Early in the nighttime sleep cycle, people typically have a surge in growth hormone. This period of deep sleep is what people call “beauty sleep”.

The Science of Beauty Sleep

Let’s break down skin renewal and rejuvenation during sleep. It’s a known fact that getting the the appropriate amount of sleep lessens the severity of wrinkles in the face and neck. To start this process the body cools down by half a degree in anticipation of bed time. This is caused by the circulatory system increasing blood flow to the skin. An explanation to why your cheeks can appear flushed at night. Next, growth hormone is secreted to help repair and rebuild body tissue. The body’s tissues also show increased cell production and slower breakdown of proteins during deep sleep. Proteins are the building blocks needed for cell growth. They also aid in repair of damage from factors like stress and ultraviolet rays. There is some evidence that skin cells regenerate faster at night than during the day. Therefore, good and adequate sleep is important for the integrity of the skin. But, don’t be fooled, cell division happens throughout the whole day.  However, it peaks around 2 am. The peak in cell division happens even if you stay awake at night, while the surge in growth hormone doesn’t.

What happens if you don’t get your beauty sleep?

Sleep Deprivation puts more stress on the body. Deep sleep helps negate the bad effects of cortisol (stress hormone) on the body. Lack of sleep not only negatively affects body fat percentage and the risk of chronic disease, poor sleep quality does as well. Growth hormone naturally decreases with age, and also with increased abdominal fat. This can lead into a vicious cycle of fatigue, excess stress hormone, and abdominal fat that won’t budge. Sleep deprivation also causes breaks in skin barrier function. Another benefit of beauty sleep is maintaining the parts of the brain that control emotions, decision-making processes, and social interactions.

Nighttime Routine Tips

Many skincare products are vulnerable to sunlight. Consequently, to get more out of them you should use them before bed! The best example is antioxidants like vitamins C and E will stay active on your skin longer if you apply them at night. Resting your face on the pillow in the same position every night for years and years may lead to wrinkles. Try sleeping on your back, as opposed to your side or stomach. This position can prevent premature wrinkle formation .When you perspire during sleep it’s like a natural skin treatment. The moisture on the skin smooths out wrinkles. To enhance your natural beauty, pop on some nourishing eye masks or a moisturizing sleeping mask at least 30 minutes before bed.