Experiment reveals how lack of sleep affects skin

18 May 2015

Getting the recommended eight hours’ sleep each night is something we all aim for, but hardly ever get. According to a new study, more than a third of Britons are surviving on just five to six hours, which is having a dramatic effect on memory, patience, concentration – and skin tone.

That’s right, it’s not just your mood which is affected by lack of sleep – the quality of your skin suffers too. One expert explains: “It is the physical equivalent of keeping driving your car over a pothole, day after day. Your car gets more and more damaged the longer you do it, just as your body becomes more and more damaged the longer you deprive it of sleep.”

One woman decided to take part in a sleep experiment. She restricted herself to just six hours’ sleep over five consecutive nights and recorded the effect it had on her skin.

In addition to a dip in energy levels, loss of concentration, memory and patience – not to mention feeling overall more emotional, she also noted that her pores doubled in size, and the red areas of her face increased by 50 per cent.

Do you fall into the six hours’ a night category? Here’s a quick rundown of the changes you can expect to see in your skin over time:

  • Dull-looking skin. Little to no sleep every night leads to dull-looking skin. During sleep, your skin repairs itself and regenerates, so if you’re not getting enough of it, your skin will suffer.
  • Fine lines and wrinkles. Damage to your collagen and elastin levels will result in premature fine lines and wrinkles, as well as dark circles and puffy eyes.
  • Unwanted breakouts. Lack of sleep means your body produces more cortisol. This hormone stimulates oil production, so the less sleep you get, the more oil your skin produces, which in turn leads to clogged pores and unwanted breakouts – yet another effect of having insufficient sleep.

How many hours’ sleep do you get each night? Have you noticed a difference in your skin as a result? Share your findings on our Facebook page today.





Image Credit: Ysign/ iStock/ Thinkstock