Day 19 – They call it beauty rest for a reason, the role of sleep in skin health
We’ve all heard the expression “beauty sleep”, but is there anything behind this expression? Does getting adequate rest really help us look better? The answer is yes, and it goes beyond more than just the obvious dark circles that show up under our eyes when we don’t get enough sleep.
Cell turnover and regeneration occur during our sleep. This includes all cells, so the cells that support our skin renew too. So when we skimp on sleep we do not allow for our skin to be refreshed leading to dull, damaged skin cells. (And maybe a short fuse and grumpy disposition too!
In addition, when we do not get enough sleep, our cortisol production increases. Do you remember we talked about cortisol and stress earlier in the challenge? We need the hormone cortisol to deal with the ups and downs of daily living. It gives us the energy to react to stressors. When we over-produce cortisol, collagen is depleted, leading to sagging wrinkled skin which lacks a firmness and elasticity. The hormone melatonin is released during our sleep and counteracts the effects of too much cortisol production.
For many of us it seems that there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done, and so we sacrifice sleep. The right amount of sleep varies by the individual. There are a few rare people who can live healthfully on very little sleep and on the other end there are some who need 10+ hours per night in order to function. On average, we need 6-8 hours per night. Below are some other tips to help ensure that when you do retire for the night, you get a high quality sleep:
- Best sleep temperature is 62-68 degrees F
- Follow the same schedule every day – try to follow your body’s cues if possible
- Get electronics out of the bedroom – Lights and EMF can disrupt sleep cycles.
- Have a protein snack 2 hrs before bed and no liquids 2 hrs prior to avoid getting up to urinate during the night
- Try a magnesium soak before bed. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer and sleep aid. Magnesium is found in Epsom salts—add a few drops of lavender oil for a relaxing bedtime bath. If you don’t like baths, you can try taking 100-300 mg of Magnesium glycinate before bed.
- Keep a journal next to your bed and transfer your to-do list and/or stressful thoughts to the journal to be dealt with the next day. Don’t let these thoughts keep you awake.
As you may have guessed, the challenge today is to get some sleep. You know best how many hours you need to feel refreshed. Make it a priority to take time for rest so you can provide your skin with rejuvenation time as well as balance the hormones that contribute to healthy skin and a healthy you!