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Beauty Sleep | Truth or Myth?


Written by Lauren

Last Updated: 11th February, 2022

It is thought that the origins of beauty sleep date back to the mid-19th century when people believed that sleeping before midnight encouraged health and beauty benefits. Nowadays, getting enough sleep is considered by many to improve your appearance or maintain elements of youthfulness. 

Keep reading to discover whether there is any truth behind the term ‘beauty sleep’ and the numerous physical benefits getting enough sleep can offer. 

Is Beauty Sleep Real? 

The term ‘beauty sleep’ is a common expression used to describe how one can appear seemingly more beautiful after getting a good nights rest. Many people consider sufficient sleep as an effective way to reduce dark circles and appear more refreshed. 

beauty sleep real

As well as first-hand experiences, there has also been scientific research that claims that getting enough sleep can help improve your appearance. In 2010, 23 adults participated in a study✓ where they got photographed after a normal nights sleep and after being sleep deprived. After observers ranked the photographs, it was found that the sleep-deprived people were viewed as being less healthy and less attractive. 

This perceived attractiveness could be due to the body’s ability to restore and repair as you sleep. As stress hormones decrease and melatonin increases, your body has time to recover each night. This can have numerous health and beauty benefits, such as improving the appearance of your complexion and hair.

Good to know!
According to the NHS✓, getting a sufficient amount of sleep means sleeping between 6 and 9 hours every night. This can range from 10 to 12 hours for children, and teenagers are recommended to sleep 8 to 10 hours.

Benefits Of Beauty Sleep

Getting enough sleep has many benefits, not only for the mind but also for your physical appearance. While the term ‘beauty sleep’ is often used humorously or informally, there is actually a lot of truth behind the popular expression. Below are some ways in which sufficient sleep can help improve or alter your appearance.

beauty sleep benefits
  • Wrinkles: Getting wrinkles is a natural part of ageing and shouldn’t be something in which to feel ashamed. With that being said, sleeping gives your skin the chance to repair itself and make collagen. A study✓ involving 60 women found that those with poor sleep showed increased signs of ageing and lower appearance satisfaction. 
  • Complexion: As sleep allows your skin to restore and repair, good sleep quality can also give you a healthier-looking complexion. A Korean study✓ found that skin hydration and elasticity decreased when sleeping was restricted. 
  • Dark Circles: It’s well known that getting enough sleep can help reduce dark circles. Although genetics and ageing can play a role in forming under-eye bags, insufficient sleep can cause the under-eye blood vessels to dilate which can cause swelling and dark circles. 
  • Hair: Lack of sleep is often associated with stress, something which has been linked to hair loss. In addition, getting enough sleep can release the growth hormones which are necessary for hair health.

Beauty Sleep Alternatives 

While it’s true that regular and sufficient sleep can help you maintain a refreshed appearance, there are also many other products and techniques you could try if you want to step up your beauty routine. 

beauty sleep alternatives
  1. Drinking Water: Consuming water has many health benefits, including hydrating and ridding the body and skin of unwanted toxins. Dermatologist Dr Steven Delidika also states that reduced water consumption can make the skin look duller and wrinkles can become more visible.  
  2. Healthy Diet: As well as drinking water, you can also incorporate several foods into your diet to help with your beauty regime. This can include fruit and vegetables, and low-fat or dairy-free foods. It’s also recommended to avoid excessively eating foods with a high fat and sugar content. 
  3. Suncream: As well as protecting you against burns and skin cancer, wearing sun cream can also help your skin appear more youthful for longer. Sun damage can cause wrinkles, spots and loss of facial elasticity, so it’s recommended to wear a sun cream that is SPF 30 or higher. 
  4. Skincare Routine: There are many skincare products available on the market which claim to offer various beauty benefits. This can include moisturisers, cleansers and toners. It’s worth checking verified reviews before purchasing as many companies are guilty of making false claims and promises. 
  5. Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular exercise not only offers many physical and mental benefits but can also help improve your skin and complexion. Exercise can increase blood flow which can brighten your complexion. Sweating also helps to release toxins from the body, getting rid of bacteria in the skin. 
  6. Silk Pillows: Despite the lack of scientific evidence, many believe silk pillowcases can be beneficial for your skin as the silky texture could reduce friction which may cause wrinkles or skin creases.

Anti-Beauty Sleep Habits 

If you’re following all the beauty recommendations and still aren’t reaping the benefits, there are several things you could be doing that could be working against you. 

It is recommended that adults get between 6-9 hours of sleep at night; if you’re not sleeping enough, you may get dark circles, and your complexion could suffer due to reduced hydration. Another habit that may be harmful to your complexion is leaving your makeup on overnight, as this can trap dirt in your skin and cause premature ageing. 

Free radicals from the environment (often in the form of pollution) remain on the skin when you do not clean your face properly at night. Free radicals cause collagen breakdown over time, which results in the development of fine lines and prematurely aged skin.

Dermatologist Eric Schweiger, M.D

In addition to removing your makeup, you should also remember to wash your face before bed. Your skin comes into contact with dirt, bacteria, and pollution throughout the day, so washing your face can help prevent inflammation and acne.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is beauty sleep?

Beauty sleep is used to describe when someone appears more refreshed and attractive after getting a well-rested sleep.

How to get beauty sleep?

Beauty sleep is typically associated with getting the recommended amount of sleep, which is between 6-9 hours for adults. You can also engage in a regular sleep schedule, waking and sleeping at approximately the same time every night.

Why do they call it beauty sleep?

The term 'beauty sleep' is used as many appear more refreshed and alert after a good night's sleep. As you sleep, the body restores and repairs, which can be beneficial for the skin, hair and complexion.

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