows your skin to regenerate and repair itself .

2. A good night’s sleep can keep you looking younger.
High levels of cortisol ( which forms when you are stressed out) contributes to the breakdown of collagen ( this protein is key to keep our skin looking young and fresh) and elastin. By these structures starting to breakdown, this can lead to premature ageing.
Whilst we are sleeping, the body is also creating growth hormone and this is essential to stimulate cell production which means it keeps our skin thick so lack of sleep means that you do not produce as much of this hormone. Lack of time to produce new cells accelerates the ageing process, plus collagen can prematurely stiffen which leads to increased lines and wrinkles.

3. Immune systems weaken through lack of sleep
Whilst we are asleep, our skin cell produce protective antioxidants for the following day. This is important as these can reduce free radical damage to the skin from UVA rays. We can increase antioxidants in our diet from fruit and vegetables.

4. Dehydrated skin from sleep deprivation
Not getting enough sleep can increase the inflammation in your body and increased skin barrier dysfunction which can lead to dry flaky skin which can also look quite red and inflamed.

5. Without a good nights rest, you and your skin are not going to look the best.

Skin will be inflamed, dull, and dry—that’s what you can expect after a night of little rest. A recent study showed redder, more swollen eyes, dark circles, and paler skin after a night of no sleep. The same study also found that sleep-deprived people were perceived to look sadder than they did after a good night’s sleep.
To reduce your risk of getting wrinkles, consider a satin pillowcase so your face will slide against the pillowcase instead of crinkling up on cotton. And no matter how tired you are, don’t forget to wash your face. It is essential to remove pollutants and grime off your skin by the end of the day.

6. Lack of sleep can exhibit more signs of skin aging including fine lines, uneven pigmentation and reduced skin elasticity. The researchers also found that those who enjoyed quality sleep were more quick to recover from stressors to the skin such as sun and environmental toxins.

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