More (and Better) Sleep Helps Fight Aging Skin
Adults need a full seven to eight hours of sleep for the body to fully heal and rejuvenate itself, yet many people find themselves getting far less. Sleep deprivation does more than make you feel groggy. It affects every organ, including your skin.
Skin and Sleep
Skin acts as your first protective barrier from infection. It also plays a key role in your appearance, how you feel about yourself, and how you are perceived by others. Like all other systems in our body, without adequate rest, your skin suffers.
Your body rebuilds, repairs, and rejuvenates itself during sleep. A study conducted at University Hospitals Case Medical Center showed that those who get the recommended amount of sleep recover more quickly from environmental stressors like sunburn. The skin of poor sleepers took 72 hours longer to recover from damage. Not only does sleep help your skin to heal and look better, those who got better rest rated their overall appearance higher.
Sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on the rest of your body as well. Your brain cleans itself and prunes connections so you can think quickly and clearly. The immune system reduces inflammation so you don’t feel achy and tired. Without adequate rest, you also put yourself in danger of heart disease, diabetes, and unwanted weight gain.
How to Get More (and Better) Sleep
Stress, medical conditions, and an unpredictable work schedule are only a few of the obstacles that may be in the way of you and a better night’s rest. But getting more high-quality sleep can be done by cultivating good sleep hygiene, all the habits in your life that contribute to good rest.
Regular exercise has a host of benefits for your body. Lower body mass index, stronger muscles and bones, and better cardiovascular health are only a few of them. When it comes to sleep, a tired body falls asleep easier. Try to avoid strenuous exercise at least four hours before bedtime as the increase in body temperature and release of endorphins can keep you awake.
A well-balanced diet helps your skin glow and your body run at peak efficiency. For better sleep, eat regularly timed meals to support healthy circadian rhythms, the regular cycles your body follows throughout the day. Eat a light, healthy dinner to give yourself the best chance of a good night’s rest. Things to avoid—heavy, high-fat foods and stimulants like caffeine within four hours of bedtime.
The conditions in your bedroom play an important role in the duration and quality of your sleep. Be sure you have a comfortable mattress that’s not causing you to toss and turn during the night. Eliminate disruptors by keeping the temperature cool, shutting out all light, and keeping the room as quiet as possible.
Your circadian rhythms rely on consistency. They are controlled by natural sunlight so your body should start to get tired as it gets dark. You can support your body’s natural tendencies by keeping a consistent bedtime. This helps your brain know when to release sleep-inducing hormones like melatonin.
For those who struggle to fall asleep, a bedtime routine might be what you need. Create a routine filled with simple, relaxing activities like taking a warm bath, drinking a warm cup of milk, or reading a book. Perform the activities in the same order each night to help signal the brain that it’s time to shut down.