Guest blog: Sleep and Beauty
02 May 2018
All of us need a certain amount of sleep every day, and while most of us are grateful to lie down in bed, pull the covers up and go to sleep after a busy day, our sleeping hours are much more important than most of us realize. Our sleep patterns will differ from person to person, with some needing only a few hours of sleep to satisfy their body’s needs, while others will need a full 8 hours or more. Additionally, some of us are very light sleepers who will come awake at the slightest noise, while others sleep so deeply that it would literally take an explosion to wake them up. For many, sleep encompasses one-third of our lives.
Sleep is both a busy time and a restful time
Sleep differs from being unconscious because we are able to rouse ourselves from sleep generally without any problem. But, because we are not actively conscious during out hours of sleep, we tend to think of sleep as being something of a block of non-being. However, both our mind and body are busy while we are sleeping.
*During our hours of sleeping our body temperature and respiration drops for some of our
sleep cycle. The activity of our kidneys slows and our heart rate and blood pressure both
lower. These reductions help us to fall asleep and stay asleep.
*Our hours of rest give our cells and tissues time to recuperate from the stresses and
strains of the day. While we are asleep, our relative inactivity and lowered body
temperature facilitates the ability of our body to heal and refresh itself. However, while
we may appear to be inert externally, our body is very busy within.
*Rapid Eye Movement sleep, or REM, is the time when we are dreaming. Unlike the more
restful phases of sleep, during this time our blood pressure rises and our heart rate
increases. The eyes can be seen moving back and forth under the lids. About one quarter
of our night is spent in REM sleep. An odd characteristic of REM sleep is that while our
limbs might twitch a bit, we are not more active due to a condition called atonia; signals
from the brain to the limbs are derailed at the spinal cord, probably to prevent injury from
very active dreaming.
*Sleep also helps to build up your immune system, especially when you’re sick. While we
sleep, the body makes cytokines that are used to destroy pathogens or infections. If you
have gone without proper sleep for a certain amount of time, you will probably notice
that you are more likely to come down with a cold or flu.
Sleep is also important for your skin
You may think that there is little or no connection between your skin’s appearance and getting enough sleep, but you would be mistaken. The right amount of sleep is vital for keeping your skin in good condition, and lack of sleep will quickly make itself evident in how your face looks.
*The elastin and collagen in your dermis help keep your face tight and youthful looking.
When you have skimped on sleep inflammatory cells in this skin layer will begin to
break down both the collagen and elastin, which could lead to sagging.
*Acne will also be made worse if you are sleep deprived. When you are not sleeping
enough, your body becomes stressed, and when your body is stressed it produces more
cortisol – a fight or flight hormone. Cortisol also activates the sebaceous glands so they
produce more oil and wax, which makes it more likely that acne will occur or become
even worse. A Proactiv solution can help to deal with acne from any cause.
*We all know how important it is to stay properly hydrated; not only does this keep our
organs functioning normally, but it helps keep our face from drying out. If you have not
been getting enough sleep, you will be upsetting the ability of your body to balance its
hydration, which occurs while you sleep. You can easily find yourself dealing
simultaneously with puffy, swollen under-eye bags where there is too much water, and
dry, flaking cheeks.
*Lastly, not getting the sleep you need will also tend to age you sooner. Since your body
will not have the chance to repair all the damage done to it during the day, these harms
will eventually add up and contribute to prematurely aging you.
Getting to sleep and staying asleep to provide your mind and body with the rest it needs can be easier if you go to bed at the same time every night, don’t drink a lot of water before going to bed, sleep in a cool room, avoid coffee or caffeinated soda in the evening, and skip afternoon snoozes, they can interfere with your ability to fall asleep later on.
This sponsored post was written by a guest contributor.