Call it beauty sleep. Call it well sleep. Whatever you call it. Know that sleep is necessary for optimum health and wellbeing. Sleep is one of the least talked about and supported aspects of “beauty” and wellbeing. However, it is extremely important for optimum health. While you sleep, there are many biological processes taking place. Here are four that support your skin.
When you’re sleeping, the skin renews at twice its normal rate. Though the numbers are inconsistent, it is a fact that somewhere between the hours of 9 pm and 2 am, cell division occurs and peaks. That means new cells are being made to replace old aging ones. Good for the skin? Yeah!
The skin is our largest organ and is made up of over 1 trillion cells. During sleep, there is a reverse in cellular damage. Cortisol drops and repairs damage that may have occurred during the day, i.e. UV. Lack of sleep causes cortisol levels to rise and this can cause inflammation in the body, which can then cause symptoms to show up on the skin. So aiming for at least 7 hours of sleep nightly can be most beneficial to your skin and overall health.
Collagen is a protein found in the skin. It helps cells stick together and gives our skin/face a plump, youthful appearance. However, as we age, collagen begins to decrease. In fact, collagen begins to slowly decrease around the age of 25. Don’t panic. Slowly. While sleeping the skin increases collagen production, which supports plumper skin and as a result, fewer fine lines and wrinkles. Yes, wrinkles are beautiful and proof of a life well-lived, but let it happen naturally, not because of a lack of sleep.
Melatonin protects the skin from free radical damage. Basically, it stimulates the body’s production of antioxidants while you’re sleeping. For this reason, melatonin is known as the “anti-aging” antioxidant. We prefer to call it a “pro-aging” antioxidant. We can’t stop the aging process, nor do we want to (speaking for us). But with increased melatonin production when we’re sleeping, cells can enjoy optimum health and we age like pros.
Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a biological science educator, health and wellbeing consultant and Qigong instructor. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Oprah Mag, SELF, Yahoo and more. She is the founder of Inside Outer Beauty Market, a multi-cultutal retailer curating and creating products to support the body inside and out. Visit the site at www.iobeautymarket.com