If you thought the term beauty sleep was just an expression, you’re not alone. But it turns out that “beauty sleep” is real and it’s essential for repairing your skin.
Your skin uses sleep hours to produce healing hormones to heal itself from the day’s damage. The deeper phases of sleep are when your body produces a growth hormone that repairs daily damage from things like sun exposure and pollution. When you drift off, your skin gets the chance to not only repair itself, but to also generate new skin cells and is responsible for why you may wake up looking fresh and rosy.
A good night’s sleep also means you’re more likely to wake up less puffy around the eyes. Your body releases its water as you snooze, sending moisture where it’s needed and getting rid of the excess. Not getting enough sleep can cause your cortisol levels to rise which alters your body’s salt balance and leads to water retention and puffiness.
To help reduce puffy eyes, elevating your head during sleep with a thicker pillow or adjustable mattress can make it easier for your body to drain excess fluids away from where they’re not needed.
During REM sleep, your body will naturally increase blood flow which greatly benefits your skin and hair by providing extra nourishment. Your hair and skin are the areas that suffer the most damage throughout the day and therefore require the most healing. When your skin and hair cells get more blood pumping to them, they’re more capable of healing themselves by making new cells.
Getting good restorative sleep doesn’t just make you feel better it actually makes you more attractive. Researchers in Sweden asked a study group to look at pictures of sleep-starved people vs. ones who’d had eight hours. The well-rested people seemed healthier, less tired — and more attractive.