There really aren’t enough hours in the day. Going to work, cooking, going to the gym, squeezing in some family time and attempting to socialise, leaves little time for much else! With so much to cram in, some people find their days are starting earlier and finishing later.
Although most of us don’t need any encouragement to lie in at the weekend, sleep is often the first thing we compromise during the week to fit everything into our hectic lives. But would sacrificing socialising for sleep improve our skin?
How can sleep improve my blemish prone skin?
‘Beauty sleep’ is definitely not a myth. Whilst we’re sleeping our body gets to work eliminating toxins from the skin, as well as healing and renewing it. So when we cut down our sleeping time, we’re effectively cutting down the body’s ability to perform these functions.
A lack of, or interrupted sleep, can lead to stress hormones increasing. This is bad news for blemish prone skin as this aggravates inflammatory skin conditions, especially blemishes and psoriasis. Increased inflammation could lead to blemishes worsening and increased sensitivity. If you’re having a stressful night’s sleep, your body will increase production of glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones which impair the work of the immune system and are usually used to treat those with an overactive immune system. Overproduction of glucocorticoids can result in abnormalities in skin structure and function, making conditions like acne worsen.
When you’re sleeping is the best time for some overnight acne treatments to take effect. Retinol is an increasingly popular ingredient in the treatment of blemish prone skin. It is a milder form of Tretinoin, and works by renewing skin cells and tightening pores. This cream or gel is best applied before going to sleep as cell renewal is at its strongest at night, furthermore the new skin formed is extremely delicate and should not be exposed to the sun. Sleep is essential because wearing Retinol treatments will make your skin become highly sensitised to the sun.
Changing your pillowcases
No, this isn’t a drastic overnight cure, but it may stop new blemishes from forming and is more useful than you’d think.
Pillow cases, just like makeup brushes and hand towels, house dirt and oil when not cleaned regularly. This is transferred onto our skin whilst we are sleeping and could be responsible for clogging pores and new blemishes forming. Ensure you are washing your skin before going to bed and changing pillowcases at least twice a week if you suffer from blemish prone skin.
How can I get a better night sleep?
So if the key to beautiful blemish free skin is a great night sleep, just how do you go about getting that crucial shut-eye?
Eat earlier: For starters, make sure you aren’t eating a large meal close to the time you go to bed. Your last meal should be a couple of hours before bed at the least. A heavy meal followed by no activity is not an ideal situation for our bodies to process food, and can lead to digestive problems and interrupted sleep.
Avoid screens before bed: It makes sense to let yourself relax as much as possible before you call it a night. Doing something that increases your alertness will not help to let your body know you’re ready to switch off.
Increase the length of your sleep: Most studies suggest that somewhere between seven and nine hours is an appropriate length of time to sleep.
So if you needed another reason to get some shuteye, it may just help you get rid of your blemishes!
This article is intended as general information only. You should seek advice from a professional before altering your diet, changing your exercise regime or starting any new course of conduct.