Although we constantly joke about beauty sleep, many people don’t realize that sleeping in can have actual physical benefits, while sleeping too little can leave you looking sick and haggard. If you’re worried about the amount of sleep you’re getting and need a reason to convince yourself to go to bed early tonight, look no further than your mirror.
Sleeping can treat bad skin, puffy eyes, wrinkles and even aid in weight loss, while sleeping too little can aggravate all those aspects of your appearance and more. By hitting the hay for at least seven hours a night, you allow your body to get the full benefits of a good night’s sleep, including improving your appearance and making you appear radiant and full of life. Here are five of the physical benefits that getting enough sleep provides:
1. Helps stave off wrinkles
When you fall asleep, your body begins producing growth hormones that help your body in a number of ways – including repairing collagen-producing cells. Collagen is necessary to fill out your skin and prevent wrinkles from developing. The growth hormones ensure that your skin is producing enough collagen, which keeps your skin tight and elastic and allows your skin to repair acne and scarring across your body. Collagen also improves the quality of your hair and nails, making them stronger and shinier. Finally, it also keeps your skin tone even, preventing veins from peeking through and causing visible discoloration.
2. You produce melatonin
While you sleep, your body also produces the chemical melatonin, which serves as an antioxidant that fights off dark spots, fine lines and skin cancers by helping protect the skin against the most harmful effects of UV radiation. Melatonin also helps repair cells and keeps skin flush and radiant. Because of its properties, melatonin can also be effectively applied to the skin topically for skin-level health benefits.
3. Your muscles recover from the day
Getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t just help your outward appearance – it also helps your muscles internally. If you’re trying to work out, build muscle or tone your body, a good night’s sleep can help you further your goals by giving your body the chance to repair torn muscles and ligaments. It’s a similar effect to using drops when you sleep because the same growth hormone that helps fill out your wrinkles and keep your skin flush will also help tackle worn down muscles. It’s as tough as an armored car. REM sleep will help rebuild your muscles, allowing you to grow stronger and get more in shape.
4. You’re less hungry
When you’re short on sleep, your body is likely to overproduce the hormone ghrelin and underproduce the hormone leptin. Ghrelin increases your appetite, while leptin stops it. Undersleeping leaves you feeling hungrier, and prevents your body from feeling full when you do eat. By consistently getting too little sleep, you may be encouraging yourself to overeat. Getting enough sleep can leave you less hungry, allowing you to stick to your meal plan and shed excess weight more readily.
5. You’ll reduce puffy under eyes
A good amount of sleep helps improve blood flow to the top layer of your skin, particularly to your face, which can reduce the overall appearance of puffy under eyes. Poor blood flow results in pooling under the eyes, which, under pale skin, causes dark under eye circles and so can dehydration. An adequate amount of water and a thorough night’s sleep can smooth and lighten your under eye circles, leaving you looking awake and bright-eyed.
By getting enough sleep, you look more alert, happier, healthier and more beautiful. Getting a decent amount of deep sleep every night—at least seven hours—will help you look your best and look radiant every day.