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Why your skin needs 8 hours of beauty sleep too

In our 24-7 world, it’s easy to want to stay up just a little bit later. But when you power down and get to bed at a decent hour, it pays off when you look in the mirror.

People who snooze for at least 8 hours actually feel more attractive. Research shows that being well-rested makes others view you as better-looking, too.

“If you’re interested in having your skin look younger and more healthy, then getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night is one of the best things you can do,” says Michael Breus, PhD, author of Beauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep.

You’ll reap these five beauty benefits from solid nights of shut-eye.

1. You Can Look Younger

Sleep can’t magically erase deep wrinkles, but it can slow down your skin’s aging process.

“The deepest stages of sleep are when your body produces the most growth hormone, which aids in cell and tissue repair,” Breus says.

While you sleep, your body also makes new collagen, the protein that keeps skin strong and elastic.

2. Your Products May Work Better

Do you use an over-the-counter retinol or prescription retinoic acid cream?

“They’re almost always better when used at night,” says Kaleroy Papantoniou, MD, a dermatologist in Commack, NY. “They’re not stable in sunlight, so they won’t work as well during the day.”

Because blood flow to your skin increases late at night, any creams or lotions you use will also be absorbed more quickly, says dermatologist Delphine J. Lee, MD, PhD, of Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.

3. Fewer Fine Lines and Dark Circles

 “Your body rehydrates while you sleep,” Breus says. That makes fine lines and wrinkles less visible and gives your skin a healthy glow. Even if under-eye bags may run in your family, “getting enough sleep can make them less noticeable.”

4. Problems Improve

If you have a condition like eczema, acne, or rosacea, plenty of shut-eye may help. 

“Many skin disorders also have a mind-body connection,” Lee says. “They can flare when you feel stressed, so sleep is one way to relax and reset.”

5. Better Health

Throughout the day, your skin takes a hit from stressors like pollution and ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. When you sleep, your skin has time to mend itself.

“A good night’s rest allows your blood supply to bring oxygen to cells so they get repaired properly,” says Bruce Katz, MD, a dermatology professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Even cuts and bruises heal faster after a good night’s sleep.

Five Sleep-Pretty Tips

Sleep on your back. Doing so spreads your weight evenly throughout your body. Over time, sleeping on your side “can promote deepening of lines and wrinkles,” Papantoniou says. While many people swear that their silk or high-thread-count sheets help their skin look younger, “there’s no evidence to prove they make a difference,” Papantoniou says. “If your sheets [do] have a high thread count or are made of silk and you sleep on your face, you’re still creating pressure and increasing wrinkle formation.”

Loosen up. If you have long hair, don’t go to bed with it in clips, elastics, or braids, which stress follicles and can make your hair thin.

Moisturize your feet or hands. Slip on a pair of cotton socks so the lotion doesn’t rub off onto your sheets.

Wash your face before you hit the sheets. “Makeup and a day’s worth of debris from pollution, smoke, and the environment can cause acne breakouts and rosacea flares,” says Rebecca Kazin, MD, a dermatologist in Washington, D.C.

Take it off. Don’t forget to remove eye makeup, since mascara, eye pencil, and eye shadow can flake into your eyes while you sleep, causing irritation or infection.

Adapted from an article By Stephanie Booth, Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on October 10, 2017

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