Did you get your beauty sleep?

It turns out that beauty sleep is not a myth. Science shows that sleep is very important for the health and appearance of your skin. During the first three hours of sleep, growth hormone is secreted which helps skin cells repair damage from ultraviolet rays, stimulates collagen formation, and decreases the breakdown of protein. Growth hormone works at night to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Melatonin is a hormone that is increased during sleep as well. Melatonin is often referred to as the sleepy hormone because it helps induce sleep. However, it also acts as an antioxidant which helps protect the skin from damaging free radicals. Research shows that antioxidants could help with dark spots, fine lines and even skin cancer formation.

During the final hours of sleep, active REM sleep occurs and levels of cortisol ( the stress hormone ) decrease.

During the night, old skin cells on the surface shed and new cells are pushed up to the surface. Makeup, dirt and pollution can trap dead skin cells preventing them from sloughing off and make your skin appear dull. When your skin is clean, the oil at the base of the skin follicles flows to the surface smoothly and is not trapped. When oil is trapped down in the skin follicle, acne can occur.

When our body does not get enough sleep, it releases more (stress hormone) cortisol. Cortisol has been found to breakdown collagen and causes inflammation. Inflammation and high levels of cortisol has been linked to hair loss, acne, weight gain.

Some tips and goals for your beauty sleep

Try to get 7 -8 hours of sleep each night
Sleep on your back so no pressure in on your face
Wash your face before bedtime
Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime
Limit alcohol and heavy meals before bedtime
Avoid blue light from computers and cell phones before bed as it can suppress melatonin