Not getting enough zzz’s does much more harm than ruining physical and mental health. It often comes as a blow to the skin – think pesky dark circles, worsened skin conditions, a dehydrated complexion, and frequent breakouts. Below, we uncover key insights about sleep deprivation, commonly experienced sleeping disorders, and ways to fight its effects on the skin.
How Sleep Deprivation Affects Skin
Sleep is food for your body and skin. When you’re sleeping, your skin performs crucial functions of repair and renewal. There’s a reason why you look fresh on days that you’ve gotten enough sleep. It’s because cell rejuvenation takes place when your body is resting.
Additionally, with too little sleep, the body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol. This, in turn, causes inflammation of the skin, and flare-ups and itching in more severe cases of psoriasis and eczema.
All in all, when you don’t sleep enough, your skin may act up in one of the followings ways:
- Dark circles that crop up because blood vessels under the eyes dilate.
- Premature ageing and skin inflammation due to the release of cortisol
- Dullness from inefficient blood circulation.
- Thinning skin and wrinkling due to disintegration of collagen.
You see why derms stress on the benefits of beauty sleep now, don't you?
Do You Have A Sleeping Disorder?
We all miss out on healthy sleep every once in a while. A restless night, long hours at work or frequent partying could be accountable.
However, you must take a step back and re-assess things if you experience any of the following warning signs:
- Waking up several times in the night
- Taking more than 30-45 minutes to fall asleep almost every day
- Snoring too loudly
- Problems experienced with breathing while sleeping
- Waking up too early
- Fatigue, moodiness, and irritability during the day
- Difficulty concentrating at work
- Frequent urge to take naps in the day
While it might come across as scary, sleeping disorders are experienced by many, and are completely curable. Let’s quickly take a look at some of the most common ones:
You may already know of this one. In simple words, it refers to the inability to fall or stay asleep, leading to extreme fatigue and functional impairment during the day.
Whether your insomnia is acute or chronic, it would be a good idea to consult your doctor.
Sleep apnea seems much scarier since it has a lot to do with your breathing. If you have sleep apnea, you may stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer while asleep. This could be because your upper airway is obstructed, or the brain fails to keep you breathing.
When this happens multiple times, your body gets a hint of what’s going on. In an attempt to get you breathing again, it wakes you up.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
A disorder that’s more frequently observed in middle-aged or older persons, RLS is a neurological problem. It causes aches, pains, tingling, and itching in the legs, thus making it difficult to sleep.
Potential causes include iron deficiency, pregnancy, kidney failure, obesity, etc.
Fighting the Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Skin
If you lead a life that’s low on sleep, it will definitely show up on your skin.
While hunting down the root cause for your sleeplessness is key, it might take some days, or even months to get that resolved.
Until then, following an efficient night skincare routine can help better skin’s health. Here are 2 steps that our experts vouch for!
Cleanse your Skin
If you're not getting enough sleep, it becomes even more important to optimise the sleep you are getting. As mentioned above, repair and regeneration takes place when your body is at rest.
For this to happen efficiently, your pores need to be able to breathe. So, it is necessary to get every bit of makeup, dirt, grime, and sweat off your face before you sleep.
P.S: Make sure you know how to wash face properly. Watch out for toxin ingredients like parabens and alcohols, and do not use harsh exfoliators/cleansers.
Incorporate an Eye Serum
Serums are more than just a buzzword in 2020. They are way lighter than other creams and moisturisers and penetrate skin to the deepest levels. Using the right eye serum can make you look rested even when you’ve barely slept.
Some of the many benefits it has to offer are:
- It helps minimise dark circles, crow's feet, fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging eyelids
- Reduces eye puffiness the next day
- Makes skin look fresh and vibrant as against dull and dry
Contrary to what many believe, there is no correct age to start using an eye serum. In fact, prevention is better than cure. The earlier you incorporate an eye serum into your skincare routine, the better.
You could further minimise the impacts of sleep deprivation by adding nourishing day creams and night creams to your skincare routine. While the former will keep your skin hydrated through the day, the latter will ward off signs of stress and tiredness as you sleep.
Want to get more bang for the buck?