Many factors affect the quality of our skin’s health and appearance; from consuming the correct nutrients, to exercise and correct cleansing regimes, however your sleep routine, and the quality of your sleep, can play a significant role in the overall efficacy of your cells and the skin’s ability to regenerate.
The body uses sleep to repair and rejuvenate; Human Growth Hormone, as adults, assists in tougher skin and bones, and is released during a cycle of deep sleep, ensuring our bodies are in their most effective reparative state. Without adequate rest, your body struggles to maintain physical homeostasis (the natural state of balance), resulting in ineffective functioning of the body’s natural healing and regeneration processes.
Lack of sleep can lead to an imbalance of moisture and PH levels in the skin. Low PH levels inhibit the body’s ability to produce the necessary moisture to keep skin healthy and hydrated, resulting in tight, dry skin texture. This imbalance can also lead to redness and can even cause breakouts due to sebaceous glands overcompensating for the pH imbalance.
Throughout the day, your skin is exposed to various environment pollutants and UV rays. During sleep, your body works to dispose of these toxins. In fact, studies have shown that the brain can remove up to 60% more toxins when the body is receiving adequate sleep and rest. Without the opportunity to rid itself of pollutants, the skin can suffer from blemishes and dullness.
The body accumulates fluids during the course of the day, relying on the rest period at night to assist in draining and removing these fluids. It’s also been suggested that sleeping on your left hand side can assist in more effective lymph drainage and less stress on the cardiovascular system due to the position of the aorta on the left hand side of the heart. Left hand side sleeping also aids in digestion and optimises spleen function.
Sleeping with your head slightly elevated can also assist in reducing puffiness around the eye area, as gravity assists in draining fluids from the area.
Tired translates to stress
Even if you may not feel it, our bodies read a lack of sleep as ‘stress’ as we are pushing it to its limits, prompting the adrenal gland to release the stress hormone cortisol. Over time, cortisol can lead to the breakdown of collagen and elastin, which are responsible for firmness and elasticity in the skin. Furthermore, stress has also been related to the interruption of melanin production; as melanin is responsible for the pigment in your skin, a lack of it can lead to a sallow complexion.
It’s so important to give your body adequate rest, especially now that we know just how detrimental it can be to our skin and overall health.