Published: 11/21/2014 - Updated: 07/31/2021
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Sleeping is free and it is one of the best foods and most powerful medicines for keeping skin healthy, young, and beautiful.
Do you like to stay up late? Do you spend a lot of time in the morning in front of a computer screen? Can you not sleep well? Do you wake up frequently? All you need is one restless night to know how deteriorated, worn out, tired, and dry your skin looks in the morning, with accentuated bags under your eyes, your mouth feels sticky, and you feel lethargic. If you don’t sleep well, or you frequently stay up late, your skin will be the first to suffer from it, because your skin is a very sensitive organ for showing all sorts of messiness and body imbalances, primarily lack of sleep.
So don’t forget this important aspect, even if you think that people “don’t notice” the effects when you stay up late, because sleep disorders can very severely affect your skin and health, either now or in the future.
While you sleep…
- Cell activity in your skin is working at full speed. Your cells repair themselves and reestablish themselves. They regenerate and cure themselves if necessary. When you rest, cellular division increases two or three times in activity, which is in charge of skin regeneration. This means that your cells regenerate roughly 300% more at night than during the day, reaching peak regeneration levels in the early morning. If you stay up late or if you don’t get a restful sleep, this doesn’t happen because the body is spending energy to be awake or restless.
- The pituitary gland cannot secrete growth hormones, which influence and affect the skin’s regenerative process. If you think you can recover the damage from staying up late with a nap, you’re wrong. During the day, this hormone is no secreted, which is why your skin can’t recover like how it does at night.
- At night, nutrients are absorbed and spread through all your skin in a very productive manner. Because your skin and systems are relaxed, nutrient absorption and distribution is efficient. And even though there are a lot of creams that are recommended to be applied at night for skin repair, they do not substitute sufficient time for cellular rest.
For all these reasons just mentioned, we recommend not staying up late and establishing set hours for sleeping so as to avoid creating and imbalance in the body. Go to bed early (between 9 and 10pm) and wake up early (between 5 and 6am). This is a very good health habit. You should sleep approximately 6 to 8 hours in a row.
What to do if you suffer from insomnia or some other type of sleep disorder
- Avoid consuming white sugar, which deteriorates the nervous system.
- Do physical activity every day, 30 minutes at least is recommendable for keeping the brain well oxygenated.
- If you have insomnia, or if you wake up frequently, you could be lacking some sort of vitamin. So try to follow a varied diet, include fresh vegetable juices daily, chia and linseed, extra-virgin olive oil, and fish.
- Avoid watching TV or going to sleep after a conversation. Read pleasant things that nourish your spirit.
- Don’t eat too much for dinner. Eat one hour before going to bed.
- Drink lime blossom tea, passionflower, chamomile, or mint tea before going to bed.
- If it is truly difficult for you to get to sleep, ask someone to give you a relaxing massage so your body can release tensions. Use lavender essential oil diluted in almond oil, and play soft music with nature sounds.
- If you feel like your head keeps playing over events from the day, or problems don’t let you sleep, try to give yourself space during the day to think about them and solve them. At night, medicate for peace within yourself and meditate on what you feel is your problem. Trust that nature and life will guide you to good understanding and resolution.
- Guided meditations for sleeping are a good alternative for getting to sleep and for creating deep and lasting states of relaxation.
Before going to bed
- Wash your face every night with mineral water and apply cream from aloe, apples, or something that your skin needs.
- Don’t use too many night creams. It’s good to let your skin generate its own oils every once in a while, and to not get used to receiving too many of them.
- When you apply the cream, gently tap your skin to increase good circulation and to help relax facial muscles.
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 2018. Sleep Disorders: In Depth
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 2018. Sleep Disorders and Complementary Health Approaches
- Medlineplus, 2018. Insomnio.
- Zhou, E. S., Gardiner, P., & Bertisch, S. M. (2017). Integrative Medicine for Insomnia. The Medical Clinics of North America, 101(5), 865–879.
- Oyetakin-White, P., Suggs, A., Koo, B., Matsui, M. S., Yarosh, D., Cooper, K. D., & Baron, E. D. (2015). Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing? Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 40(1), 17–22.
- Yoshizaki, T., Kimira, Y., Mano, H., Ota, M., Iwatsuki, K., Oishi, Y., & Yamane, T. (2017). Association between Skin Condition and Sleep Efficiency in Japanese Young Adults. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 63(1), 15–20.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 07/31/2021
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