Posted on: 6th Feb, 2017
We’re sleep deprived as a nation – there’s no getting away from it! Research conducted in 2016 shows we’re one of the most sleep deprived nations in the world, with more than one in three of us not getting enough rest. While some of us rely on coffee to solve the problem in the morning, it’s not a good enough substitute for a proper night’s sleep. If nothing else, a lack of sleep is actually having serious effects on our skin’s health.
We can all get to bed too late for different reasons – our train home could be delayed, we could be short of time to get all our housekeeping jobs done, or we could have just found something more interesting to do with our evening. But whatever the reason, we probably don’t give sleep nearly as much credit as we should. Sleeping is a crucial part of our day/night cycle that our bodies sorely need to recover from all the daily stresses we put them under in daylight hours, and it’s a major way we recover from the effects of premature ageing. So while your conscious mind might be having that an odd recurring dream featuring Brad Pitt and Becky from accounts, the rest of your body is quietly but efficiently patching itself up. Growth hormones are springing into action to stimulate cell and tissue repair, while your body targets dead cells and disposes of them, making way for new ones to take their place.
This cellular regeneration is particularly vital where our skin is concerned – after all, it’s the first line of defence against bumps, scrapes, burns and bruises. Your blood vessels are also home to receptors that activate when you sleep to grab amino acid, which helps them to build collagen (another big player affecting your skin’s overall health). Meanwhile your blood oxygenates itself, rising to the surface of the skin to be fed with nutrients and oxygen.
As you can see, your body has a pretty big to-do list to crack on with the moment you close your eyes. Without proper sleep, a lot of these process are interrupted or otherwise don’t complete fully, which can have some pretty noticeable effects. Your skin maintains a delicate moisture balance which is regulated by your sleeping patterns – so when you don’t get enough sleep this balance is disrupted, lowering the PH levels in your skin. This causes it to lose some of its youthful glow, and leaves it looking drier due to reduced moisture. Plus, too little sleep also doesn’t give your blood a chance to oxygenate properly, causing your blood vessels dilate and leaving your skin looking duller. Meanwhile, your body doesn’t have time to properly build up its stores of collagen, which means having those dreaded saggy bags around your eyes. (Your skin has much less fat around your eyes, by the way, which is why the effects of tiredness are always most apparent there.) Your body naturally produces cortisol, a steroid hormone, and lack of sleep also has an effect on its production. This can irritate any existing inflammatory conditions, potentially worsening them if the problem persists over a big enough timespan.
We know it can be difficult to find the time, but you might find that a little organisation goes a long way. If you find yourself flat out in the evenings, work out what you can put off till the weekend, and give yourself a chance to get your head down a bit earlier. And when Saturday comes around, get a little bit crossed off that to-do list to give yourself a bit more breathing room on the weekdays. When you’re snuggled under that duvet at night and happily up with the sparrows on Monday morning, you and your skin will both be glad you made the effort!
If your schedule won’t budge, don’t worry – we’re here to help! You can take advantage of our range of skincare treatments, and our varied product range can help with a wide array of conditions. Don’t forget, you can always call us on 01254 297 000 to book an appointment, or for any questions you might have.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @APSkincare_