What if you could forgo the expensive creams, avoid painful vampire facials, and maintain a beautiful and youthful appearance just by sleeping?
Some of the world’s most beautiful celebrities, including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Penelope Cruz, and Renee Zelwegger attribute their good looks to getting the right amount of bedtime each night. While most of us can’t afford the expensive beauty treatments of the Hollywood elite, at least we can afford one of them: sleep!
You’ve probably heard the term beauty sleep before, but just in case you haven’t, we’re referring to the concept of needing to get adequate rest to look like our best self every day.
What is Beauty Sleep?
Has anyone ever told you out of the blue, “hey, you look tired.” We’ve always considered that an insult because it implies a ragged and disheveled appearance. In fact, it’s just about as bad ask asking a non-pregnant woman when they’re due to deliver the baby.
If you’re having a particularly bad day, you might find satisfaction in retorting, “no, I’m not tired. This is my face.” But that’s not likely to make anyone feel better. Instead, a moment of self-reflection may be in order. Ask yourself if you’ve gotten enough shuteye to look well-rested.
After all, the definition of beauty sleep is “sleep considered to be sufficient to keep one looking young and beautiful.”
Beauty Sleep Benefits
One of the many processes your body undergoes while you’re asleep is collagen production. Collagen is what allows the skin to keep a youthful with plumpness and elasticity. Make sure you get at least seven hours of rest per night. If you only get five hours of shuteye each night, you may end up having twice as many fine lines.
When we’re asleep, it frees up blood flow from our daily active processes like moving around, so that the blood can circulate the skin instead. The effect is like a spa rejuvenation without the expensive fees. Lack of rest, on the other hand, can make your skin look dull and lifeless. If you notice that your complexion seems ashen, it could be due to lack of rest.
Less Puffy Eyes
The first sign of an all-nighter is puffy eyes. And, that’s not a good look for anyone. Puffy eyes appear smaller and squinty. Get enough shuteye, and your baby blues (or browns) will shine brightly.
Some people wake up with puffy eyes no matter how long they’ve been asleep. One beauty hack to prevent this from happening is to rest your head on a pillow that’s propped up, so it prevents swelling.
Brighter Eye Circles
Under-eye circles tend to increase in both size and darkness as we get older. A lot of this is due to genetics, but there are some things you can do to reduce their appearance. When you don’t get enough rest and the circulation in your face decreases, blood can pool in the under-eye area, making those circles appear and become more pronounced.
By getting adequate rest, you encourage blood flow to the face, thereby reducing or preventing those nasty dark rings.
Hair is negatively affected by sleep deprivation in two ways:
- Lack of proper bedtime robs hair follicles of restorative nutrients they need to grow and stay strong. The result is breaking, damage, and even hair loss.
- Not getting enough rest also causes the stress hormone cortisol to rise. Stress is another factor in hair loss.
Let’s face it. We don’t look fabulous when we’re not well-rested. We’ve talked about dark circles, puffy eyes, and a dull complexion. All of those unsightly traits combine with subtle changes in facial expressions like a drooping mouth.
If you want to look your best, you’re going to need your rest.
Products Work Better
If you’re using moisturizers and skin or beauty treatments at night, they’ll work better when your skin is nourished and hydrated. Tired skin lacks both the proper circulation and hydrating properties to allow these products to work at their best.
How to Achieve Beauty Sleep
Use Silk Bedding
Silk bedding not only helps you feel better, but it’ll also improve your appearance, too! Unlike other fabrics, silk doesn’t get caught or tangled up in your hair. You may not think that cotton sheets could do any damage, but if you’ve ever woken up with lots of tangles or your hair sticking straight up, it’s because of the friction of those cotton or synthetic fibers over the course of eight hours is doing a number on your hairstyle.
Another reason to choose silk bedding over other materials is it doesn’t cause those funny facial lines that people wake up with when they sleep on other pillowcase materials. It’s no secret that if you have your face indented or wrinkled for hours at a time every night, then it could contribute to more permanent lines and wrinkles.
Go to Bed with a Clean Face
When you’re getting ready for bed, it’s tempting to cut corners. But you should always take the time to wash your face, especially if you’ve worn makeup during the day. Going to bed with a clean face is one of the easiest ways to prevent acne breakouts.
Wear Your Hair Up
This technique helps keep the dirt and oils from your hair out of your face, while also preventing any breakage and tangling from your pillowcase fabric.
Avoid tight ponytails and sky-high buns, though. They’ll cause breakage around the hairline as well as a funny bump in the hair around the back of your head when you let your hair loose. We recommend gently wrapping your hair into a silk scarf. It’ll keep your hair tangle-free while also lengthening the life of a blowout.
Read more: How to Prevent Bed Head
Sleep on Your Back
This is a time-tested beauty hack that most dermatologists will recommend. Sleeping on your back helps you avoid putting pressure on one side of your face. Let’s say you lie on your left side and that portion of your face is pressed into the pillow night after night. Over time, the pressure and creasing will cause wrinkles to set in.
To make matters worse, if you don’t roll over and distribute this pressure evenly, you could end up having one side of your face look markedly older than the other.
Learn how can you start sleeping on your back here.
We lose about eight ounces of water from our body every night, so it’s critical to stay moisturized to prevent our skin from drying out. Look for a face cream that has hyaluronic acid. This ingredient draws water to the skin’s surface, which helps produce a wrinkle-reducing effect.
You should also consider wearing lip balm and moisturizing your hands and feet, too.
Sleep with a Humidifier
We just mentioned the water loss that occurs during bedtime. In addition to moisturizing your skin, a humidifier can also help. This is especially important in the winter when the air is drier, and indoor heating can rob your bedroom of moisture.
Avoid Salty Food and Alcohol
We’re not saying to avoid these treats all the time, but if you consume them before bedtime, the alcohol dehydrates you, leading to puffy eyes. Salt also tends to have the same effect. If you do indulge, spend the night with your head elevated on a wedge pillow.
Change Your Pillowcases Often
Once a week is the recommended frequency for changing pillowcases. This helps prevent a buildup of dirt and bacteria that can clog your pores. In addition to weekly linen changes, flip your pillowcase over each night. The overall effect is cutting the dirt and bacteria buildup in half.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time for beauty sleep?
Early to bed, early to rise doesn’t just help the bird get the worm. It also translates to more effective beauty rest. According to Geoff Wright, the director of The Hair and Beauty Partnership in London, going to sleep at 8 p.m. and waking up at 5 a.m. is the ideal schedule for beautifying yourself.
In those first three hours, your body will rehydrate and stimulate blood flow. The second two hours are all about skin nutrition and rejuvenation. And those last two hours are bonus rest.
Can drinking water help?
Drinking water is one of the best beauty treatments available, and it’s nearly free. Keeping your skin hydrated is a key to maintaining a young and fresh appearance. All of our cells need water to function, including skin cells.
Also, dehydrated skin shows wrinkles more prominently, so drink up!
It seems like every week there’s new information published about the importance of proper bedtime. It’s a crucial component of overall health, and now we have evidence that it can make you look prettier, too.
Author: Jill Thompson
I've been self-employed for almost four years and I would not change it for anything! I believe that anyone can achieve their goals with the right attitude and determination.
I'm an avid traveler (25+ countries and counting) that loves to meet new people doing amazing things.
When I'm not researching for the Sleep Advisor, you can find me reading, running, traveling, golfing, or meditating.
I wish you the very best on your journey!