A bad nights skin can leave us looking tired but usually after a few good nights sleep things improve and our appearance returns to normal. As a one off, poor sleep can be managed but long-term sleeplessness can have a profoundly negative effect on skin health. Skin issues relating to sleeplessness range from premature ageing to chronic inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
The primary reason for this is stress as both the initial cause of the insomnia and the eventual damage to skin tissues. Insufficient or poor quality sleep has been associated with a rise in cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and a decline in melatonin (the sleep hormone) and seratonin (the feel-good hormone).
Insomnia also disrupts the optimal processing of collagen formation, which is essential for skin structure and integrity. The follow on effects from poor collagen formation include the disruption of the acid mantle leading to excessive moisture loss and increased sensitivity and permeability to topical products.
To maintain healthy skin, it is recommended you get at least 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep each night.
So what does this mean for those with chronic skin conditions (including premature ageing and chronic skin dehydration)? Assess your sleep patterns. Ask yourself these questions:
If can answer yes to any of these questions on a regular basis, it may be worth addressing your sleep patterns.
A few simple tips to optimize sleep hygiene:
There are many other tips to help you get a good nights sleep but remember if it is a chronic problem, seek help as there are solutions that don’t involve sleeping tablets. And ideally, deal with the stress that is causing the insomnia in the first place.
If you have any sleep tips, let us know. I am sure all readers will benefit.Twitter It!
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