Sleep and Your Skin


You’ve just woken up. You look in the mirror and can’t believe what you are seeing: puffy eyes, dark circles, droopy eyelids and dry skin. You, my dear, have had a rough night. Poor sleep can wreak havoc on your skin. We need adequate amounts of sleep to allow the body to repair itself. There are three hormones affected by inadequate amounts of sleep: cortisol, growth hormone and melatonin. And they all have a direct effect on how our skin ages.


Cortisol

This is our stress response hormone. When we are not sleeping well, we are not operating on a full tank. The body identifies this as a “stressful situation” and starts producing cortisol. This spike in cortisol keeps us moving like an energy drink, but at a cost. Elevated cortisol levels break down collagen, resulting in less skin elasticity.


Growth Hormone

This hormone is responsible for building muscle, bone and tissue including skin. It is one of our anti-aging hormones that replenishes when we...SLEEP. It rehydrates the skin and allows for cellular repair.


Melatonin

This is our sleep hormone and it plays a role in our immune system. It also contributes to the functional and physical integrity of our skin.


Without quality sleep, our growth hormone and melatonin are not produced in sufficient quantities. While on the other hand, cortisol is being overproduced. That’s what you are seeing in the mirror when you wake up from a rough night or poor sleep.


There are supplements available that some people choose to take to help with sleeplessness. Other ways to help get a good night’s sleep include healthy eating habits, exercising and reducing alcohol consumption. I’ve also found it helpful to turn off electronics at least an hour before bed.


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