Sleep is essential for alertness and energy, and lack of it is even linked to chronic conditions like obesity. But new research shows that sleep is also important for another, more aesthetic, purpose: the beauty of your skin!
If you’ve ever looked in the mirror after a rough night’s sleep, you probably already know that too little sleep is not kind to physical appearance. But this new study adds scientific proof that your sleep quality impacts your skin function and aging.
In fact, compared to women who got quality shut-eye, poor-quality sleepers had increased signs of intrinsic skin aging, such as:
- Fine lines
- Uneven pigmentation
- Slackening of skin
- Reduced elasticity
Overall, the poor sleepers also had a significantly more aged appearance and had more trouble recovering from environmental skin stressors, such as exposure to sunlight or stresses to the skin barrier. Sleep-deprived women had more sluggish recovery from sunburned skin (redness remained for a longer period, which suggests inflammation was left unchecked) and also took longer to repair damage to the skin’s barrier (a measure of ability to prevent moisture loss, among other things).
Finally, women who slept better even rated themselves as more attractive than poor-quality sleepers (and, interestingly, past research has also shown that others rate sleep-deprived people as less attractive, too). Said Dr. Daniel Yarosh, Senior Vice President, Basic Science Research, R&D, at The Estée Lauder Companies, which commissioned the study:
“This research shows for the first time, that poor sleep quality can accelerate signs of skin aging and weaken the skin’s ability to repair itself at night.”
Do You Need More Beauty Sleep?
So it turns out that ‘beauty sleep’ isn’t only for fairytales … if you need more of it in your life, check out these 11 top sleep tips. For extra help, you may also benefit from natural melatonin or 5HTP to help maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle, or valerian for more restful sleep and relaxation.