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How Sleeping Affects Your Skin

by | Feb 21, 2020 | Blog

Do you know someone who boasts, “I only need a few hours of sleep every night”? If you do, we bet they don’t boast about the health of their skin. “Lack of sleep can cause skin inflammation and lead to acne breakouts,” says Dr Marcells. That’s true…and only the beginning of what chronic sleep deprivation can do to your otherwise youthful skin.

Circle Game: Sleep & Eye Skin

Dark under-eye circles are one of the most universally loathed signs of facial. “Often, the only way to correct this problem is with lower eyelid surgery,” says Dr Marcells. The problem is often genetic, but it is most assuredly exacerbated by lack of sleep. The drop in circulation associated with being tired causes fluids to pool in under-eye capillaries, giving them their dark appearance.  

Those fluids can also lead to puffiness, increasing under-eye furrows. “Injectable soft tissue fillers are a good solution to this problem,” says Dr Marcells. 

You & Your Thirsty Skin

It’s funny to think of it this way, but the outer layer of your skin serves as a reverse wet suit. It traps essential moisture to prevent other deeper layers of skin from becoming dry. “Several studies of prolonged sleep deprivation suggest a break in skin barrier function and mucous membranes,” writes author Kahan Andersen in the article Can Poor Sleep Affect Skin Integrity?In fact, the reduction of sleep time affects the composition and integrity of various systems (including skin).”

In The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Biophysical Properties of Facial Skin, researchers found that a single night of reduced sleep is enough to wreak havoc with skin hydration, affecting

  • Facial pore size
  • Skin tone
  • Elasticity
  • Translucency
  • Blood flow

Non-surgical treatments including micro peels, photo rejuvenation, and microdermabrasion can help restore the glow that lack of sleep has spirited away.

Sleep Helps You Stay Thick, In a Good Way

As you’re drifting off to sleep, parts of your body are getting ready for the night shift. Specifically, growth hormone production and secretion occurs during the first few hours of your nightly beauty rest.  When you cut down on your sleep, you interfere with the production line.

A lack of growth hormones also affects collagen and elastin tissue, causing them to breakdown. This leads to visible wrinkles and sagging skin.

Intense pulsed light treatments are a painless way to stimulate collagen production,” says Dr Marcells. He uses it to smooth wrinkles and even skin tone.

How Much to Sleep & How to Get It

USA Today reported that Sleep Health, The Official Journal of the National Sleep Foundation, says the recommended number of hours of shuteye you should get each night varies according to age.

  • Teen (14-17 years): 8-10 hours
  • Young adult (18-25 years): 7-9 hours
  • Adult (26-64 years): 7-9 hours
  • Older adult (65+ years): 7-8 hours

Now that we’ve explained why a good night’s sleep is important, we’d like to share some ideas to help you get the skin-loving sleep you need. (Don’t worry; you won’t be counting sheep…unless you want to.)

  • Don’t Play Catch-up – You can’t make up for lost sleep time. In fact, over-sleeping on the weekend can disrupt your body’s natural sleep rhythms.

  • Enjoy Caffeine by the Clock – Cutting out a 3pm coffee break can improve your sleep as the caffeine remains active in your system for up to 12 hours. If you can’t break the habit, consider a smaller portion.
  • Don’t Force It – Going to bed before you’re tired is a recipe for tossing and turning. Worse, you may fall asleep only briefly and then wake up in the middle of the night too alert to return to sleep.
  • If You’re Not Doing These Two Things, Get Out – Turning your bed into a hangout where you watch TV, Facetime, and text is a sure way to sabotage a night’s sleep. Use your bed the way it was intended: for sleep and…(fill in the blank).

Whatever your sleep number may be, chances are your skin could use some help. We invite you to schedule a consult at our practice in Bondi Junction so we can help you put your best face forward.

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Meet Dr Marcells

MBBS (Syd), FRACS (ORL-HNS)
Past President – Australasian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons

Dr George Marcells is known for excellence in facial plastic surgery and is considered a true master of rhinoplasty. He performs advanced surgical techniques to restore balance and harmony to the face and can also resolve functional issues such as breathing difficulties.

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