If we’re being totally honest, it keeps getting harder to get quality beauty sleep nowadays. It’s either we’re busy working, our mind is occupied, or we just can’t seem to fall asleep.
According to Elle, getting at least seven hours of beauty sleep is life-altering: It improves mental tenacity, coping ability, metabolism, and immune function. And if beauty is your motivation, there’s incentive for your skin, too. A study published this year in the journal Nature Cell Biology confirms a direct link between hiccups in your circadian rhythms (the body’s sleep, wake, and eat pattern) and the skin’s ability to synthesize collagen. “Think of sleep as food and water for your skin,” says New York dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD. “When you disrupt the circadian rhythms, you’re more susceptible to environmental damage. Chronic sleep deprivation can exacerbate acne and inflammation, and persistently high levels of cortisol will break down collagen.”
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Well, we agree, but there’s more…
While 25 percent of skin aging can be attributed to genetics, a whopping 75 percent is influenced by epigenetics, or environmental and lifestyle factors like sleep. When beauty company Estée Lauder commissioned a study to examine the relationship between poor sleep quality and accelerated skin aging, the results, published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Dermatology in 2014, prompted the brand to reformulate its iconic Advanced Night Repair Complex, which originally launched in 1982.
Now we know the problem, let’s get to the solution:
“Your body is more likely to enter deep sleep if the temperature in your bedroom is on the cooler side,” Bowe says. And don’t hit Snooze. “If we spend too much time in bed beyond our real sleep need, our sleep becomes lighter and more fragmented as those precious sleep hours are distributed over a longer period,” Nofzinger explains. Finally, don’t go to bed unless you feel sleepy—“That wave of sleepiness is the optimal cue,” says Nofzinger—and if you’re not out after 30 minutes, get up and do something nonstimulating until the sensation returns.
You could listen to music (lullabies) or read a novel till you fall asleep, just make sure you’re not doing something that will trigger your alertness.