Does lack of sleep cause acne?
Nearly all of us have a skincare routine. Some of us are skincare fanatics and love indulging in a 10 to 20 step skincare routine while others are good with our basics (cleansing and moisturizing). Skin is the largest organ of the body and requires constant work to maintain the results. The job of the skin is much more than simply looking good; it protects us from harmful toxins and organisms. That is why it requires constant care.
However, your skin needs more than skincare to look good. For instance, sleep is one of the most important elements of making your skin look and feel healthy. I am sure you have noticed the impact of sleep on your skin. If you are getting by 6 hours or less of sleep every night and thinking it’s adequate, let me burst your bubble by saying it’s not. The National Sleep Foundation recommends sleeping for at least 7 to 9 hours every single night.
During sleep, your body will release growth hormones that will help repair skin cells/tissues and restore your skin. During sleep, your body also produces cytokines that help your immune system fight all kinds of infections including skin infections. The benefits of sleep are not just limited to the skin, it also helps your physical and mental health.
Research indicates that lack of sleep can lead to acne. Individuals struggling with poor sleep are more likely to develop worse acne. Moreover, fatigue upon waking up is also linked with acne.
Poor sleep habits lead to stress which contributes to the production of inflammatory proteins and cortisol. Increased levels of cortisol directly impact the immune system of your body, leading to skin problems including acne.
Sleep deprivation is used as a method of torture. That itself explains why we feel depressed and anxious when we are not getting enough hours of sleep in. Anxiety and stress can lead to bad skin habits such as picking up the skin which can further worsen the condition.
With that being said, oftentimes a combination of different factors is what leads to acne. Sometimes, your diet, lifestyle, and lack of sleep are responsible. Other times, a poor skincare routine and hormones can impact your skin. Hence, it is important to visit a dermatologist and identify the root cause behind your flare-ups.
This is something you can’t figure out on your own. Hence, it is better to get professional help right away.
Here are a few points to keep in mind if you want clear skin:
Now that we have established a relationship between acne and sleep, let’s look at some of the other problems caused by lack of sleep:
UNDER-EYE HOLLOWS, BAGS, AND DARKNESS
I am sure you have noticed that you need a little bit more concealer when you haven’t slept enough. Darkness under the eyes, puffiness, and bags are all the miracles of poor sleep. All those expensive under-eye creams and hydrating masks won’t do a thing unless you are not getting enough sleep in.
So, aim at resting 8 hours a day for youthful and less tired-looking eyes.
THE CURSE OF SKIN AGING
None of us wants to look older than we are. In fact, most of us would prefer to look younger than our age. If you aren’t sleeping enough, you are simply welcoming premature aging. A high water loss indicates a weaker skin barrier. When you sleep, your body recovers itself. Research shows that women who have slept well have a 30 percent greater skin barrier recovery than those who don’t. If you wish to look youthful, aim at sleeping at least 8 hours a day.
IMPROVED BODY IMAGE
Sleep can greatly impact your mood and general perception. If you are well fed and slept, you are sure to feel more satisfied with your physical appearance and generally have a better perception of yourself.
The improved mood is a plus in itself. A tired face looks unhealthy and that is something you do not want for yourself.
Improved sleep quality and quantity not only help acne but prevents other skin problems as well. Overall, it makes your skin look healthy and refreshed. If you have been sleeping for 4 to 5 hours, you can’t simply switch over to sleeping 8 hours a day overnight.
You can simply start by sleeping 15 minutes earlier. Do it for a few days and add another 15 minutes. Keep doing it till you hit at least 7 to 8 hours. Some things that can help are; sleeping in a dark place, using white noise or relaxation noises.
It is also good to have a wind-down routine that you can follow every single day. Start by switching off the electronic appliances 2 to 3 hours before sleeping. Take a bath, read a book, meditate, or listen to calming music. Having a ritual in place helps you adjust your sleep pattern and lead to a calmer sleep.
Finding a good sleep routine takes time and practice. You’ll soon discover what works for you and what doesn’t. However, sleep alone won’t make your acne disappear magically (it can happen in some cases). It is important to look at all the other factors on your journey to clear skin.
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