4 signs that your sleep habits are ageing you
Did you know that skin is your body’s largest organ? Yes, the biggest you’ve got!
It’s your first line of defence, the first to be impacted by trauma or stress, but also the last to receive vital nutrients such as hydration. It is a living and breathing organ that requires nurturing and protection just like your other vital organs but unfortunately, it is regularly neglected.
With this leading role in mind, you can understand how important it is for the skin to enjoy regular, uninterrupted sleep each night. So, it shouldn’t come to the surprise of anyone that when you don’t get enough sleep, especially quality sleep, that your skin is the first place to show it.
Sleep is where your skin can rest and rejuvenate itself. So a lack of sleep can deliver the opposite effect and contribute to a host of undesirable skin conditions like:
- fine lines and wrinkles;
- skin dullness and dryness;
- breakouts and
- dark circles
Do any of these sound familiar? If you’ve said yes to any of these four signs, it’s time to get your (quality) snooze on.
#1 You’re not getting enough of it
When we sleep, our body’s natural levels of cortisol (a naturally produced stress hormone) decrease. By lowering cortisol, your skin has the opportunity to regenerate and defend itself against stressors.
When your cortisol levels are consistently high, they interfere with how your body heals itself, which is particularly damaging for those concerned with ageing or breakouts. This is why getting enough sleep is so integral – it’s literally the time your skin has dedicated to renewing itself.
High levels of cortisol are also responsible for a breakdown in collagen, the protein responsible for youthful looking skin. From our early 20’s our body’s ability to produce collagen becomes less and less, so we want to savour what we can! With a lack of sleep, your cell production can’t be stimulated as effectively and compounds this natural decline in collagen levels. Therefore, without adequate sleep, our skin becomes thinner and more susceptible to premature fine lines and wrinkles!
#2 You’re scrolling instead of snoozing
We’re all guilty of staying up past our bedtime from time-to-time thanks to our addiction to smart devices. However, in the long-term our skin is going to be pretty upset about our news feed habits when it comes at the cost of losing precious sleep.
On top of making us stay up late, our devices emit blue light which has proven negative effects on skin. This is why in the modern era; blue light has been put in the same skin aggressor category as pollution.
Our late night scrolling habits are increasing our susceptibility to blue light damage, which some studies have shown direct links to premature ageing. This blue light penetrates deep into the skin and impacts the production of collagen and elastin.
Additionally, staying awake till the early hours on devices confuses your body’s natural circadian rhythm. This confusion stems from our body’s inability to tell whether it’s daytime or night-time - therefore preventing it from going into its natural regeneration mode. Unfortunately, this confusion leads to all sorts of skin issues like:
- dark circles under the eyes;
- pigmentation and uneven skin tone and
- premature fine lines and wrinkles from squinting
#3 Your pillowcase is causing fine lines
Traditionally, most pillowcases are made from cotton - but that may not be as ideal for your skin as you think. Cotton has a habit of causing friction against the skin due to the lack of “slippage” between material and skin. This friction leads to the skin being dragged as you move throughout your sleep, which can see you waking up with sleeping lines. These lines generally go away but after repeated long-term nightly impact, they have the ability to be etched deeper into your skin.
Cotton is also known to draw moisture from the skin, including the precious skincare ingredients you may have applied before going to sleep. Involuntarily removing moisture from the skin contributes to the likes of dryness and flakiness, leaving the skin to look duller and irritated. Unfortunately, this moisture often remains in the cotton itself and if not regularly washed, creates the perfect breeding ground for breakout-causing bacteria to thrive...
Fortunately, alternatives like silk and bamboo lyocell are not only naturally antimicrobial but they offer a divine smooth surface for your skin to sleep on. By creating natural “slippage”, this means farewell to unwanted dragging and friction that is stripping your skin of its moisture, skincare and let’s face it, youth!
#4 You’re sleeping in your makeup
You may already be aware that sleeping in your makeup is a key contributor to breakouts and acne, but did you know it’s also a sure-fire way to speed up the ageing process?
Throughout your day, your skin is exposed to dirt, bacteria, sweat and environmental pollutants. If you don’t properly cleanse your skin at night, you’re leaving these aggressors on your skin that will continue to cause damage. This has the ability to welcome unwanted free radical damage which degrades your collagen, slows your natural regeneration abilities, and significantly contributes to premature ageing.
As makeup builds up on the skin, your skin cell’s ability to naturally shed and renew becomes extremely difficult which leads to a dull complexion that looks much older than it should be.
As arduous as makeup removal may seem, particularly after a long hard day, it’s the one ritual that will pay long-term dividends in keeping your skin clear and healthy!
Keen to support your sleeping habits?
Give your skin the support it needs while you sleep. For a sustainable way to achieve clearer skin and healthier hair, visit our product catalogue page for a variety of bedding products including pillowcases, bedsheets, duvet covers and sleep masks - all available in a selection of stylish colours to suit any bedroom style.