How Beauty Sleep Is More Important to Your Anti-Aging Regimen Than Your Serum
Mar 16, 2018
The best anti-aging secret weapon you may have in your arsenal is not a topical. It’s sleep. That’s right — eight hours of full, unadulterated, restful sleep. So in honor of World Sleep Day, we take a look at exactly why we need to take beauty sleep quite literally.
Sleeping is one of my favorite things to do. But back in my wayward college years, sleeping was one of the last things on my list of priorities — I had clubs to go to and people to dance with. But things have changed. The years have ticked by and the older I get, the more I’m reminded that sleep isn’t just some thing to do for fun; it’s a necessity in my life.
We often get carried away trying to find that one special product that will turn our skin into Beyoncé’s. And trust me, I am always searching for my next Holy Grail product. But sometimes one of the missing components of our beauty regimen is simply getting a proper night’s rest.
The skin benefits of sleep
I know firsthand just how much sleeping has improved my life and my skin. I work a really weird schedule and am up at the ass crack of dawn to tutor children in English. For a few months, I was running on about anywhere from 5 to 6 hours of sleep, and it showed. I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten until I got a comment from a concerned parent who commented on how tired I looked in class. Despite my happy and energetic attitude, I looked a mess. My eyes were puffy, my skin was blotchy and incredibly dull. From then on, I made it an effort to get enough sleep at night (about 8 hours), and my skin has thanked me ever since.
I know, I know — all the magazines and social media tell us that sleep is for lazy people. We gotta live life to the fullest and by sleeping you’re missing something important! Sure, Jan. Let me tell you straight up:
- Not getting enough sleep increases the number of inflammatory cells in your body, which can lead to a reduction in collagen and hyaluronic acid, two things you definitely don’t want to happen.
- Keep skipping out on sleep, and over time, your skin can lose its bouncy texture and healthy glow.
- And when you lose sleep, you’re missing crucial amounts of deep sleep, which is the stage where our body creates growth hormones to repair our damaged cells. Without these deep phases of sleep, we don’t create those precious growth hormones, which means that all of those broken ass cells continue to collect and damage our skin.
Wanna know what all that means? Premature aging. Wrinkles. SADNESS.
So how do I get my 8 hours?
I’ve perfected my nighttime routine to a science and manage to get enough sleep nearly every night. Here are a few of my tips:
Put down your electronics
I stop looking at my computer, TV, phone, etc. about an hour before I go to bed. Instead, I wash my face and do my nighttime routine, and wear a sheet mask while I do some reading. Reading at night always makes me super sleepy, so it’s a win-win!
Write a to-do list for the next day
A lot of my sleeping woes came from feeling like I had all these lists and ideas in my head that I couldn’t stop thinking about. Now I get it all out in my journal, including a short list of things I want to get done the next day.
Don’t eat too close to bedtime, but don’t eat too early either
I didn’t realize just how important timing food before bed is. Far too often, I’d wake up in the middle of the night completely starving because I hadn’t eaten since like 5 pm. Now I eat a bedtime snack about 1.5 hours before I go to bed. It’s usually a banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and some non-fat Greek yogurt for protein. This small snack keeps me completely satiated throughout the night so I don’t wake up hungry. I also make sure to finish drinking my water about an hour and a half before I go to bed as well.
So please! Get a good night’s rest. Your skin will thank you!
How much sleep do you get a night? And what are your go-to beauty sleep tips? Let me know in the comments!
Sheryll Donerson got her start as a beauty writer by writing K-beauty reviews for her blog, The Wanderlust Project. These days, she's lifting heavy weights, eating tacos, drinking (too much) coffee and is 1/4 of the beauty podcast, Beauty Beyond Basics (or Triple Bees for short). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @sheryllrenata.