Beauty Sleep: Fact or Fiction?

There are few things that are certain in a world filled with daily stressors ranging from homework to relationships, but one of these certainties is this: sleeping is a beautiful phenomenon. Whether it’s after a day of three exams, a long night out, or a relaxed night in, there is no denying that a good night’s rest has its benefits both physically and mentally. Sleep is a necessary process for life, but what is meant by the term “beauty sleep” and does sleep actually help to make us beautiful?

According to Dictionary.com, beauty sleep is defined as “sleep before midnight, assumed to be necessary for one’s beauty.” Despite any suspicion one may have behind this concept, many recent studies on college students have proven this definition to stand true. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night has incredible benefits in terms of external and internal beauty. During college, it can be especially difficult to maintain a routine sleep schedule with the social and academic atmosphere surrounding us. In fact, the average college student reports getting around only six hours of sleep a night. For many students, even getting five hours a night is considered normal. But no matter how many hours of sleep you think you can function off of, the beauty benefits of a proper night’s sleep far outweigh any gain from staying up that extra two hours or pulling that all-nighter before an exam.

So how exactly does sleep make us beautiful? RIn short, the most obvious beauty benefits of sufficient sleep extend to your skin, hair, eyes, and smile.

Skin

If you want to improve the quality of your skin and perhaps achieve a tireless glow among many other things, the answer lies in a full night of sleep.

Getting enough sleep leads to fewer wrinkles, a glowing complexion, and better moisturized and quality skin. When you sleep, the muscles of your face relax, collagen is restored, and blood flow to your skin increases. Sleep works as a repair process to allow your skin to get oxygen and hydration to renew itself for the next day. When you miss out on this repair process, stress hormones and inflammation take over - leading to dry and pale skin, discoloration, and an obviously tired appearance. Not getting enough sleep can also enhance skin problems such as acne or eczema because of inflammation. So for a gorgeous glow, look no further than the comfort of your own bed!

Hair

As mentioned earlier, a lack of sleep leads to higher levels of stress hormones. This stress response, particularly an increase in the hormone cortisol, is directly correlated with hair loss. As you sleep, your body works to enhance stem cell activity that results in hair growth. Hair follicles and hair growth are also significantly impacted by proper blood flow during sleep. Blood flow brings about nutrients, vitamins and minerals to decrease hair damage and breakage.  So if you want thicker, fuller, and more radiant hair - get those seven to nine hours every night!

Eyes

If you are looking for a way to eliminate dark circles, puffiness, and red, swollen eyes but don’t want to shell out $30 for a product, there is a cheaper alternative: its name is sleep.

When you miss out on sleep, there is a retention of blood flow and fluid around the eyes. This leads to an increase of swelling causing puffiness and dark circles. Retention of fluid causes there to not be enough lubrication for the eyes, causing dryness, redness, and itchiness. Over time, lack of sleep can cause serious eye problems such as involuntary spasms, popped blood vessels, and even decreased vision ability. Don’t overlook the beauty benefits of a good night’s sleep — taking care of your eyes is a necessity!

Smile

Not only will sleep make you feel happier, it will also make you look happier.

A lack of sleep actually causes the corners of your mouth to droop, leading to a sadder appearance. There is also a complex relationship between sleep and depression regarding overall emotional wellbeing. A constant lack of sleep significantly increases risk of depression and anxiety, and even after just a single night of not enough sleep, someone is likely to experience increased irritability, mood swings, poor decision making, and sadness. To wear a beaming and natural smile, it is essential to get a full night of sleep the night before.

There is no denying the perks of beauty sleep; the scientific evidence is loud and clear. But there is also no denying that getting enough sleep is a difficult task. Start with an exploration in creating small bedtime routine improvements. Attaining a full night of sleep is a different, and oftentimes difficult, process for everyone, but given that your own health and beauty is on the line, know that sleep is irreplaceable.