Is Sleep Deprivation Ruining Your Look (and Your Health)?
Some may what to vehemently deny it, but taking care of your outward appearance helps keep your entire body healthy, inside and out. A poor aesthetic (such as a dull complexion, weight gain, and more) is often a symptom of serious health problems lingering beneath the surface. One way to keep your body healthy and beautiful is to get plenty of quality sleep. But when that doesn't happen, there can be unfortunate consequences - not just for your look, but your overall health.
How Sleep Deprivation Ruins Your Skin
The effects of sleep deprivation on your skin are usually subtle at first. In one study, supermodels were photographed before and after an experiment where they only got 6 hours of sleep per night for five nights in a row. A Visia machine analysis showed that by the end of the experiment, pore visibility expanded by 83% and bacterial growth on the skin's surface increased by 65%. Dark circles, skin discoloration, a dull complexion, under-eye bags, and broken capillaries were also noticeable.
But a less aesthetically pleasing complexion is only the tip of the iceberg. If your skin is looking dull and unattractive from days, weeks, or months of sleep debt, it could be a sign of other health problems:
- Improper Hydration. As everyone knows, staying properly hydrated is essential for good health. But all the hydration in the world can't help you if it isn't being evenly distributed to the cells, structures, and organs where it's needed most. Sleep is essential for an optimal distribution of moisture; and when your body is evenly hydrated, it shows through in your plump, glowing, blemish-free skin.
- Hormone Dysregulation. Several different restorative hormonal processes happen while you sleep. One especially important process is the release of Growth Hormone. If you don't get enough quality sleep, you won't release enough Growth Hormone, and you won't give your skin enough time to utilize Growth Hormone in order to repair itself. That's why sleep-deprived skin has so many visible blemishes.
- Inhibited Detoxification. Sleep is also when the human body gathers up all the toxins that are polluting your system and takes out the trash, so to speak. But your body can't do this if it isn't given enough time or opportunity to fully detoxify itself. The detoxification processes of both the brain and the liver kick into high gear during the deepest parts of your sleep cycle. But if you don't hit those levels of deeper sleep - or if you don't spend enough time in them - you won't be able to flush all of the toxins out of your body. And the first place you'll see toxic buildup is your skin.
How Sleep Deprivation Ruins Your Waistline
Studies show that even a single night of poor (or no) sleep can have a detrimental influence on other hormone levels, too. Growth hormone regulation isn't the only process that gets disturbed by poor sleep - ghrelin and leptin regulation get thrown out of balance as well. For those who aren't in the loop, ghrelin is the hormone your body produces when it needs fuel, triggering you to feel hungry and crave high-calorie foods. Leptin, on the other hand, gets released when your belly is full and you don't need to eat anymore, making you feel satiated.
When your body doesn't get enough quality sleep, ghrelin is released in abundance while leptin production slows to a trickle. Not only does this lead to increased caloric intake, but the types of foods people usually crave (sugars, fats, and processed carbs) are all foods that decrease insulin sensitivity. Over time, this can produce an expanding waistline, Type II Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, poor quality of life, and a shorter life span.
How to Improve Your Appearance - and Health - by Getting Better Sleep
There's a chance this article is giving you even more anxiety about your sleepless nights - as if you didn't already have enough worries keeping you up at night. But don't despair just yet; there are solutions to the problem. You can first try these natural methods of relaxation.
Some people may be initially tempted to get over-the-counter or even prescription sleeping pills without thinking it through. Often, though, those sleep remedies can be more dangerous than not getting any sleep at all. That's why we're big fans of natural, herbal sleeping pills. They're safe, effective, and non habit forming. They won't leave you groggy the next day, and they make it easier for your body to get the deep, restorative sleep that it needs in order to be healthy. if you want help shopping around for the right herbal sleep aid, you can start right here.