Ahhhh sleep.. the time for restoration, regeneration and repair.
Well, not so much for me.
I get it, totally, how important sleep is for our bodies, minds and for our skin, it is literally a biological requirement for survival.. but do you think I can master this 'natural' human need?!
I have done it all... essential oils, herbs, meditation, affirmation, dietary adjustment, lifestyle adjustment, supplementation, pharmaceuticals... I could write a list as long as my arm.
I have stayed away from technology post 3:00pm, I have stayed away from caffeine post 12:00pm, I have created a sleep routine & overhauled my bedroom to make it more 'sleep friendly'.
I have been tested for deficiencies and for excesses, for abnormalities and for discrepancies.
I have even considered that perhaps I am actually a vampire (the fact I crave the sun on my bones & can polish off a whole garlic bread kind of stamped that one out).
So for those sleeping beauties out there, I envy you.
For those of you who daydream of a sweet 8 hours... read on.
Lack of sleep can have the following consequences that'll mess with your glow,
Inflammation-a rise in circulating cortisol is seen when we are aroused early or suddenly from sleep, chronic sleep deprivation results in chronically high levels of circulating cortisol and hence chronic inflammation. This can exacerbate pre-existing skin conditions and contribute to sensitivity and reactivity of skin.
Slow healing- deprivation in sleep can alter wound healing, delaying the processes that are at work to ease skin concerns such as acne lesions, excoriation wounds (that's fancy talk for picking and creating wounds) and inflammatory disorders such as dermatitis and psoriasis.
Premature ageing- disruption to or lack of regular sleep is linked to increased oxidative stress at cellular level and the accumulation of the oxidative stress can lead to poor skin quality and barrier function accelerating ageing and leading to premature wrinkles and discolouration.
Dark circles- poor sleep can cause a decrease in circulation to your skin, this decreases the amount of blood flow, oxygen and nutrient transfer and lymphatic drainage occurring, causing a dull complexion and the appearance of dark circles and puffy dark eyes due to fluid accumulation.
So there you have it, 'beauty sleep' is the real deal!
As for what works in terms of catching those lost hours, I am clearly no expert and we are all unique, what works for one of us may not work for all of us.
What I can tell you is to ensure your intake of zinc and antioxidants is sufficient, think dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds and colourful fruits and veg, this will encourage healing and help fight oxidative damage. Hydrate and use quality topical cosmeceuticals that will support and contribute to structural proteins, skin barrier function, and enzyme activity (see the website for my faves), and indulge in a little facial massage to get that circulation moving. Last but not least SPF for fighting off that UV Radiation that degrades our precious collagen and puts our skin at risk.
Whilst sleep may evade us, good skin health doesn't have to!
With thanks to the following sources,
Christian, L., Graham, J., Padgett, D., Glaser, R., & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. (2007). Stress and Wound Healing. Neuroimmunomodulation, 13(5-6), 337-346. http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000104862
Everson, C., & Toth, L. (2017). Systemic bacterial invasion induced by sleep deprivation. Ajpregu.physiology.org. Retrieved 4 June 2017, from http://ajpregu.physiology.org/content/278/4/R905.full.pdf+html
Factors Affecting Wound Healing. Journal of Dental Research - S. Guo, L.A. DiPietro, 2010. (2017). Journals.sagepub.com. Retrieved 4 June 2017, from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022034509359125
Impact of sleep debt on metabolic and endocrine function - ScienceDirect. (2017). Sciencedirect.com. Retrieved 4 June 2017, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673699013768
Kahan, V., Andersen, M., Tomimori, J., & Tufik, S. (2017). Can poor sleep affect skin integrity?. Retrieved 4 June 2017, from
Lack of sleep can 'double the signs of ageing skin and make it harder to recover from sunburn'. (2017). Mail Online. Retrieved 4 June 2017, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2379673/Lack-sleep-double-signs-ageing-skin-make-harder-recover-sunburn.html
Loss, S. (1997). Sleep loss results in an elevation of cortisol levels the next evening. Sleep, 20(10), 865-870.
Psychological Factors and Delayed Healing in Chronic Wounds : Psychosomatic Medicine. (2017). LWW. Retrieved 4 June 2017, from http://journals.lww.com/psychosomaticmedicine/Abstract/2001/03000/Psychological_Factors_and_Delayed_Healing_in.4.aspx
Thorburn, P., & Riha, R. (2017). Skin disorders and sleep in adults: Where is the evidence?. Retrieved 4 June 2017, from