This Free Beauty Secret Will Take Years Off Your Face

It’s not just an old cliché. There’s a reason they call it “beauty sleep.” Sleep may be the closest thing out there to the fountain of youth. Each night, your body repairs itself while you sleep. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body creates more of the stress hormone, cortisol, which leads to increased stress levels and inflammation, which can hurt the quality of your skin and lead to conditions such as psoriasis or acne. The ideal amount of sleep is 7 to 9 hours a night. If you’re getting fewer than 6 hours, chances are it’s affecting your appearance. Try to increase your amount of sleep by 1 to 2 hours a night. You’ll most likely start to see some improvement as quickly as one day. Here are the biggest benefits of beauty sleep.

A Glowing Complexion

Not getting enough sleep deprives your skin of its natural beauty. Sleep deprivation decreases the blood flow to the skin surrounding the face, and, combined with the increase of inflammatory cells that break down collagen and hyaluronic acid, the molecules that give skin its bounce. This leads to dull skin. When you sleep, the body increases blood flow to the skin, which means you wake up with a healthy glow. So don’t skip the sleep, or your complexion may look ashen or lifeless.

Brighter Eyes

As you sleep, your body’s hydration rebalances. Skin recovers moisture and excess water is processed for elimination. Lack of sleep results in a water imbalance, which leads to puffy eyes. Getting your beauty rest can also minimize dark under-eye circles. When you’re low on sleep, blood doesn’t flow as well, which can cause it to collect under the eyes and become visible. If your under-eye discoloration is caused by genes or age, a lack of sleep can cause the problem to worsen. To reduce under-eye circles, elevate your head at night with an extra pillow, and stay well-hydrated.

Fewer Wrinkles

Sleep deprivation accelerates the aging process. When you sleep, daily small breakdowns are repaired and skin creates new collagen, which prevents sagging. More collagen creates plumper skin, which is less likely to wrinkle. Getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night prevents those breakdowns from repairing causing them to accumulate, which can lead to more fine lines and dryer skin, which can make those lines more visible.

Healthier and Happier Appearance

When you’re tired, there’s a tendency to frown and furrow your brow more, projecting a sad appearance. Additionally, lack of sleep can cause the corners of your mouth to droop. When people tell you that you look tired, they’re reading these subtle facial expressions. Sleep also helps with weight management. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation leads to elevated levels of ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone, and reductions in leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite. Not to mention, the lack of sleep leads to low energy levels, which leads to a lack of motivation to exercise.

Overall Better Health

Not getting enough sleep depletes the immune system, which leads to getting sick more often and can cause immune-related skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis to flare up. Sleep leads to decreased stress levels and is also believed to help decrease cholesterol levels, which plays a role in heart disease. Sleep deprivation can contribute to anxiety and depression, and is also linked to a shorter lifespan overall.

Tips For a Good Night’s Sleep

Drink plenty of water during the day, but not late at night.

Avoid caffeinated beverages after noon.

Don’t eat a large meal late in the day.

Keep the bedroom for sleep only, don’t watch tv, read, or use electronics in bed.

Dim the lights in the bedroom. Low lighting signals the body that it’s time for rest.

Exercise. Regular exercise lowers stress levels and contributes to better sleep.