Is “Beauty Sleep” A Real Thing? We look at the evidence-backed benefits of sleep.
According to Zoe Dent, Expert Nutritionist & Health Scientist, lack of sleep is the likely culprit to many health problems (both inside and out). We’re all probably familiar with the dull, dreary complexion that comes after hitting the hay well after bedtime, depriving ourselves of a solid siesta is, in fact, the scientific explanation behind such factors as skin break-outs, poor mental clarity, tired puffy eyes, decreased productivity, low self-esteem and even depression. Beauty sleep is a real thing and imperative to a happier, healthier life.
To raise awareness of Sleep Awareness Week (3 – 9 August), we sat down with Zoe to learn the evidence-backed benefits of sleep, plus simple strategies you can implement to ensure you’re well-rested and healthy.
Faster-healing, more youthful skin
Searching for that refreshed complexion for decades past? Well, the answer might lie on your pillow. Your skin uses sleep hours to heal itself from the day’s damage, which means when you enter dreamland, your skin gets the chance to improve and restore, in addition, to slow down the skin’s ageing process and loss of collagen. In short: sleep deprivation can mean more wrinkles and fine lines.
Stronger immune system
When it comes to your health, sleep plays a vital role. While getting extra Z’s won’t necessarily prevent you from getting sick, skimping on sleep could adversely affect your immunity, leaving you vulnerable to a bad cold. To keep it sniffle-free, your body needs sufficient sleep in order to produce the proteins that effectively fight infection and inflammation. Adding to this, a weakened immunity is linked to aggravating skin issues like acne, psoriasis and eczema.
Weight loss’s side-kick
even with the very best diet and fitness routine, if your sleep routine is off, you’ll struggle. When you have a bad night sleep how do you feel? Exhausted, dazed, grumpy… even confused? Well, it’s not just your brain and body that feel that way—your fat cells do too. Ensuring you’re well-rested can increase your ability to shed unwanted fat significantly.
The cause as to why people aren’t getting enough sleep comes down to a range of health issues. Such as people with poor gut health display signs of insomnia, circadian disturbance and depression – the latter a factor itself for insomnia too, with studies showing depressed individuals are 10 times more likely to be insomniacs. Hence why by improving gut health, you not only improve sleep directly but also indirectly by reducing the chances of depression. To put it statistically, 90% of the body’s serotonin is created in the gut, which is vital for feeling alert, awake and energised in the morning, and as day turns to night the serotonin is converted to melatonin, aka the #1 hormone to promote sleep.
About Zoe Dent, Expert Nutritionist & Health Scientist
With a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, Zoe is passionate about wellness education. Practising a form of restorative medicine, she combines the traditional use of medicinal plants together with modern-day health science. She is a proud member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society and a nutritionist expert for Amazonia.