Despite being busy, I’ve been going to bed really early to catch up on my beauty sleep.Â I realized thatÂ a fewÂ late nights hasÂ taken a toll on my face; giving meÂ wrinklesÂ around my eyes,Â saggy skin around myÂ cheeksÂ andÂ deeperÂ marionette grooves. You can almost say I aged overnight!Â
WhileÂ I know the importance of beauty sleep, IÂ didn’t actually understoodÂ the biological reasons behind it and here’s what I found out.
Bad hormones, good hormones
When we don’t get enough sleep,Â we’reÂ generating more free radicalsÂ and our body is missing out on that valuable downtime to repair the cellular damage those free radicals generate.Â In addition, lack of sleepÂ causes the body to produce excess cortisol, which isÂ a hormone that breaks down skin cells.Â This is also the same hormone that isÂ released when we are stressed.Â
ByÂ getting sufficient sleep, dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, M.D. tells us thatÂ ourÂ body willÂ produce moreÂ human growth hormone (HGH), which helps skin remain thick, more elastic and less likely to wrinkle.Â
You may also like to know that the body’s natural HGH production is at it’s highest output during the first hours of deep sleep.Â
During the first few hours of sleep we go into what is called the Alpha Sleep phase of the brains sleep cycle where the brainâ€™s pituitary glandÂ releases HGH into the bloodstream and we go into the rejuvenate, repair & replace mode. (source)
In addition, little sleep leads to weight gain as I’ve covered before because there are hormonal secretions that are affected with sleep loss that apparently cause increased feelings of hunger, leading to a foraging in the fridge for food.
So ladies, don’t keep late nights and do sleep early if you want to keep the wrinkles and fatsÂ at bay.Â I’ve noticed that just a week of sleeping early has made those deep lines around my eyes less prominent compared to when I didn’t get sufficient shuteye.Â And yes, I don’t wake up demanding for supper too!
Also, take note ofÂ the tips to optimize beauty sleep I wrote about; including sleeping between 11pm and 3am, sleeping on your back and using a satin pilllowcase.Â You may also want to useÂ your most active serum and creams before bed to aid the skin rejuvenation process.
Sleep tight and sweet dreams tonight!