Sleeping Beauty: More Than A Fairy Tale
In this day and age, with crazy schedules and obligations, I’ve noticed that a lot of people are complaining about feeling tired when asked how they’re doing – and it’s happening so often that it seems to be a regular way of life for some. It’s as if being too busy to perform a basic human function has become the norm and a perfectly acceptable part of life. This got me wondering: what exactly does a lack of sleep do to us? Would the notion of being overly tired still be considered ‘acceptable’ if we understood the consequences of a sleepless night on the body and skin?
In late 2013, a study was released denoting that people who work an overnight shift over a period of time are chemically altering their bodies. This happens because the brain is unable to cycle through the 5 stages of sleep, resulting in a backlog of much needed molecular regeneration. This causes extreme exhaustion on both the chemical and molecular level, and changes the way our bodies behave and heal. They call it “The Chaos Effect”. Now, you may be asking, “What exactly do you mean by molecular regeneration and how does that fit into beauty?” Quite simply, it’s the chemical and physical process in which the body fights aging! Errrr……uh oh.
The study went on to explain that as we sleep, we cycle through 5 different stages. In a perfect world we would go through each cycle approximately 4 or 5 times a night, but most people only manage 2 or 3. It’s during the fourth stage called “DELTA SLEEP” that growth hormones peak and initiate cell and tissue repair, stimulating collagen production (it always comes back to collagen). At this stage the body metabolizes free radicals that may accelerate cancer growths and aging, while our facial muscles relax to allow the dermal layer of the skin to rejuvenate and smooth wrinkles. This is one of the reasons we recommend using a rich cream and/or face oil in your evening regime. As the body regenerates, it absorbs the moisture and ingredients and utilizes these in cellular regeneration (hence the importance of natural products). By cleansing, toning, and applying a rich serum and moisturizer, you’re providing your skin the perfect opportunity to heal, regenerate, hydrate, and soothe! By ensuring the skin is thoroughly cleansed and maintained, and by taking measures to make sure we sleep effectively, we take advantage of a natural process not only to keep our bodies and minds healthy, but our skin supple and youthful.
So it seems the less time we make for sleep, the less time our skin has to regenerate and heal. In effect, it slows down the healing process and induces the aging process, thereby making sleep fundamentally important in the battle against aging. I guess feeling tired all the time is starting to look less attractive and more like a sentence for premature aging. I know I’ll be getting a little more ‘beauty sleep’ from now on.
To get into a better sleep cycle try the following tips:
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off
Pay attention to what you eat and drink, and when – smaller, milder meals in the evenings are ideal
Create a bedtime ritual and avoid backlit electronics an hour before sleep
Create a room that’s cool, dark and quiet with no outside distraction
Limit daytime naps (avoid if possible)
Include physical activity in your daily routine
Manage your stress Know when to contact your doctor