The Aging Effects of Sleep Deprivation
As another relaxing summer draws to an end and we find ourselves running rampant from work and school to errands and meetings, we all know that something has to give. There are not enough hours in the day for our jam packed schedules and usually sleep is the first to take the hit. We go to bed later and wake-up earlier to make sure we can cross everything off our lists for one day so we aren’t behind the next.
What if we told you that even just one night of sleep deprivation takes a serious toll on our skin? There’s a reason it’s called beauty rest and, for the sake of our youth-like skin, we should not be cutting it short.
It has been known for some time that sleep deprivation can lead to many medical problems, including obesity, diabetes, cancer and immune deficiency. Less clear are the effects lack of sleep can have on our looks, specifically our skin. A study conducted by Estee Lauder found that poor sleepers exhibited increased signs of skin aging, including fine lines, uneven pigmentation and reduced skin elasticity.
Additionally, sleep deprived skin is slower to recover from stressors such as the sun and environmental toxins. These are all the things that naturally keep our skin looking young and from needing to invest in overpriced beauty products and procedures to fake it!
It is much easier to age our skin than to revert it back, and it doesn’t take months or even weeks for sleep deprivation to do its damage. Even a single night of disrupted or shortened sleep activates gene patterns consistent with faster aging. For this, and reasons beyond our looks, it’s important for sleep to be a priority. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep nightly.
Tips to Win Back Time for Sleep
Some tips for your to-do list when your schedule is too full and something has to give, include:
- Multitasking – if you have work to finish up and your children have homework, do it together! This can double as bonding time while getting your extra work done.
- Adjustments – look at your to-dos and make sure you’re utilizing your time in the best way. Maybe you’re better off making your appointments in the morning and hammering away at the computer in the afternoon. Do what’s best for you to the most of your 15-17 awake hours. >
- Give something up – are there items on your list that take low priority? Move them from your immediate to-dos and save them for a day when you have some extra free time.
Speaking for ourselves, we all want to hold on to our amazing youth-like looks for as long as possible. Before we turn to cosmetics and other unnatural quick fixes, we’re going to adjust our to-dos and invest some time in getting enough sleep!