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The Beauty of Sleep

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 10 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
The Beauty Of Sleep

How much sleep do you get? Recent research indicated that we should be aiming for exactly seven hours per night but surveys have shown that most of us get five hours or less. As well as damaging your health in the long term, lack of sleep also has a big effect on how you look.

How Do I know if I’m Not Getting Enough Sleep?

This is usually an easy question to answer as you usually look and feel tired if your sleep pattern is less than it should be. In terms of your general appearance, a pale, lifeless and spotty complexion is one of the most obvious signs of insufficient sleep, along with bags under your eyes and dark circles. More often than not you’ll find that a good night’s sleep is a great (and free!) beauty treatment for your skin.

What Happens When I’m Asleep?

During sleep, your body takes the opportunity to repair and renew itself. Your muscles heal, as deep sleep promotes the secretion of growth hormones that repair and rebuild muscles and bones. This is one of the reasons why you look so much more refreshed after you’ve had enough sleep.

Sleep Promotes Youthful Skin
A healthy sleep pattern is also one of the biggest keys to younger looking skin. A good night’s sleep can do far more for your skin than an expensive facial.

Sleep Aids Weight Loss
High cortisol (stress hormones) interfere with your sleep patterns, but getting adequate amounts of sleep reduces these hormones. It’s best to go to bed sometime between 10 and 11 PM, as this is when the stress glands that secrete cortisol start to recuperate themselves. There is another link between sleep and weight loss. Experts suggest that when you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more likely to eat more calories the next day, and therefore put on weight. This could be because you have higher levels of cortisol when you’ve not had enough sleep, and stress is known to cause some people to overeat.

Sleep Reduces Spots
Cortisol is one of the hormones that contribute to breakouts, so getting a good night’s sleep will go some way towards giving you a clearer complexion, as you’ll have less raging hormones flying around your system.

How Can I Make Sure I Get Enough Sleep?
There are lots of steps that you can take to help you get more sleep. Doing some exercise earlier in the day can help to reduce your cortisol levels so that you’ll find it easier to sleep later. Sleep in total darkness to increase melatonin, which regulates your sleep patterns. Any light in your bedroom is likely to wake you up at a later point, so turn off or cover up LCD screens from alarm clocks and other electrical devices. You only need the slightest amount of light to enter your retina, as it fools your body into thinking that this is natural sunlight, and activating its internal alarm system.

Getting the right amount of sleep on a regular basis will work wonders for your looks, not to mention your health in general. Deep sleep every night will help to achieve a glowing, spot-free complexion with minimal under-eye bags and dark circles (some people do have a genetic predisposition to these though), as well as aiding weight loss and reducing stress levels. Different people need different amounts of sleep, so although experts often recommend that you get around seven or eight hours sleep each night, you might find that you actually far more or far less than this. The best way to find out how much sleep you really need is to ditch the alarm clock for a weekend. Focus on going to bed when you feel tired and getting up when you feel more refreshed, and make a note of how many hours you’ve been asleep. If you do this for a few weekends in a row, you’ll be able to work out an average number of hours that you can use as your personal sleep barometer.

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