Turns out beauty sleep is real. Here’s How Sleep Affects Your Appearance

Turns out beauty sleep is real. Here’s How Sleep Affects Your Appearance

Turns out beauty sleep is real. Here's How Sleep Affects Your Appearance

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You may have heard that quality sleep is essential to our overall well-being, but did you know that it is also an important factor that influences our appearance? When you think of anything that affects your skin, sleep isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, getting that recommended seven to nine hours of restful sleep isn’t always easy for us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders. Insufficient sleep not only impacts your mental and physical health, but also your physical features like hair, eyes, and skin.

So what does poor sleep do to your appearance and your health? Here’s what we know.

The Science Behind Restful Sleep

When you sleep, your body enters recovery mode and each stage of sleep is crucial for skin recovery. During the different stages of sleep, the body produces several hormones, including human growth hormone, melatonin, and cortisol. These hormones play a vital role in recovery, including repairing the skin from daily damage, keeping our skin looking young, and protecting your skin from free radicals that can damage cells.

When you sleep, every hour counts. If you’re having trouble getting the recommended sleep times, check out our guide to how to sleep better.

Learn more: Fall Asleep Faster By Doing This Thing Right Before Bed

Why poor sleep affects appearance

A 2017 study found that lack of sleep has the potential to negatively affect the appearance of your face and may decrease others’ willingness to socialize with the sleep-deprived person. Here’s how not getting enough sleep affects your appearance.

Skin: Let’s start with the basics. Lack of sleep affects your appearance by making you look tired. You know, eye bags and all that jazz. Not only does poor sleep affect your skin, but also its normal functions, such as collagen production. Excess cortisol from the stress of sleep deprivation is a common cause of acne.

Hair: Lack of sleep also impacts your hair growth, as collagen production is affected when we don’t get enough sleep, making your hair more prone to thinning or hair loss. Sleep deprivation can also cause stress on the body and increase cortisol, which can lead to hair loss.

Eyes: A single night of bad sleep is enough to cause dark circles under the eyes. Lack of sleep can cause the blood vessels around your eyes to dilate and create dark circles or puffiness. Depending on your natural skin tone, these dark circles may be visible as shades of blue, purple, black, or brown.

Learn more: How to fall asleep in 10 minutes or less

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Lack of sleep affects your body and mind

Sleep deprivation goes beyond affecting the way you look. Lack of sleep can also affect the functioning of your body and mind.

Impact of poor sleep on your body

Prolonged deprivation can make you feel lethargic and tired, which means less energy to get through the day. Other studies have linked lack of sleep to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high cholesterol due to higher cortisol levels.

Impact of poor sleep on your mind

Studies show that sleep deprivation can affect memory function and emotional stability, as well as impair decision-making abilities. Poor sleep can affect your performance at work, lead to mood swings, and heighten emotions like anger and sadness.

Data from a 2021 study found that people aged 50 to 60 who slept 6 hours or less were at higher risk of developing dementia. Those who slept less than the recommended seven hours were 30% more likely to be diagnosed with dementia later in life than those who slept the recommended hours.

The link between lack of sleep and weight gain

In addition to your appearance, the way you sleep can also impact your weight. Sleep deprivation has been linked to weight gain and a higher risk of obesity in both men and women. Similarly, people with severe Sleep Apnea experience increased weight gain.

A study that followed 68,000 middle-aged American women for 16 years found that women who slept five hours or less per night were 15% more likely to become obese during the study than those who slept seven hours.

Learn more: How to Create the Perfect Environment for Better Sleep

How to get your beauty rest

Ready to catch up on some beauty rest? Follow these sleeping tips for better skin:

How to build a good routine? Here are four steps to try:

1. Go to bed at around the same time each night.

2. Wake up at around the same time each morning.

3. Limit your 30 minute naps or less.

4. Maintain a regular sleep schedule on weekends.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.


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