Sunday, February 17, 2013
Is Beauty Sleep Real?
We've all heard about "beauty sleep" but how important is it anyway? Can more sleep really make that much of a difference to our appearance? The answer is "Yes!" Need some scientific evidence?
An experimental study was done in Sweden where participants were photographed both after a normal night's sleep and after being sleep deprived. When the photographs were looked at in random order and rated by untrained observers the sleep deprived people were rated as less healthy, more tired, and less attractive. See Is There Really Such A Thing As Beauty Sleep? for more details.
So why is getting enough sleep so important for looking our best? First of all, when you sleep the production of human growth hormone increases. The release of this hormone plays an important role in healing and repairing cells and tissues throughout your body, including your skin. Cutting repair time short can wreak havoc on your skin, and can lead to more fine lines, dark circles, and a duller complexion.
Not getting enough sleep can also lead to dehydration by impairing the ability of the skin barrier to hold in moisture. Dehydrated skin makes fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable, which in turn makes you less attractive.
A lack of sleep can also weaken the immune system which can lead to illnesses. And we all know that we don't usually look our best when we are sick!
Finally, not getting enough sleep can lead to being more stressed. Appearing "stressed out" is not a beautiful look for anyone. Bottom line, beauty sleep does matter! Aim for 7-8 hours a night. Sweet dreams!