I used to wear my 4-6 hours of sleep regimen as a badge of honour! I thought I was young, strong, super-human and didn’t need the regular 7-8 hours.
I thought sleep was for losers! Pshh…I didn’t need no sleep!
Boy, was I wrong.
My lack of sleep resulted in a steady decrease in the actual quality of my sleep, and over time I became an insomniac unable to even fall asleep.
What I didn’t know what that a sleep deficiency gives life to an evil hormonal pairing in your body…And it’s evil for your skin!
Lack of sleep raises cortisol, your stress hormone, which then reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood sugar levels, raising your blood sugar!!!
A higher than normal blood sugar level results in glycation, a process by which sugar molecules bond with proteins like collagen and elastin, making them STIFF and saggy!
This means that excess sugar makes your skin dull, saggy, and AGES it – while the blood sugar spike results in EXCESS sebum being produced too!
Have you ever woken up after too few hours of sleep with a really oily face? This is why!
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Adequate sleep helps keep your other hormones balanced too! Especially two hormones responsible for your appetite: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is responsible for telling you when you’re hungry: “Pick up the fork!”, while leptin is responsible for telling you when you are full, “Put the fork down!”.
A sleep deficiency makes these two hormones go crazy, making you hungrier and telling you to keep eating even when you’re full.
Your immune system need sleep in order to stay healthy and work properly to protect you against foreign substances – even against acne-causing bacteria. It’s vital to your HEALING.
Have you ever noticed that you get sick more easily when you haven’t been getting enough sleep? That’s because your immune system is compromised due to lack of sleep.
You need an average of 8-10 hours of sleep a night. Anything less can lead to a sleep deficit that you can’t out sleep.
But sleep quality also matters.
How does light and noise affect sleep?
The brain is extremely receptive to stimuli…
Even noises louder than the sound of breathing have the potential to wake your brain and cause sleep disturbances. However, your brain is resilient and can get used to noise over time without getting woken up.
It’s still a great idea to minimize noise around you as you sleep.
But light has an even stronger effect on the brain than noise. The light sensors in your retina use light to regulate your internal clock and circadian rhythm.
Light impacts our sleep patterns. From an evolutionary perspective, the sun told our ancestors when it was day or night. Nowadays, we are exposed to far more light with lightbulbs, computers, and phones…Especially after the sun has long set!
This has shifted our internal clock to prefer to fall asleep LATER.
Light exposure in the morning is great, it activates cortisol levels, making you alert and awake and ready to start the day. High cortisol levels in the morning are good for us and are totally normal. It’s how we stay awake during the day. Cortisol levels drop throughout the day, being lowest right before bed…UNLESS there’s light around you, which can spike cortisol levels and keep you awake!
Light exposure at night contributes to problems falling asleep…And insufficient darkness while sleeping can cause you to wake up more often during the night, diminishing the quality of your sleep. Darkness matters for great sleep!
7 Ways To Fall Asleep More Easily And Get A Better Quality Sleep For Clear Skin
- Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol ever…Or at the very least not in the afternoon. But who wants to drink alcohol in the morning?
- Don’t work on difficult mental problems before bed. I know when I am doing something creative before bed, it excites me and I have trouble sleeping because my mind is still very much on the task.
- Develop a regular sleeping schedule ensuring that you get at least 8 hours, but 9-10 is even nicer. I used to live on 5-6 hours of sleep…I was moody, restless, unfocused, anxious, and my skin SUCKED.
- Don’t eat a heavy meal before bed. It’s better to go to sleep hungry than full.
- Eliminate blue light before you go to sleep or else it will spike your cortisol levels making you wired and awake.
Install f.lux app on your computer and phone to eliminate blue light. It actually works with your time zone to turn down blue light as the sun sets around you. Tape up any light around your bedroom, like the red light of a clock or dvr.
- Create space to wind down by reading a book in bed. This is the best way to not only fall asleep, but also to learn – or better yet, learn while falling asleep! You can easily complete a book a month just by reading from 20 to 40 minutes before bed. That’s 12 books a year. Audiobooks work too, and are actually even better because you can lay there being soothed to sleep by a nice voice of the narrator in the DARK. I recommend Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand!
- My personal favourite: EAR PLUGS! I plug my ears before actually hitting the pillow because I don’t want a wink of my sleep interrupted by any ambient noises coming from the street, neighbours, or even the refrigerator in the kitchen.
But What About OverSleeping
Honey, if you are getting 9-10 hours of sleep this doesn’t mean that you are oversleeping…Your body uses that time wisely to heal, build connections in the brain, rest, even lose weight!
Getting used to more sleep can actually feel like an adjustment at first. It certainly felt weird when I first started sleeping 8-10 hours a night.
But after getting used to 8-10 hours of sleep, I really noticed a huge difference when I got 5-6 hours a night due to appointments. I felt groggy, got headaches, and just didn’t feel as focused or motivated.
If you do wake up with low energy after 9-10 hours of sleep, you may very well be dehydrated. So start your day with 1-2 huge glasses of lemon water to rehydrate right away and kick your butt into gear.
Read more about the benefits of hydration for clear skin here.
I noticed an overall improvement in my skin and life after I started sleeping more. When I am stressed, and not getting enough sleep, life feels more difficult and my skin looks dull and zombie-like.
Catch up on your beauty sleep so that you can heal, and FEEL awesome.
P.S. I’ve shared my best 28 hacks for clear skin in my 28 Days Of Clear Skin video series. You can sign up to get every single hack in your inbox here!