The Truth about Beauty Rest: Does It Really Work?
Have you ever wondered if there’s actually any truth behind the age-old advice to “get your beauty rest”? Well, if you think that beauty sleep is just for fairy tales, think again. As it turns out, our bodies are hard at work burning the midnight oil, repairing all sorts of things as we sleep. And yes, our skin is one of those overnight repair jobs, making beauty rest a real phenomenon.
So just how does it work? Getting a good night’s sleep can come along with a whole host of skin benefits, including these four biggies.
1. Boosts Collagen Production
During the third and fourth stages of deep sleep, your body actually increases its production of collagen, the protein in our connective tissue that’s responsible for our skin’s firmness and structure. With a boost of collagen, your skin can begin to repair and heal itself, reducing lines, wrinkles and other imperfections, thus having the effect of waking up looking refreshed, bright, and even younger.
On the other hand, if you don’t sleep well, your body won’t trigger this extra collagen boost, which is why a poor night’s sleep can make you wake up looking tired, groggy, and lackluster the next morning. (Medical Hypotheses)
2. Increases Blood Circulation
As you sleep, your body also begins to cool down, which helps to increase your blood circulation, which is not only healthy for your skin but also gives it that bright, rosy glow. Not getting enough sleep can decrease the blood flow to your skin, having the opposite effect.
3. Reduces Under Eye Circles
Puffy, dark eyes are one of the most common characteristics of sleep deprivation. When your body does get a good, deep sleep, it reduces the inflammation that causes under eye circles. But when you don’t get adequate sleep, your blood vessels become dilated, creating the dark, puffy appearance under your eyes.
4. Ups Your Antioxidant Count
Don’t be afraid of the dark when it comes to sleep, because your body’s natural repair system actually thrives in the dark. In fact, some healing mechanisms won’t even activate unless your body senses darkness. This is the case for melatonin, a key hormonal ingredient to your nighttime repair routine. But not only does melatonin help to repair your skin, much like collagen, studies have found that it may also act as an antioxidant, preventing the harmful oxidation of other molecules in your body. (HHS Public Access)
How to Maximize Your Skin Care Routine
Although your body can work wonders on its own with the right amount (and quality) of sleep, there are a few simple things you can do to help your natural skin repair process. Our Pittsburgh dermatologist suggests trying these professional skin care tips:
- Moisturize before bed. Using moisturizer before bed can help to prevent water loss while you’re sleeping, allowing you to wake up with plump, refreshed skin rather than looking dull and dehydrated.
- Sleep with your head elevated. If you really want to decrease your chances of waking up with under eye bags, try sleeping with two pillows so that your head stays slightly elevated. This can reduce fluid buildup under your eyes, which can contribute to the unwanted dark circles under your eyes.
- Talk to your dermatologist about skin care treatments. If your skin appears dull, dry, and tired all the time, even if you’re getting adequate sleep, you may want to consider discussing your skin care treatment options with an experienced dermatologist. There are a variety of professional solutions, such as Laser Genesis, Halo, and microdermabrasion, that can restore the smoothness and youthfulness to your skin.
Taking the Next Step
Sometimes, permanent skin damage can be difficult or even impossible to reverse, even with our body’s best beauty rest efforts. At Acqua Blu Medical Spa in Pittsburgh and Wexford, our team of skin care experts will work with you to assess your unique skin type and condition and help you determine which treatment option might be best for you. For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ana Busquets or one of our physician assistants, please contact us at (724) 933-1800. We would be happy to help you take the first step towards looking and feeling refreshed and revitalized.