Discover Why Good Quality Sleep Means Great-Looking Skin
How Does Sleep Affect the Health and Appearance of Our Skin?
Sleep matters. A lot. It’s one of the key factors that influence many different aspects of our health and well-being, from mood and energy levels, to weight control and memory, and even how our skin looks and feels. Why is sleep so closely linked to skin health? That’s what we’re here to explain, and also provide helpful tips and advice you can use for better skin.
When we look our best, we feel our best, there’s no doubt about it. However, in many cases, the reverse is also true. When our bodies are nourished, cared for, well-rested, and our minds are relaxed, free of stress, and clear, it most certainly shows through in our appearance. This is why it’s so important to make sure we are getting what we need in sufficient amounts to maintain our optimum state of health and well-being for the body and mind. Of the many factors that need to be managed, there are few as critical and with such profound effects as the quality and amount of sleep we get each night.
So, the question needs to be asked; why does sleep so significantly affect our skin? The answer to this comes from understanding the different essentials that our skin requires to stay healthy, and then in turn understanding how good quality sleep helps to ensure that our bodies are delivering those essentials efficiently and consistently. Now, let’s review what our skin really needs to stay beautiful, resilient, and strong.
What Does Our Skin Need to Stay Healthy?
First and foremost, our skin needs to be properly hydrated in order to do its job properly. This means drinking plenty of water each day, which is just good to do anyway, as a well-hydrated body is able to function far better than one that’s lacking in water intake. Water helps to keep our skin firm, soft, and with elasticity, and makes circulation more efficient, which increases the delivery of other essential nutrients to the cells in each layer of skin.
Want to know a quick and easy way to tell if you’re a little dehydrated? Gently pinch a section of skin on the back of your hand and give it a little pull, then quickly release your fingers. Well-hydrated skin will quickly return to normal, whereas someone who’s not getting enough water will notice their skin respond much more slowly. It’s a neat little trick that you’ll probably find yourself doing often now that you know about it, just out of curiosity.
Our skin also needs to be nourished with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients through a healthy and balanced diet. Rapid absorption of vitamins like C, E, and A, as well as minerals like zinc is key to building strong skin. Fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 are also very important contributors to healthy skin. As we’ve been told all our lives, a balanced diet is extremely important.
Minimizing exposure to the damaging effects of the sun's UV rays is another vital part of keeping skin healthy and strong. The impact that excessive sun exposure can have on our skin is well-documented, and ranges from premature aging to potentially life-threatening cancerous growths. In all capacities, keeping sun exposure to a minimum and using proper SPF protection have considerable benefit in your efforts to keep your skin looking and feeling great.
Now that we’ve established what our skin needs to look and feel its best, let’s talk about how sleep quality plays its part in the process.
How Does Sleep Affect Our Overall State of Health?
It’s quite simple, really. When we are well-rested, our bodies are able to perform their various functions better. From circulation to digestion, brain function to hormone regulation, and everything in between, things just work better and more efficiently when we get enough sleep. In turn, when our bodies are operating at peak performance, we’ll have more energy, our mood will be better, our appetites will be more consistent, and our general feeling and sense of well-being will be significantly more positive.
And what happens when we don’t get enough sleep, or the sleep we do get is of poor quality? Well, we’ve all been there before. We get grumpy and our motivation declines, making us less eager to participate in many of the activities we would normally enjoy. Our appetite wanes, which increases the likelihood that we won’t follow our usual approach to balanced diet and good nutrition choices. Our energy level plummets, leaving us with a lower desire to follow our normal daily routine of self-care. As a result, the biological functions going on inside our bodies start to become inefficient. Although imperceptible at first, these effects are cumulative, and before long they can build into physical symptoms that manifest visibly on our skin.
For example, if we’re not getting enough sleep our skin might start to lose its elasticity or dry out, we may notice the corners of our mouths seem droopier than usual, our skin tone may look pale and pasty, and the telltale signs of dark undereye circles will become very apparent. For the sake of your skin, and for your overall state of health, it is strongly recommended to take steps to improve your sleep quality. Fortunately, many of the ways we can increase the quality of our sleep are fairly easy to do.
