Nobody can argue that getting good hours of sleep is amazing. It’s essential not only for maintaining our disposition and good mood but also for helping to contribute to better health in addition to preserving the integrity of our skin!
We know that on average an adult should sleep around eight hours per night. But it is a fact that each person’s biological clock can vary, leading adults who need more sleep to require 10 hours of sleep to feel well rested. The need for sleep varies widely at each age: a newborn spends over 2/3 of their day sleeping, and may sleep for up to 20 hours a day! A 12-month old baby averages 12 hours per day (including the naps during the day). On the other hand, the elderly, have trouble sleeping more than 5 hours. This is a result of time acting on our chronicity. But it is worth noting that good hours of sleep are imperative for our neuromotor development and growth, in addition to the proper functioning of our immune system.
Well, we have all already noticed that in our current modern society, our busy and stressful lifestyle contributes to a reduction in precious hours of sleep. We can list several phenomena which consequently trigger sleep deprivation creating a stressful situation for the body.
Being restricted to only four hours of sleep may contribute to an increase in blood pressure, levels of cortisol and insulin during the night, besides increased appetite likely caused by a fall in plasma levels of leptin and an increase in the hunger hormone, ghrelin. Furthermore, a reduction of sleep has also been associated with increased levels of body mass index and obesity (Mcwen et al., 2006). Just this data alone shows the importance of hours of peaceful sleep.
Since our body does not operate in isolation, certainly all of it is affected by this intriguing imbalance. Why then do they say that sleep is good for the skin? Because the skin is the largest organ in the body and it is imperative for protecting and maintaining the body’s balance. As with all organs, when something is out of balance, its integrity is also affected.
Collagen is one of the skins main components; its function is to maintain the structure and integrity of the skin. Therefore, its production can also be affected by exogenous and endogenous factors for example; enzymes, vitamin C, and the immune system. In the same way that stress and lack of sleep affect our immune system; they can also react on our skin leading to an increase in various dermatological diseases such as psoriasis and dermatitis, as well as affecting the epithelial barrier, which may increase skin infections (Principe et al., 2010).
The question of lack of sleep and stress is difficult to unravel since both factors cannot be isolated. But studies suggest that lack of sleep leads to an increase of glucocorticoids which can affect the integrity of the skin, as well as a dysregulation of the immune system that affects the production of collagen.
Axelsson and researchers have carried out a survey, in which they study the concept of sleep and beauty scientifically. They showed that people who sleep little appear to be less healthy, less attractive and more tired in comparison to situations in which they are well rested. According to the authors, this work is critical in helping us realize that we present facial messages which are sensitive to sleep and which may, therefore, help indicate in the future a more accurate clinical diagnosis for people with sleep disorders.
Is it possible then that to maintain beautiful silky skin like a baby we must sleep like one? It is, of course, worth a try, in addition to always seeking tranquility, peace, love and happiness.