When we drift off into beauty sleep, our body starts to activate its various regeneration and repair programmes which are vital to keeping our skin looking healthy and young. As you rest your skin cell turnover increases, replenishing dead and damaged skin cells with new ones, combating damage caused throughout the day by free radicals so you can wake up fresh.
Skin Cell Regeneration
Perhaps most importantly at night time, cell mitosis (cell division) peaks in our body - this is the process that renews and repairs our skin. According to science the peak time for skin repair is between 9pm - midnight, this is due to our skin following a 24 hour cycle. It is therefore critical to take advantage of this time in order to maximise the benefits of beauty sleep.
Our Skin Loses Moisture
Just like our cell mitosis has a peak time, the excretion of sebum also has a peak time - this is around midday. Sebum provides a natural protective layer on our skin that helps us retain moisture throughout the day. As less sebum is secreted at night time our skin is more susceptible to losing moisture. As part of how to wake up refreshed after beauty sleep it is important to replenish this loss of moisture by applying a night moisturiser. Also contributing to drier skin overnight is the fact our skin becomes slightly hotter and more acidic whilst we sleep - this is why night creams are generally thicker than day creams so you can wake up feeling refreshed.
Skin is Relieved from Stress
When you are asleep you are not facing daily challenges that can cause stress. Levels of cortisol, aka the stress hormone, naturally fluctuate over 24 hour cycles - high in day time to keep us alert and low at night time to allow us to rest and recover. The production of cortisol can be stimulated by stress - stress that is caused when you are awake. Consistently high levels of cortisol can lead to major health issues, so getting plenty of beauty sleep is important to keeping levels balanced. Learning how to effectively reduce stress can help lower levels of cortisol which will help you get more beauty sleep so you can wake up refreshed.
Skin is Given A Break from Environmental Stressors and Free Radicals
Throughout the day our skin is exposed to many factors that can cause it damage and encourage the onset of early aging. Such things include: UVA/UVB rays from the sun, cigarette smoke, pollution, temperature changes and weather. Whilst you are cosied up and enjoying your beauty sleep you are not exposed to damaging elements so you can therefore focus your attention on nourishing and regenerating your skin rather than protecting it.
Skin Is More Receptive to Certain Products
Ever wondered why there is a difference between day and night cream? Simply put it is because your skin has different needs, and responds differently to products throughout the 24 hour cycle. During beauty sleep your skin is in its repair and regeneration mode, therefore it will better respond to anti-ageing products designed to firm skin and fight signs of ageing such as dark circles under the eyes.
Blood Flow to the Skin is Increased
During the night, whilst you are enjoying your beauty sleep, the body will boost its flow of blood to the skin, delivering much needed energy and nutrients, meaning you can wake up with a healthy and glowing complexion. Sleep deprivation can cause a decrease in blood flow to the skin meaning your complexion will begin to look dull and lifeless.
Our body releases more of the sleep hormone melatonin at night
Melatonin not only ensures you sleep healthily: its anti-oxidative effect irons out skin damage and has a positive influence on the cells’ ageing process. Bright light can inhibit the release of melatonin as it is released when we are in darkness which tells our body it is time to relax and go to sleep. Having low levels of melatonin can mean you will struggle to fall asleep. Melatonin can be taken as a dietary supplement to help people get to sleep.