The Ultimate Guide to Restful Sleep and How Better Sleep Equals Healthier, More Youthful Skin
There’s more truth to the idiom “beauty sleep” than you might think. According to New York-based dermatologist Patricia Wexler, getting only 5 hours of sleep per night can lead to nearly twice as many fine lines as sleeping 7 hours would.
This is only one of the several skin-related consequences that occurs when we don’t get optimal sleep, but there are several others you may be experiencing if you’re not getting enough sleep every night.
In today’s blog, we’ll be covering how sleep affects your skin, as well as how you can achieve more restful sleep and experience skin that’s naturally healthier and more youthful.
Before diving into the science of how sleep affects your skin’s health, you may be wondering, “How do I know if my sleep is affecting my skin or not?”
While there are many different factors that are likely affecting the health of your skin aside from sleep, here are a few symptoms to look out for in your skin that may be signs that you're not getting enough restful sleep every night:
- Hanging eyelids
- Swollen eyes
- Darker under eye circles
- Paler skin
- Duller skin
- An increase in wrinkles and fine lines
- Increased droopiness in the corners of the mouth
If you found yourself raising a hand to any of these skin issues, then you may want to consider if you are getting enough sleep every night, as the opposite can cause or prolong these issues. While it may be hard to believe that something as seemingly unrelated to your skin as sleep can have such a big impact on your skin’s health, you'll start to see how the two are connected once you understand a little about the science behind sleep and how it relates to your skin.
The Science Behind Sleep and Skin Health
During sleep, a hormone called HGH, or human growth hormone, kicks in and helps accelerate your skin’s repair and regeneration. Additionally, while sleeping, your skin’s blood flow increases and rebuilds collagen and repairs damage from UV exposure, which helps to reduce wrinkles and age spots.
If you’re missing out on getting the proper amount of sleep, then naturally your body will produce less HGH, which over time can lead to skin that has more fine lines and wrinkles, appears more dull, and has more sagginess and age spots.
The key is to get between 7-9 hours of solid sleep every night, so that your skin and body’s hormones have enough time to do the necessary repair work.
The other all-important hormone that plays a huge role in optimal sleep is melatonin.
Melatonin is also known as the “sleepy hormone”, so named because it is the hormone responsible for enhancing our feeling of tiredness in the evening. Just like HGH, while we sleep it also helps to increase collagen production and prevent signs of aging. Melatonin also works during the daytime and counteracts damage to the skin from aggressors like UV and and pollution.
Melatonin and HGH are key players in the game of optimal sleep, which is why it's so important to do everything you can to aid in their production, if more restful sleep for better skin is your goal.
When you get deep, restful sleep every night, you can expect to receive these skin benefits:
- Improved skin complexion and radiance
- Increased blood flow and oxygenation during sleep
- Reduction in inflammation and puffiness
- Reduced signs of aging
- Decreased formation of wrinkles and fine lines
- Enhanced skin elasticity and firmness
Now that you understand the science and benefits of restful sleep, here’s a guide to how you can achieve a better sleep quality that will give your skin a healthier, more youthful appearance.
Creating the Ultimate Sleep Routine for Healthy Skin
Establish A Consistent Sleep Schedule
If up until now you’ve been the type of person that “sleeps whenever”, now’s the time to start shifting to a more regular sleep schedule so that you can optimize the amount of time your skin and body have to repair themselves. Do your best to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day so that your body’s circadian rhythm can normalize.
Setting a specific hour to hit the sack will be especially beneficial if you already know what time you need to wake up the next day, as in this way you can set up your sleep schedule to ensure that you get the proper 7-9 hours of sleep required for restful sleep and healthy skin.
Maintain A Sleep-Friendly Environment
By this we mean to turn your bedroom into a place that allows you to be in the most sleep-ready state possible. Here are some tips we recommend so that your bedroom can become your sleep sanctuary:
- Get blackout curtains to completely block out all external lights. Light prevents the production of melatonin, while darkness promotes its production. If your body is exposed to lights, even dim ones, in the evening, you may have a harder time falling and staying asleep than if you were in a completely dark environment
- Wear earplugs. Studies have shown that sleeping with earplugs significantly lowers sleep disturbance and thus contributes to a more restful sleep. You may find these devices especially helpful if you are a light sleeper and/or live in a particularly noisy environment.
- Wear an eye mask. Similar to the aforementioned blackout curtains, if your bedroom tends to receive extra light coming in from your windows or outside your door, simply putting on an eye mask can help provide a sufficient amount of darkness that will help promote the production of melatonin
- Limit exposure to electronic devices. Device screens produce what is called “blue light”, which has been shown to reduce the production of melatonin, as well as how deeply you sleep after going to bed. To counteract this, try to stop using electronic devices within 30 minutes to an hour before going to bed and to choose an activity like reading a book or meditation instead
- Wear blue light blocking glasses. These special glasses block the light emitted by your electronic devices from reaching your eyes, which will in turn help to prevent melatonin production from being blocked
To put yourself in a more relaxed state before you even get to your bedroom, we recommend beginning your evening cool-down with a calming skincare routine.
The Yu-Be Bedtime Skincare Routine:
Step 1: Cleanse away the grime and stress of the day
Begin your evening routine by first choosing the right cleanser for your skin type. If you have sensitive, dry, and/or acne-prone skin, selecting a gel rather than foam cleanser will be more gentle and hydrating for your skin.
If you are cleansing your face of makeup, then performing a double cleanse will ensure that you’ve removed every bit of makeup and grime from your skin, not to mention give your skin double the amount of soothing massaging that it may need after a long day!
If you’d like to accelerate the healing of skin blemishes that lack of sleep has caused over the years, then applying your cleanser to a konjac sponge will enhance the cleansing experience by also giving your skin a gentle exfoliation, lifting away old skin cells and allowing new, youthful skin to come to the surface.
Step 2: Moisturize and massage to lock in the hydration
In order to protect the fresh layer of skin you’ve just cleansed and exfoliated, you’ll want to apply a rich moisturizer to create a protective barrier that will keep your skin soft and hydrated. Try our best selling moisturizer if you also deal with skin that tends to become irritated and/or itchy.
Gently massaging the moisturizer into your skin will not only rehydrate dried out skin, but it will also put you in a calm, relaxed state that will ease you into restful sleep later on. For an extra-soothing moisturizing experience, we recommend the Yuzu Pure Hydration Cream, as the citrus yuzu flower scent helps to calm the senses.
Step 3: Slip on moisturizing socks to get rid of dry and flaky heels and elbows while you sleep.
If you deal with severe dryness on your heels and/or elbows, then you’ll be amazed at how transformative moisturizing socks can be for you!
Just before bedtime or right after your evening skincare routine, apply a generous amount of moisturizing skin cream to your heels and/or elbows and slip on a pair of moisturizing socks. Not only will your feet be warmed and supported while you sleep, but you’ll wake up to soft, supple, and healthy skin the next morning!
Aside from the obvious benefits of having increased energy and productivity when you get more restful sleep, you’ll also experience improvements in the health of your skin in various ways, ranging from firmer, smoother skin to a more even and glowing complexion. There are many steps you can take to improve your sleep, including investing in blackout curtains and reducing the amount of time you spend on your electronic devices just before bedtime. As with most things, the path to getting more restful sleep is an ongoing process that will take time to optimize, but if you truly desire to have skin that’s healthier and more youthful, then improving the quality of your sleep is one of the best ways to naturally achieve your goals.