"Each night when I go to sleep, I die and the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn".
A sleepless night not just renders you grumpy, listless and unproductive, but it can affect our skin the next day, i.e. dark circles, dull skin and increased signs of aging. We need sleep: during sleep our bodies and skin cells regenerate and undo what we endured the day before. Between 12:00 A.M. and 4:00 A.M. our skin is in a process of repair, due to decreased levels of the dastardly hormone cortisol. While important to the body's response to stress, cortisol is also responsible for the body's lower immunity and inflammatory responses.
In our current high-stress culture it is difficult for our bodies to stay balanced. "While there's little published data on exactly how our skin restores itself as we sleep, we do know that the length of telomeres (the ends of our chromosomes that are stretches of DNA that protect the chromosomal DNA like little caps) is better preserved in those with good and regular sleep patterns (the length of a telomere decreases with age). Skin also recovers and heals more quickly in people who routinely get more than seven hours of sleep", says Chicago dermatologist Dr. Quenby Erickson, MD. Research verifies that skin cell turnover is 8X quicker at night. "Sleep is the 'time out' your body requires to make necessary cellular repairs and zone in on restoring your body from the inside out", says sleep expert Michael Breuss.
Make the most of beauty sleep by using products rich with retinols, retinoids, anti-aging, collagen stimulating, hydrating and antioxidant ingredients. During sleep our skin's protective barrier diminishes, thus anything applied topically is easily penetrated. "When your body is asleep, it can focus on other endeavors that it can't hone in on while it's awake. At the top of it's list of priorities are cell growth and repair", says Breuss.
Remember 6-9 hours is on average the amount of sleep an adult requires each night. Allow me to recap: while we sleep skin repairs itself, new skin cells grow, skin defends itself from moisture loss and free radical damage, there is an increase in protein production, less oil is produced and growth hormones are released. Try these nightly skin aids before you head off to bed: Lumixyl's Trifecting Night Cream, Skinceuticals A.G.E. Interrupter, Exuviance's Evening Restorative Complex and spaViolet's Iron Me Out.
"The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more".