“Get 8 hours of sleep every night.”
We’ve all heard this statement more times than we can count, and most of us have probably conceded that this is easier said than done. Sleep is a vital part of our everyday lives, yet most people just don’t get enough of it.
It’s common knowledge that sleep is important for our mind and body to stay alert and healthy; however, did you know thatsleep deficiency may also cause acne? This means that getting 8 hours of sleep is not only important for brain and bodily functions,but also for the health and appearance of the skin.
But how exactly are sleep and acne linked? Well, there are actually quite a few ways that sleep affects acne. The first of which is related to how the body releases growth hormones when you sleep. These growth hormones aid in repairing cells and tissues, thus restoring the skin (which is the body’s largest organ). Additionally, sleep allows for release of cytokines necessary for mounting an effective immune response. Sleep deficiency compromises your immune system and affects your body’s ability to combat infections, including the ones affecting the skin. This increases the skin’s susceptibility to infections and may lead to breakouts.
Sleep deprivation also has an impact on acne-causing factors, such as stress. Lack of sleep causes stress and spikes the body’s cortisol, which may lead to inflammation and clogged pores or breakouts through increased sebum production. A study 1 also showed a relationship between sleep quality and acne, as insufficient sleep has been linked to inflammatory systemic diseases.
Now that we’ve established how sleep affects the skin and leads to acne, what can you do to sleep better?
Here are a few easy tasks to achieve better sleep—and skin!
- Remove distractions from your sleeping area. Noises, bright lights, and technology may hinder your ability to get a good night’s rest. Avoid going on your phone right before bed as it keeps your mind awake and the blue light from the screen suppresses melatonin (which controls your sleeping cycle).
- Avoid caffeine late in the day. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and may hinder the body from relaxing at night. Caffeine taken 6 hours before bedtime actually disrupts sleep,2 so it’s best to keep significant caffeine intake within morning hours.
- Sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Consistent sleep patterns aid long-term sleep quality, as the body’s circadian rhythm is on a set loop. Sleeping irregularly affects your body’s circadian rhythm and melatonin levels, keeping you awake.
- Ensure comfortable bedroom temperature. It is often difficult to fall asleep when it’s too hot, and studies have proven that higher body and surrounding temperature harms sleep quality and keeps you awake.
It’s easy to sacrifice sleep, but this means compromising the health of your mind and body, especially that of your skin.Sleep has a drastic impact on both physical and mental wellness, since a bad sleep schedule can cause problems such as a damaged immune system or anxiety. Weak physical and mental health are also detrimental for one’s skin, so guarantee that you get a good night’s sleep to avoid all these effects from snowballing and damaging your wellness.
This is just the tip of the iceberg about sleep’s effects on our lives. Achieving a great sleep schedule brings you one step closer to achieving better wellness, health, and skin. The importance of sleep for all people of all ages can’t be stressed enough, so make sure you’re catching those z’s!
We did our research! 👇🏼
1Clocks&Sleep 2019, 1, 510–516; doi:10.3390/clockssleep1040039
2 Drake, C., Roehrs, T., Shambroom, J., & Roth, T. (2013). Caffeine effects on sleep taken 0, 3, or 6 hours before going to bed. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 9(11), 1195–1200. https://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.3170