Total Dermatology

Sleep – Or Lack Of – and How It Affects Your Skin

 

Just read an article on melatonin and sleep…we’ll get to how it affects your skin in a minute.

Get to bed before your melatonin snoozes off

Melatonin is a natural sleep-enabling chemical produced by the brain when it’s dark. Up til about 1 A.M. melatonin is “doing its thing” to help you get to sleep. After that, it’s turned off.

Lights on for a potty trip? You could be sunk

If you stay up late and have a tough time getting to sleep, that’s probably one of the reasons why – you ignored the chance to utilize this natural sleep aid. (By the way, if you get up after 1 A.M. to trek to the bathroom and turn on the lights, you could be sunk because you’ve effectively told your brain it’s daylight and “time to wake up”) At 3 in the morning most of us would rather go back to sleep. If you find this happening to you…if you can make it safely, leave the lights off when you get up in the night.

So there, a short primer in melatonin. Oh, another thing….by 60 we’re down to 10% of natural melanin production that we had in our teens, so that’s probably a reason those little melanin supplements are so popular – along with narcotic sleep aids (which, by the way, have their own negative effects on your skin).

Now to get to the part about sleep and skin

Your body goes into repair mode only when you sleep. Billions of cells tighten up, clean up, line up during those hours. When you get insufficient sleep, those little guys have to do double duty the next day. Sleep deprivation is cumulative so even a lazy Saturday sleep-in won’t do much to undo an entire week’s worth of damage.

Brain cells, blood cells, skin cells – they all need sleep to fix themselves after a hard working day.

Lack of sleep shows in many ways…beyond fuzzy brain and mechanical errors, your skin will look sallow, dull and hey, tired skin cells sag!

Your skin is telling on you

I can tell just by looking at a patient’s skin if she’s getting enough sleep. There IS a difference.

So, if you have a habit of staying up late and you’re not in the at least 8 hour sleep range, expect your skin to pay a price.

Sure, we can help mitigate the damage with products, but one of your best resources for genuine skin health lies in solid sleep time. And it’s free.

 

By |2017-10-07T03:48:42-07:00March 26th, 2013|Appearance|Comments Off on Sleep – Or Lack Of – and How It Affects Your Skin

About the Author:

Dr. Nissan Pilest is a Board Certified Dermatologist In Irvine, California, in practice since 1979. He is an active Associate Professor at University of California Irvine's School of Dermatology.
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