Are You Sleep Deprived? What Is It Doing To Your Skin?

Today, people are getting less sleep than ever before, especially with longer work hours, technology distractions, and increase in weight that makes it hard for the obese to sleep. Aside from general health and an increased propensity to gain weight, another good a new study has revealed another reason to get enough sleep: sleep deprivation may also age your skin faster!

A clinical trial commissioned by Estée Lauder and conducted by physician-scientists at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center found that poor sleepers demonstrated increased signs of skin aging. They also gave a worse assessment of their own skin and facial appearance than people who sleep well.

The research revealed that an inadequate sleep is correlated with reduced skin health and accelerates skin aging among menopausal women. Sleep deprived women show signs of premature skin aging and a decrease in their skin’s ability to recover after sun exposure. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to medical problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and immune deficiency, although up until this study published this summer, its effects on skin function have previously been unknown.

Most people have experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep. But it turns out that chronic sleep loss can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes.

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.

Sleep loss also causes the body to release too little human growth hormone. When we’re young, human growth hormone promotes growth. As we age, it helps increase muscle mass, thicken skin, and strengthen bones.

It’s during deep, slow-wave sleep, that a growth hormone is released, which seems to researchers so far, to be part of normal tissue repair.

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