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The Necessity of Sleep to Look Younger by Estee Lauder

Baby Sleeping

We know that a lack of sleep can cause many problems, but few consider the terrible effects of sleep deprivation on the aging of the skin. And we mean huge problems.

These are problems that would make any woman cringe in fear and avoid the mirror, caking her face with creams and foundation until her actual skin becomes practically invisible. We are talking about wrinkles that begin to form around the eyes and mouth way too early in life, about blotches on your skin and that slackening which fills us with horror. The colour on our cheeks starts to fade and the lustre of youth fades. The utter terror caused by such a thought is almost palpable.

Funny enough, those creams and makeup are worthless without proper sleep. Unfortunately, this day and age has brought with it the uncertain body clock and chronic sleep deprivation. Falling into bed exhausted in the wee hours of the night and waking to a blaring alarm as the sun rises to get back to work is no life, but very much the reality we live in. 5-6h of sleep are heavenly for many, as they struggle to keep functioning through the artificial boost coffee provides.
So what did the unique study by Estee Lauder at University Hospitals Case Medical Center find?

“Our study is the first to conclusively demonstrate that inadequate sleep is correlated with reduced skin health and accelerates skin aging. Sleep deprived women show signs of premature skin aging and a decrease in their skin’s ability to recover after sun exposure,” said Dr. Baron, Director of the Skin Study Center at UH Case Medical Center and Associate Professor of Dermatology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. According to Dr. Baron, the link between chronic sleep deprivation and obesity, diabetes, cancer and immune deficiency had already been established, but the effects on the health of one’s skin was as yet unknown.

How did they come to this conclusion? The study looked at 60 women between the ages of 30-49. It’s a good population, newly starting to age, to measure. The study found some interesting facts about the link between sleep deprivation and the quality of our skin:

• Sunburn: With low quality sleepers, the burnt skin remained inflamed and quite angrily red, over 72 hours after the initial exposure to sun, while high quality sleepers saw their skin return to normal 30% quicker.

• BMI: 23% of high quality sleepers were found to be obese, versus 44% of low quality sleepers, indicating the body’s problems with repairing and regulating when deprived of sleep.

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• Self-Confidence: Those who managed to get a good amount of sleep and allow their bodies the rest required, also saw an increase in self-confidence and higher rates of optimism in their lives.
What’s the lesson to take from this, you say? Get high quality sleep at night. How to do that? Oprah’s got some good tips!

• Grab a good pillow: Check for medium-firmness, and make sure it’s non-allergenic and with dust-mite protectors

• Stay away from blue light: no computers, television or anything that emits such light before bed. Tip: cover even your digital clocks to keep your body clock in check.

• Keep your cycle: Sleep when the sun sets and wake with the light. It greatly improves the quality of one’s sleep and reduces tossing and turning or insomnia.

• Keep a routine: Go to sleep and wake up at the same time. This helps regulate the body clock and improve your quality of sleep.

• No work on bed: really! Do your work at your desk and leave the bed for sleeping only. This is part of behaviour therapy. You want your body to associate a bed with only sleep.

Be mindful of your sleep. Make sure you take steps to regulate the quality of it and you will reduce signs of aging and increase your energy levels tenfold. Goodness! Can you imagine not only looking but also feeling younger? Goodnight!

Sources: University Hospitals, Oprah.