How To Get Better Sleep
While most of these we all know are important to getting better quality sleep, some might surprise you!
- Exercise – the natural endorphins produced by exercise help to boost our mood and reduce stress, while the overall benefits of regular physical activity are profound, such as controlling weight, strengthening cardiovascular health, and improving sleep.
- Diet – Eating a healthy, balanced diet that’s rich in nutrients goes a long way to regulating our sleep patterns and avoiding foods that are known to be disruptive to our digestion helps to avoid common nighttime discomforts like bloating and heartburn.
- Blue Light Exposure – Yes, the light from our digital screens has been documented to disrupt our natural sleep rhythms, so cut out the phone or tablet time before bed and pick up a real-life book instead. You’d be amazed at the difference this one tip can have.
- Caffeine – The morning cup of coffee is a ritual many of us just can’t live without, but midday caffeine can linger in our systems for hours. Try to minimize consuming caffeinated drinks in the afternoon and evening, or if possible, cut them out entirely.
- Alcohol – Even a single drink in the evening can disrupt the quality of sleep due to its depressive effects on the nervous system. It also reduces the natural production of melatonin, which is an essential element in controlling our sleep rhythms.
- Environment – The bedroom environment itself has a profound impact on sleep quality. Dark shades that block window light, comfortable bedding and pillows, a temperature that’s not too warm or too cold, and minimal noise are necessary for optimum sleep.
- Calming & Meditation Apps – Many people find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep with subtle, soothing, ambient sounds in their bedroom environment. Sleep-enhancing apps such as Calm and Headspace are designed to do just that, and they work. Try it!
Even taking steps to try a few of these tips can have a very positive result, so if you can’t do them all don’t worry. Just start with the ones you can do easily and build on them as you go. Every effort works towards the same end goal, so doing something is always better than doing nothing. Here are some more tips that, when combined with better sleep, will help to further improve the look and feel of your skin, giving you the soft, smooth, and resilient skin you deserve.
Improve Skin Health With Better Sleep, Along With These Other Helpful Tips
- Drink Plenty of Water – As we mentioned earlier, proper hydration is absolutely necessary to keep our skin healthy. Keep a refillable water bottle nearby at all times, and make sure you use it. If it’s easy to drink more water because it’s always at hand, chances are better that you’ll take advantage of the convenience & hydrate more.
- Moisturize Regularly – It’s not just about restoring dry skin back to being soft, it’s also about adding an extra layer of protection against environmental factors that dry out our skin. Good quality moisturizers will not only rejuvenate the skin, but also make it more resistant to losing hydration in very dry environments, especially during the winter.
- Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure & Protect Yourself – No, you don’t need to stay out of the sun entirely, but protecting yourself is essential. Wearing light, UV-blocking clothing and using a strong SPF sunscreen regularly will help you enjoy the warmth of the sun while preventing those nasty and damaging ultraviolet rays from harming your skin.
- Exfoliate To Keep Skin Healthy & Radiant – One of the best ways to help your skin stay healthy and strong is to treat it with regular exfoliation sessions to remove dead and damaged skin cells from the surface, stimulate circulation, and reduce the visible signs of aging. The Silk’n ReVit Prestige Microdermabrasion Device is the most effective way to get great exfoliation results at home, leaving your skin soft, smooth, and radiant.
Start Making Positive Changes Today & Realize the Benefits of Better Sleep
We’re confident that even just a handful of these tips and tricks will be enough to have a noticeable impact on the quality of your sleep, and certainly on how your skin looks and feels. Sometimes it’s not a huge lifestyle overhaul that we need, but rather a series of small changes that all add up to bring a very positive impact to our health and well-being.
We wish you all the best in your efforts to get better sleep and improve the look and feel of your beautiful skin!