We hear from a young age about the importance of getting enough sleep in order to repair and rejuvenate. As we get older I wonder do we invest enough time in sleep or are we more focused on another hour on the couch watching our favourite television series? How much sleep is enough and is lack of sleep depleting our chances of a youthful complexion?
Chronic sleep deprivation is defined as getting fewer than six hours sleep everyday. It is believed that 60% of us regularly don’t reach this quota. The aim should be to get 7-8 hours of unbroken sleep every night.
Does lack of sleep affect our looks? Yes it definitely does. A study conducted by University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio found lack of sleep doesn’t just make you look a little under the weather, but, over time, it can also drastically accelerate the signs of skin aging.
The study divided women into two groups. Group 1, 30 women who got less than five hours sleep a night for a month and group 2, 30 women who got seven hours sleep a night for a month. The group with less sleep had much more apparent issues with pigmentation, slackening of skin and reduced tone than those who slept well. They also exhibited less moisture levels, slower healing and more sensitive skins. The worst part?… the poor sleepers were deemed by independent dermatologists to be four years older than they were and the good sleepers, eight years younger.
Tips for a good night’s sleep
- Turn off or lower heat in your bedroom. A room that is too warm can effect how you sleep and will also dehydrate your skin and body.
- Make your room a relaxing tranquil environment. No televisions or laptops and avoid the urge to check emails before going to sleep.
- If you have a lot on your mind, write a “to do” list for the following day and keep it beside the bed ready for the following morning. This can help you avoid mulling over tasks and not sleeping.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks after 6pm.
- Eating late in the evening can impede sleep but will also often leave you waking feeling drowsy the following morning. This is because your body is working to metabolize food when it should be at rest. Aim to finish eating by 7.30pm.
- An hour of sleep before 12 is the equivalent to 4 hours sleep after. Wherever possible go to bed each night by 11pm.
- We get the most rejuvenation effects from cosmetics when we apply between 6pm and 2am. Apply a good quality rejuvenating night cream every evening before going to bed to help your skin carry out its vital repair work.
- We spend about a 1/3 of our lives sleeping. Make sure what you choose to sleep on is comfortable. Invest in a good mattress and pillow.
Invest some extra time in sleep and watch your complexion, mood, memory and general outlook all improve dramatically.