Have you ever experienced waking up after a very late night out, only to find puffy eyes and tired, dull skin facing you? That is only a result of one night with very little sleep. Imagine what would be the aftermath if you do it night after night.
Scientists agree that chronic sleep debt would pound extra years, perhaps a decade, on your natural age. Quality of sleep is linked to youthful, glowing skin. How is that so? When we sleep, our body takes on a natural course of repairing cells, including our skin cells. During slumber time, plenty of chemical changes take place in all organs systems in the body, including our skin.
Various research studies have led to a conclusion that chronic sleep deprivation dramatically impairs collagen production in the skin. Is collagen essential to the health of our skin? Well, collagen is responsible for maintaining the firmness of our skin, improving* its elasticity and sealing in moisture, resulting to a healthy, youthful appearance of our skin. Collage also works as a protective barrier against the detrimental ultraviolet rays of the sun, and invasion of microorganisms such as bacteria and virus. Therefore, when collagen production slows down because of our irresponsible routine of sleep, our skin is intensely impaired.
During sleep, our body also releases human growth hormone. This hormone aids us to physically grow during our younger days, but as we mature it facilitates to increase* our muscle mass, beef up our bones and thicken our skin. This is why chronic lack of quality sleep leads to premature aging of our skin. When we sleep so little for quite some time, the texture, thickness and hydration of our skin is affected, hence the explanation for wrinkles and fine lines at an age early than expected.
When you do not give your mind and body the quality sleep they need, your skin is not only prone to premature aging but also to a number of skin diseases. According to modern scientific studies, consistent sleep debt causes people to have a low tolerance to stress because of the excessive production of glucocorticoids. With this, the immune system is greatly impaired. The combination of sleep deprivation and stress can make way for psoriasis and eczema, two of the most common inflammatory skin conditions. The same combo can exacerbate existing irritant contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis. Studies have seen a dramatic rise of cortisol, a glucocorticoid, when a person is slept deprived. Cortisol is a very important hormone because it helps the body cope with stress. However, when released in greater than the expected normal amounts, cortisol starts breaking down collagen.
Now you see the essence of adequate sleep. Adults need an average of 7-8 hours of uninterrupted rest at night to set the chemical processes in the body on the right track. However, getting the right amount of sleep is not just enough. The quality of your sleep is a huge factor, too. Sleeping for 7-8 hours every night but is interrupted frequently is not quality sleep. Studies show that although women get longer hours of sleep than men, their sleep is generally poorer than their male counterparts. Scientists blame it to the hormonal imbalance. Poll says that 80% of pregnant women, 15% of girls on menstruation and 40% of menopausal women reported of difficulty of sleeping soundly through the night. Complaints such as breast tenderness, hot flashes and uneasy breathing are normal.
To achieve a youthful, healthy-looking and glowing skin, endow your body a peaceful and calm night slumber. Remember, the quality of your sleep weighs the same as the quantity.