It’s not called “beauty sleep” for nothing. Here’s the lowdown on why a quality night’s a sleep is essential for your health, wellbeing and complexion.
A good night’s sleep offers numerous health and beauty benefits. Studies have shown that getting adequate sleep can sharpen cognitive skills, improve your mood and reduce the likelihood of various chronic illnesses. Sleep also plays a vital role in your beauty regimen. In fact, the term “beauty sleep” stems from the undeniable impact that rest has on your appearance, promoting smoother, radiant skin and brighter eyes.
Why sleep is vitally important to your health
A good night’s sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining your overall health and wellbeing. As an adult, you need around 7-9 hours of sleep per night to function at your best. Consistently getting quality sleep offers numerous benefits for your physical and mental health.
For starters, sleep helps your body repair itself. During deep sleep, your body produces hormones that aid in cell repair and growth. These hormones are essential for repairing muscles, tissues and organs, as well as maintaining a strong immune system. Getting insufficient sleep can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and diseases.
Sleep also has a significant impact on your heart health. During the non-REM phase of sleep, your blood pressure and heart rate fall, allowing your heart and circulatory system to rest. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
Another important aspect of sleep is its role in managing stress. Quality sleep is a powerful stress- reliever that improves concentration, regulates mood, and sharpens judgment and decision-making. On the other hand, lack of sleep can reduce your ability to cope with stressful situations, leading to increased cortisol levels and other negative health implications.
Impact of quality sleep on your mental health
Sleep is significantly related to mental health, and a consistent quality sleep routine can help reduce anxiety and depression levels. Insufficient sleep can cause heightened stress responses, amplifying negative emotions and making coping with daily stressors more challenging.
One Australian study found that people who have less than 5 hours sleep a night might be at higher risk of mental illness. According to a study at the University of Michigan in the US, depression rates are 40 times higher for patients with insomnia. And – here’s a surprising one – a good night’s sleep makes us happier than a 50% salary increase, according to the UK’s National Centre for Social Research.
Sleep and weight gain
A good night’s sleep also plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy weight. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body’s hormonal balance gets disrupted, which can contribute to weight gain. Specifically, two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, are affected by the amount of sleep you get.
Leptin is known as the “satiety hormone,” signalling to your brain that you’re full and it’s time to stop eating. On the other hand, ghrelin is the “hunger hormone”, which stimulates your appetite. When you are sleep-deprived, your leptin levels decrease and ghrelin levels increase, making you feel hungrier than usual.
Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to increased rates of obesity and diabetes, according to research at the UK’s University of Warwick, which found that adults who get less than seven hours of sleep a night are twice as likely to become obese.
The quality of sleep is just as important as the quantity. Ensure that you maintain a consistent sleep schedule, create an environment conducive to sleep, and minimise distractions such as electronic devices.
How sleep impacts your skin
A good night’s sleep is essential for your overall health, and it also plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and beauty of your skin. During sleep, your body goes through various repair processes, which help rejuvenate your skin and provide you with that coveted glow. Not getting enough sleep cuts that crucial repair time short, which can wreak havoc on the complexion.
One of the primary benefits of sleep is related to your skin’s hydration. While you sleep, your skin has the opportunity to balance its hydration levels, leading to a healthy and more radiant complexion. Consequently, insufficient sleep can result in sallow skin and dark circles under your eyes due to decreased blood flow and hydration.
Sleep also plays a vital role in collagen production. Collagen is a protein responsible for maintaining the elasticity and firmness of your skin. During deep sleep, your body produces growth hormones, which play a key role in healing cells and tissues throughout the body, including skin. This process helps keep fine lines, wrinkles and sagging at bay, and helps to keep your skin looking youthful and vibrant.
Better blood flow is also associated with quality sleep. Enhanced blood flow delivers essential nutrients and oxygen to your skin, promoting cell turnover and helping to prevent dullness.
Bedtime beauty routines
A quality night-time skincare routine can support your skin’s natural repair processes. As your skin undergoes regeneration during sleep, using the right skincare products can help lock in moisture, support cellular turnover and provide essential nutrients.
How to have a better sleep
Tips from sleep science specialist Dr Carmel Harrington.
During the day
- Get up at the same time every day.
- Exercise for at least 20 minutes per day (a walk at lunchtime is good)
- Make sure you deal with the issues of the day during the day and not when you get into bed. In the early evening spend no more than 20 minutes writing out events of the day that are of concern along with potential solutions. Close the book and put it away.
What to avoid
- Sleeping in for more than an hour past your regular wake-up time on the weekends.
- Having caffeine after midday.
- Drinking alcohol.
- Sleeping during the day (a nap of 20 minutes is okay).
- Set an alarm one hour before your proposed bedtime and at that time:
- Turn off all technology.
- Dim the lighting in the room.
- Have a warm to hot shower.
- Perform some relaxation exercise or a simple meditation.
What to avoid
- Bright surroundings (fluorescent lights, bright LED TVs, computers, etc) close to bedtime as this will stop the body from producing the right sleep hormones and will make falling asleep and staying asleep difficult.
- Eating a large meal within three hours of bedtime.
- Exercising within three hours of bedtime (this will alert the body).
Products to help you along the way
1. Heat Healer Infrared Sauna Blanket RRP $798, 2. Rogue Beauty R+Co Bleu Sleep Mask Night Repair Serum 56.7g, $230, 3. Jurlique Calming Blend Essential Oil 10ml, $36, 4. SkinMTX Night Resurfacing Booster+ 15ml, $79, 5. mesoestetic age element anti-wrinkle night cream, $179, 6. Sisley Velvet Sleeping Mask 60ml, $180, 7. CALECIM Recovery Night Complex 60g, $145, 8. Paula’s Choice Super Hydrate Overnight Mask, $49, 9. LAMAV Ayurvedic Body Oil in UNWIND, $49, 10. Dr Naomi Skin One Night Stand 50ml, $149, 11. Rogue Beauty Sachajaun, Over Night Hair Repair 100ml, $84, 12. Compagnie de Provence Antioxidant Fig Night Face Mask, $82, 13. AIRYDAY Night Rain Sleep Mask, $34.95, 14. Buckley and Phillips Gumleaf Essentials Pulse Point Roller Sleep Soundly 9ml, $19.95, 15. Compagnie de Provence Anise Lavande Body Cream, $69