We all know the story. Sleeping Beauty slept for 100 years, and when she woke, she was still as youthful as she was when she had fallen asleep. The magic of sleep kept her aging woes at bay.
Today, scientists have discovered that there may be a grain of truth in that old fairy tale.
Studies have shown that deep sleep has restorative benefits that can be good for both your overall health and your looks:
- Brighter eyes: Sleepless nights can cause droopy, swollen eyes, which are a pain to hide. A healthy sleeping schedule can help you avoid dark circles and puffy eyes, making you look more alert and refreshed.
- Youthful skin: When we sleep, our bodies release a growth hormone that boosts collagen production. Collagen keeps our skin supple and elastic, meaning fewer wrinkles and less sagging. Sleep also helps the body heal from minor skin trauma caused by the sun, and other wear and tear our bodies go through during the day. Lower cortisol production during sleep can help improve stress acne, as well as help slow down hair loss and other signs of aging.
How does sleep benefit your body?
The mechanism of sleep is extraordinarily complex. Humans sleep in stages:
Light sleep (long-wave sleep): Initial stage where thoughts become random and disjointed and you’re detached from your surroundings.
Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep: Stage where you are unconscious but your brain is very active.
Deep sleep (slow-wave sleep): Later stage where your heartbeat and breathing are at their slowest.
Studies suggest that an ideal ratio of long-wave sleep and REM sleep helps keep the biological clock (circadian rhythm) in good order. When your circadian rhythm is functioning optimally, your body releases more growth hormones and fewer stress hormones, which play a role in:
So undisturbed nighttime sleep can have beauty benefits by lowering stress hormones and allowing your body to create new cells that help heal the damage done throughout the day.
According to researchers at the American Psychological Association, poor quality sleep messes with blood insulin and blood cortisol levels and causes the body to produce chemicals that increase cell aging and inflammation.
Adequate sleep is especially important in the healing process after major surgery, burns or a bout of general illness.
How can you improve your sleep?
In order to achieve the ideal sleep, you need to sleep for at least 8 hours. And deep sleep is especially important in managing the body’s biological cycle. So make sure to hit the bed early and stick to a consistent bedtime. Sleeping later at night or at different times, even if you stay asleep for a full 8 hours, can mess with your sleep rhythms.
Here are more tips for getting the most out of your beauty sleep:
- Room temperature: Keep your thermostat at a comfortable temperature. Use room-darkening shades or curtains. Choose breathable, light-colored, clean bedsheets, a medium-firm mattress, and a good quality pillow. A comforter is also a good idea.
- Room lighting: Try to switch off your devices at least an hour or two before bed. Keep the bulbs in your bedroom dim. Avoid using blue bulbs or blue lights.
- Sleep routine: Stick to a fixed sleep schedule. Take a warm bath, get a head massage and drink some warm milk before sleeping. Developing a routine before going to bed helps signal to your body that it’s ready for bed, helping you to fall asleep faster.
- Eating habits: Have dinner at least 2-3 hours before bedtime and avoid heavy meals. Don’t drink anything caffeinated after 6 p.m.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top What Is Beauty Sleep? Related Articles
Bed Basics and SleepSleep. It seems like the easiest thing in the world. Until it's not. See tips on how to get your best sleep. Our gallery shows you how to get plenty of it.
What Sleep-Disordered Breathing Conditions Are Treated With a CPAP Machine?A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine treats the following sleep-disordered breathing conditions including obstructive sleep apnea and Snoring.
How Can I Fall Asleep in 2 Minutes?Adequate quantity and quality of sleep are important for you to stay healthy, both mentally and physically. While for a blessed few dozing off is an easy affair, going to sleep can be a struggle for many. Falling asleep in a short while, such as in 2 minutes, may be achieved by following certain tips and sleep rituals.
How Do You Fall Asleep in 5 Minutes?Good sleep hygiene means practicing habits that help you get good quality sleep every night. Adequate sleep is essential for your overall mental and physical health. There are no quick fixes to fall asleep within five minutes, but there are strategies to help you fall asleep faster.
Problem SleepinessWhen sleepiness interferes with daily routines and activities, or reduces the ability to function, it is called "problem sleepiness." A person can have problem sleepiness without realizing it. Symptoms of problem sleepiness include: consistently don't get enough sleep, or poor quality sleep, fall asleep while driving, struggle to stay awake when inactive (like watching TV or reading), have difficulty paying attention or concentrating at work, school, or home, have poor performance problems at work or school, have difficulty remembering things, have slowed responses, have difficulty controlling your emotions, and/or if you have to take naps on most days.
Sleep Disorders (How to Get a Good Night's Sleep)A number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. Sleep needs vary from individual to individual and change throughout your life. The National Institutes of Health recommend about 7-9 hours of sleep each night for older, school-aged children, teens, and most average adults; 10-12 for preschool-aged children; and 16-18 hours for newborns. There are two stages of sleep; 1) REM sleep (rapid-eye movement), and 2) NREM sleep (non-rapid-eye movement). The side effects of lack of sleep or insomnia include:
- Feeling sleepy during the day
- Concentration or memory problems
Lack of sleep and insomnia can be caused by medical conditions or diseases, medications, stress, or pain. The treatment for lack of sleep and insomnia depends upon the cause.
Insomnia Treatment (Sleep Aids and Stimulants)
Insomnia is difficulty in falling or staying asleep, the absence of restful sleep, or poor quality of sleep. Insomnia is a symptom and not a disease. The most common causes of insomnia are medications, psychological conditions, environmental changes and stressful events. Treatments may include non-drug treatments, over-the-counter medicines, and/or prescription medications.
Sleep ApneaSleep apnea is defined as a reduction or cessation of breathing during sleep. The three types of sleep apnea are central apnea, obstructive apnea (OSA), and a mixture of central and obstructive apnea. Central sleep apnea is caused by a failure of the brain to activate the muscles of breathing during sleep. OSA is caused by the collapse of the airway during sleep. OSA is diagnosed and evaluated through patient history, physical examination and polysomnography. There are many complications related to obstructive sleep apnea. Treatments are surgical and non-surgical.
Sleep CycleSleep is a mystery to many of us, but scientists know quite a bit about how it affects us. Here's what happens to your body when you fall asleep.
Sleep Health: 20 Facts About Your Biological Body ClockBiological clocks control much of human biology, including aging, hormones, sleep, fertility, and seasonal cycles. The body clock controls circadian rhythms, the 24-hour cycle that governs biological processes in humans, animals, plants, and even bacteria. Science says maintaining healthy circadian rhythms may protect against chronic conditions.
Why Do People Sleepwalk (Somnambulism)?Sleepwalking is a condition in which an individual walks or does other activities while asleep. Factors associated with sleepwalking include genetic, environmental, and physiological. Episodes of sleepwalking may include quiet walking to agitated running. Conditions that may have similar symptoms of sleepwalking, but are not include night terrors, confusional arousals, and nocturnal seizures. Treatment of sleepwalking generally include preventative measures. Medication may be prescribed if necessary.
Health and Beauty: The Benefits of Beauty SleepAre you a night owl? Your late hours might show up on your face, so check out this slideshow to see why you need your beauty sleep.
What Happens When You Get a Body Wrap?People use body wraps for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include helping your body get rid of unhealthy toxins, excess fluids, and dead skin. Different types of body wrap target different goals and unique types of skin.
Why Can't I Sleep by Myself?There are several reasons why it's hard to fall asleep alone, but there are many things you can do to combat the problem. You may have a hard time sleeping by yourself because of fear, bad habits, hormones or grief.