Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

No Lie: Why You Really Do Need Your Beauty Sleep August 4, 2011


Is beauty sleep a myth or a reality?  If you chronically do not get enough sleep will that affect your looks?  Here’s what the experts have to say on the subject.

Getting enough sleep is an integral part of Dr. Amy Wechsler’s 9 day plan to destress and look good as she outlines it in her book The Mind-Beauty ConnectionAccording to Wechsler (page 69):

Sleep is free cosmetic medicine, pure and simple.  When people ask me what’s the one thing that will make the biggest improvement in how a stressed-out person looks, I say sleep.  Nothing exacerbates stress and a haggard appearance like exhaustion.  As you may be able to attest from experience, sleep deprivation can make you cranky, depressed, and negative  It can make you overeat, over-caffeinate, and ditch workouts because you’re just too tired.  How much sleep should you get?  Although seven to eight hours a night is the average goal, don’t ever assume you’re average.  If you don’t wake up refreshed or you feel sleepy during the day, you probably need more pillow time, even if you’re getting seven hours or more. 

Lack of sleep will directly affect your looks.  According to the April 2011 issue of Allure:

What women doesn’t fantasize about getting enough sleep every night?  Getting seven to nine hours (the average number an adult needs) helps prevent the following:

Sagging Skin

“Blood pressure is hight when you’re awake, and this causes fluids from your blood vessels to leach into your skin and stretch slightly,” says Darrell S. Rigel, clinical professor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City.  “Over time, skin stays stretched.  When you sleep, fluids in your face are absorbed into the body, but if you never get enough sleep, the fluids never fully reabsorb.”  The effects are especially noticeable around the eyes, where skin is thinner.

Permanent dark circles

The same fluids that cause puffiness also deposit red blood cells in skin, which stay there “and show through skin as permanent circles,” Rigel says.


“Skimping on sleep stresses the body, which triggers activation of the proopiomelanocortin gene,” says dermatologist Leslie Baumann.  “It causes the body to produce excess pigment that can appear as light brown speckles or spots on your face.”


For tips on how to help yourself get a good night’s rest look up the following:


2 Responses to “No Lie: Why You Really Do Need Your Beauty Sleep”

  1. I have dark circles below my eyes and I can feel that my skin is beginning to sag. Thanks for these prevention tips, I appreciate it.

  2. Laura Says:

    It’s amazing to see the stats on the decline in the amount of hours we’re spending sleeping. Lack of sleep – and especially lack of high quality sleep (not just cat naps) – has such a negative and wide ranging health effect. Our skin can be an eye-opening window into our bodies.

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