If your grandma always told you to go to bed early so that you could get your beauty sleep, you aren’t alone. So was that just an excuse to get you to go to bed early, or is there some truth behind the whole idea that getting enough sleep can actually make you more attractive?
The Truth About Beauty Sleep
Research has shown that beauty sleep actually is a real thing. People who are sleep deprived actually have a tendency to appear much less attractive than they do when they get enough sleep. Who knew? Well, I guess your grandma did!
One study showed that even just a couple of nights of bad sleep is enough to cause both men and women to look “significantly” uglier, according to experts who have performed sleep experiments.
Here’s how they conducted this study: photographs of participants in a study were rated by strangers along the lines of attractiveness, trustworthiness, sleepiness, and overall health. Results showed that the photos of participants when they were well rested were consistently considered to be more attractive and healthier than the photos taken after the same participants were lacking in sleep.
But why? How does sleep affect the way you look?
Your body repairs and recovers itself while you are sleeping, restoring not only your physical energy but also your youthful appearance. Here are a few of the ways that this happens:
- Detoxification. When you are sleeping, your body is releasing healthy substances that fight off free radicals—harmful molecules from the environment that can cause skin damage. This means that, when you get enough sleep regularly, your skin is cleaning itself from the inside out.
- Collagen Production. This elasticity substance produced during sleep means that you’ll have fewer wrinkles and less sagging of the tissues in your face. Collagen produces plumper skin that may be less likely to show wrinkles.
- Blood Flow Boost. When the blood pumps well through your body, it can set off a soft glow to your complexion, giving you more color. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to look pale and dull because of decreased blood flow. Go for rosy cheeks by getting enough sleep!
- Bright Eyes. When you don’t get enough sleep, the skin around your eyes is saggy and tired looking. Not only that, but your eyes can look puffy and show bags or dark circles. The swelling around your eyes will be less with a good night of sleep—making sure you sleep with your head a bit elevated.
- Happy-Looking Appearance. Getting less sleep can mean that you have less energy in your muscles. This can cause a sad look of droopiness to appear around your mouth as well as a furrow in your brow.
- Luscious Locks. When you get enough sleep, your hair is able to restore itself from the inside out. When you get enough sleep, your blood flow to the hair follicles is better, providing nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Chronic sleep deprivation can not only deplete the nutrients your hair needs, it can also cause stress that releases cortisol which can actually make your hair fall out.
Better Ways Get Your Beauty Sleep
Getting yourself into bed and ready to sleep may be one of the most difficult part of getting your beauty rest. Here we have a few tips and tricks that can help promote healthier rest, making the most of all of the shuteye you’re getting.
- Limit Electronics. Experts agree that many of the problems with insomnia and sleep deprivation today may be related to the use of electronics. While it might feel relaxing to lie in bed and check your email, pop onto social media sites, or surf the internet, in reality the blue lights that are given off by electronics are very bad for your brain. Because they stimulate the brain, even if you can fall asleep after using them the quality of your sleep will likely not be as healthy and restorative. Stopping the use of screens (television, mobile devices, computers, etc.) at least 1-2 hours before bedtime will help your brain calm down before going to sleep.
- Consistent Bedtime and Wake-Up Time. People who allow their bodies to get into a rhythm of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day are much less likely to be sleep deprived. When you work with your body’s natural circadian rhythms, the routine promotes deeper sleep, as well a healthy hormone balance.
- Create a Bedtime Routine. Your body needs time to slow down after a busy day. Falling into bed and expecting to simply go to sleep immediately usually doesn’t work. Instead, give your body time to adjust to slowing down through a regular bedtime routine. For about 30 minutes to an hour prior to when you need to sleep, start by lowering the lights, taking a warm bath, turning off electronics, listening to soothing music or reading a book (non-work-related, of course). You’ll give your brain and body time to calm down and release the important sleep substance (melatonin) before it really needs to go to sleep.
- Avoid Alcohol. Although winding down with a glass of wine in the evening might feel like a good idea at the time, it is actually counterproductive when it comes to getting good sleep. Alcohol makes you feel sleepy at the onset but it does not allow you to get into the deep REM sleep stages your body needs to restore itself. Plus, drinking alcohol can cause dehydration of your skin (promoting a wrinkly appearance) while dilating the blood vessels in the face, making you look older.
As it turns out, getting your beauty sleep is a very real thing and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Not only does it make you look better, getting regular sleep each night makes you feel more energetic and makes you physically healthier as well.
In our busy lives today many people are looking for tips and tricks to make themselves look more attractive. But it really doesn’t have to be that difficult. And it doesn’t even cost you any money. Just get to bed a little bit earlier and you’ll look and feel better!