Sure, you can pull all-nighters at work, sweat on the daily and still spend time with friends and family, but let us warn you: if you have to cut back on your sleep to do it all, it's bound to affect more than just your memory and ability to nail that presentation at work. As it turns out, your mom wasn't lying when she advised you to get your beauty rest. How well you sleep can really affect your appearance. Wondering how? Wonder no more!
Skin Ages Faster
A new study commissioned by Esteé Lauder suggests that a lack of sleep can cause our skin to age faster. This means an increase in fine lines, uneven skin pigmentation and reduced skin elasticity. This is the first study of its kind to demonstrate a correlation between poor sleep and reduced skin health and premature aging. It will definitely force you to look at the long-term risks of failing to get a good night's rest, but your skin and health will thank you for your concern in the long run.
Hormonal changes in the brain caused by not getting enough sleep have been linked to weight gain. This has to do with the effects of sleep duration on leptin, a peptide that controls appetite. A 2004 study (among many others) found that those who sleep less than five hours per night are 15% more likely become obese than those who sleep for seven or more hours.
Dehydrated Complexion, Redness and Breakouts
A lack of sleep can also lead to a dehydrated complexion, causing redness and breakouts. Because your skin replenishes itself while you get your Z's, not having enough sleep creates an imbalance of your skin's PH levels, making it appear less glow-y and youthful. If you're getting enough sleep but are still having these problems, consider replacing your low-breathability, low-count sheets with high-quality sheets like these Organic Cotton Sheets.
Perhaps the most telling sign of a poor night's rest are those begrudging dark circles under your eyes that are caused by dilated blood vessels. These black or purple shadows are hard to avoid without your full eight hours and can be even harder to cover up! If you're suffering from dark circles, try Sephora's Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer.
Breakdown of Collagen
A lack of sleep causes your body to produce more of the stress hormone cortisol, which has plenty of negative effects on the body. These include the breakdown of collagen, the main ingredient for the supple skin all your pals lust after. Over time, a continuous breakdown of collagen leads to sallow, sagging and aged-looking skin. If you're worried about your collagen loss, work a collagen booster like Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster into your skincare regime—and get more sleep, obviously.
In addition to all of the frightening health risks we hear about that come from a lack of sleep, like heart disease and diabetes, you may now have an answer as to why you haven't been looking or feeling your best lately. Now that you know how sleep affects our appearance, you can be sure to get into bed a little earlier and perhaps even set your alarm a little later. After all, science says you really do need your beauty sleep!