THE EFFECTS OF LACK OF SLEEP ON THE SKIN
Lack of sleep has adverse effects on the health of your body as well as your skin.
Sleep is essential for our body. During sleep, the body restores its energy and rebuilds body tissues and cells. This includes the tissues and cells of our skin.
What are some of the effects of sleep deprivation? We are well aware that not having enough shut-eye leaves us tired, irritable and unable to concentrate on our daily routine. Short-term sleep deprivation causes little physical harm. However chronic lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems and cause skin damage.
Getting sufficient sleep, at least 8 hours each night is beneficial to both our health and our skin. It helps to give an overall improvement to the skin texture and gives it a new glow.
While we sleep, our skin is being renewed and restored. Some of the stress and harmful effects from daily living is being reversed. Due to lack of sleep, we are depriving our skin of the opportunities for self-renewal.
If we don’t receive sufficient sleep, our body, our skin and our health will suffer. The ill-effects of lack of sleep are most evident on the skin beneath our eyes. This area of the skin here is the most fragile. It is much, much thinner than the other areas of the skin.
Lack of sleep leaves behind dark circles, puffy eye bags, fine lines and wrinkles. Specialised skin care products and treatments can reverse some of the effects of sleep deprivation. Eye Creams & eye gels have some ability to reducing those puffy eye bags and dark circles. They cannot reverse all the damage caused by lack of sleep.
Generally, an adult will need to sleep for at least 8 hours each night. However, very often we survive on much less. The average adult sleeps for about 6 to 7 hours each night. The effects of lack of sleep are cumulative.
Besides the heavy workload that we have to cope with, there are many other concerns that could keep us awake at night. We could be disturbed by our small kids who need attention in the night, our teenage children coming home late, our aging parents who need to get up at night. These are all factors that contribute to our lack of sleep. Unfortunately, some of these contributing factors cannot simply be removed.
So how can you ensure a night of peaceful, undisturbed and sufficient sleep? We’ve listed some suggestions here for your consideration.THE SLEEPING ENVIRONMENT
The sleeping environment is your most important consideration if you want to overcome the problem of lack of sleep in your life. Create a pleasant and warm environment in your bedroom by doing the following:
- Try to maintain a noise-free sleep environment by eliminating unnecessary noises. Any sounds in your bedroom should be consistent and soft. If you can’t do anything about the noise, try earplugs.
- Keep your environment dark as the area of brain that controls sleep is close to the optic nerves and thus sensitive to light. Use dark fabric for your window curtains. If that is not possible, try eyeshades.
- Keep the room temperature cool but not too cold. The temperature of your body will fall while you sleep.
- Get a comfortable mattress that is big enough so that you will have room to move.
- It is important to have comfortable pillows. Try natural-fill ones such as down or feather. They are by far the best as they are the most adjustability. If you suffer from back pain put a pillow between your knees for a more comfortable sleep.
- Keep the face of the clock away from your view. Try not to watch the time if you wake up in the middle of the night.
- Do not keep televisions and computers in the bedroom. Reserve the bedroom for sleeping only.
WATCH YOUR INTAKE
Watch you intake! What you eat may have an effect on your ability to sleep, contributing to your lack of sleep. Here are some pointers.
- While alcohol does help you to fall asleep, it will also wake you up during the night. Avoid alcohol before sleeping. Anyway, too much alcohol is bad for your skin.
- Nicotine is a stimulant that increases blood pressure, heart beats and brain wave activity. You should resist the urge to have a puff before bedtime. If possible, totally quit smoking. It is bad for health and for your skin.
- Do not try to sleep with an empty stomach or one that is too full. If you have the habit of taking snacks at night, do it early and take a light one.
- Watch your intake of caffeinated laden drinks and food such as coffee, tea, coke and even chocolate. The effects of caffeine can last up to 12 hours. Too much caffeine has a drying effect on the skin.
- Trytophan, a natural substance found in milk has been thought to help induce sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, try drinking a warm glass of milk.
SOME OTHER TIPS
Here are some more tips to help you overcome your problem of lack of sleep.
- Before you go to bed, take a relaxing bath. It will help to relax and induce sleep.
- Do not exercise just before going to bed. However exercising regularly during the day does help you to sleep better.
- Do not engage in activities that increase your anxiety levels. Such activities could include considering and discussing financial matters or other serious problems.
- Keep a notepad beside your bed. If you have the habit of fretting or thinking of things that you need to attend to the next day, jot it down so that you can deal with it the next morning.
- If time permits, take quick daytime nap of about 20 to 30 minutes. It can have positive physiological benefits. However, avoid prolonged naps. It will have a negative impact on your sleep at night and may cause insomnia.
- If you are experiencing insomnia, get up and engage yourself in another activity such as reading for a short while. Then try to sleep again.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’VE BEEN SLEEPING WELL?
Are you suffering from lack of sleep? Or have you been sleeping well? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you fall asleep easily at night?
- Do you often sleep through and rarely wake up at night?
- Even if you wake up during the night, do you fall back to sleep easily?
- Are you able to wake without an alarm and at the same time each morning?
- Do you feel alert throughout the day and do not have the need for daytime nap?
If you answered yes to all or most of the above questions, then you have very healthy sleep habits. Keep it up!