The Face of Sleep Deprivation
According to a study by the Department of Psychology at Stockholm University, if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you can expect to wake up with:
– Hanging eyelids
– Red eyes
– Swollen eyes
– Dark circles under the eyes
– Paler skin
– Increased wrinkles/fine lines
– Droopy corners of the mouth
In four different studies by Department of Psychology at Stockholm University, photographs of people with varying amount of sleep were shown to assessors who evaluated them based on factors such as attractiveness, health, reliability, leadership, employability and how much they wanted to spend time with the person in the photo. Tired people were assessed more negatively than when the same people were photographed after a good night’s sleep. Bottom line: you look better when you sleep and people notice.
Deep Sleep Slows the Aging Process
Lack of sleep accelerates the aging process. Deep sleep is required for the body to produce growth hormone, which helps repair and rebuild body tissues like muscle and bone. Lack of growth hormone is associated with more noticeable signs of aging. In addition to growth hormone, your body also makes new collagen, the protein that keeps skin strong and elastic, while you sleep. Other tissues in the body show increased cell production and slower breakdown of proteins during deep sleep.
More Sleep, More Weight Loss!
The research is overwhelming – lack of sleep contributes to weight gain. For a scientific explanation for just one reason lack of sleep is tied to weight gain, sleep study experts at Sleepdex explain, “Adipocytes (your “fat cells”) release leptin to the bloodstream to signal sufficient fat stores; leptin therefore acts as a natural appetite suppressor. The stomach releases ghrelin when it is empty, signalling hunger. (That’s oversimplified; ghrelin is suspected to be associated with the body’s long-term weight regulation – levels are higher in obese people than lean people.) Sleep deprivation lowers the levels of leptin and raises levels of grehlin. It’s a double whammy hormone hit that makes you want to eat more. The brain is getting signals that the body is starving, so you crave food.” Not only does lack of sleep signal the body to eat, but researchers at the University of Chicago have found that the hormones trigger that regulate hunger, cause an increase preference for calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.
More great news – not only does a full night sleep help you to keep from gaining weight, it appears that a good night’s sleep can actually help you to lose weight! Scientific American reported that “researchers also found that if dieters got a full night’s rest, they more than doubled the amount of weight lost from fat reserves. So even though subjects lost about as much weight when they were sleep deprived as when they were well-rested, only about a quarter of the weight lost during the short sleep period was from fat. Tired-eyed dieters also reported feeling hungrier than they did when they had gotten enough sleep. Results of the study were published online October 4 in Annals of Internal Medicine.”
A Good Night’s Sleep Plumps Up Skin
Michael Breus, PhD, author of Beauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep, says, “Your body re-hydrates while you sleep,” giving your skin a healthy glow, making fine lines and wrinkles less visible and reducing the appearance under-eye bags. Just look at what lack of sleep did to this model!
Lack of Sleep Worsens Existing Skin Conditions.
Lack of sleep increases the body’s inflammatory response, resulting in more acne breakouts, greater skin sensitivity, increased allergic skin reactions such as psoriasis and eczema.
Besides the damage inflammation does to skin, Inflammation is also linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. Research indicates that people who get less sleep—six or fewer hours a night—have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more.
How to do Beauty Sleep Right
Applying pressure to your face during sleep causes sleep lines, otherwise known as wrinkles. If you can train yourself to sleep on your back, you can reduces the appearance and formation of facial wrinkles. If sleeping your back all night just isn’t an option, try a silk pillowcase. Silk causes less friction than cotton fabric, helping the skin to slide instead of fold and is hypoallergenic and more breathable than other fabrics, which can assist in the healing of existing skin conditions.